Bengals Fantasy Beat with Geoff Hobson
Mike Clay has taken to the airwaves to host a Pro Football Focus fantasy football show on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio (10 a.m. ET weekdays – Sirius 210 & XM 87). In addition to his strategy and insight, Clay has had the opportunity to bring in beat writers around the nation to provide an insider fantasy spin on the teams they cover.
This week he had the chance to speak with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. You can find Geoff on Twitter @GeoffHobsonCin
Expect An Even More Run-Heavy Approach
The Bengals were able to run the ball a lot in the second half of games in 2014, because they had a lead. Mike Clay asked Hobson if we should expect to see another run-heavy approach in 2015.
“You might even see a little more,” Hobson said. “That’s how [offensive coordinator] Hue [Jackson] does it. I think the fact that they won 10 games without two or three of their best receiving threats shows how good their running game was. They were sixth in the league in rushing, highest under [head coach] Marvin [Lewis]. I think they feel like that makes [QB Andy] Dalton better.”
The Bengals return a strong offensive line and key components from their defense. They also added defensive end Michael Johnson, who struggled in 2014, but has had success with the Bengals in the past. All signs point to the Bengals competing to win close to the same amount of games as 2014, and once again funneling the offense through the run game.
Marvin Jones Belongs On Your Radar As A Flier
Mike asked Hobson to talk a little bit about the No. 2 wide receiver battle between Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.
“As long as his (Jones’) ankle holds up, he’s the No. 2 receiver,” Hobson said. “He’s got great speed and he’s a great outside threat. He’s been terrific in the red zone. Nine of his 10 touchdowns in 2013 came in the red zone. He’s a nice complement to A.J. [Green].”
Jones is an intriguing late-round flier in redraft and keeper formats. The former fifth-round pick adds an element of deep speed to an offense without many straight-line burners.
All Aboard The Tyler Eifert Hype Train
Tyler Eifert has been gaining steam in the fantasy community as a late-round sleeper with TE1 upside. Mike asked Hobson about what we should expect from Eifert in 2015.
“I see him as a 60- to 65-catch guy,” Hobson said. “He had three catches for 38 yards in one quarter in 2014, and you could see right there in that quarter the problem that he gives defenses. Eifert is basically a wide receiver playing tight end. He grew up watching Dallas Clark and he’s a wide receiver playing tight end. When they drafted him, they envisioned him as a 65-catch guy. “
If Eifert can get into the 60-65 catch range, he would finish somewhere in the top 10 among tight ends in receptions. This would make him a great bet in a PPR league, but he also has value in standard leagues because his size makes him a threat in the red zone.
What Do You Know About Rex Burkhead?
Mike wrapped up his conversation with Hobson by asking for him to pick a surprise breakout player. The Bengals’ offense returns most of its starters from 2014, so Hobson opted to dig a little deeper.
“[Rex] Burkhead is the one wildcard,” Hobson said. “Is he a 10-catch guy or a 30-catch guy? How many snaps is he going to get in the slot? That’s the one guy you have to wonder.”
Of course, even if Burkhead were to get to 30 catches, he wouldn’t provide much value in fantasy leagues. However, if Gio Bernard were to go down with another injury, Burkhead could be called upon to fill in, which could make him worthy of a roster spot in PPR leagues.
Dan Schneier is a staff writer at PFF Fantasy and he covers the NFC East beat for FOX Sports. You can find him on Twitter @DanSchneierNFL. You can also add him to your network on Google+ to find all of his past material.