Fantasy Power Rankings No. 25 – Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Bengals are No. 25 on the 2015 fantasy football power rankings. This may seem like a low place for Cincinnati to land because they do offer fantasy owners some bona fide studs, but the team does not have enough depth to rank higher.
The Bengals finished 2014 as the 11th most valuable franchise from a fantasy perspective. The fall to No. 25 is mainly due to the fact that we expect their fantasy production to come from a more consolidated group of players. For example, last season the Bengals spent half the season with Giovani Bernard as the starter and half with Jeremy Hill as the starter. They figure to go with Hill from the beginning this year, which lessens Bernard’s value.
Cincinnati offers fantasy owners 78 percent as much value as the average NFL team and 54.1 percent as much value as the NFL’s best team.
In 2013, Andy Dalton finished the season as the third highest-scoring fantasy quarterback. Last year, he slipped down to 19th. Which Dalton do you trust to show up in 2015?
We’re betting on the latter, which makes Dalton a fringe QB2 option. There are plenty of good fantasy quarterbacks to choose from this season Dalton simply isn’t one of them.
The one-two punch of Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard will once again be a top backfield for fantasy purposes. In fact, the Bengals had the most valuable fantasy backfield last year, and they are expected to be near the top again this year only one team will offer fantasy football players more from their running backs than the Bengals.
The Hill-Bernard tandem was highlighted in the 2014 fantasy power rankings recap piece, where it was noted that Hill finished with the 10th most points among running backs last season, while Bernard was 16th.
As previously noted, we expect Bernard’s production to take a hit because he won’t be the centerpiece of Cincinnati’s offense for half of the season. Hill should finish in the top 10 once again.
|2015 Projections||G||Rushes||Rush Yds.||Rush TD||Targets||Rec.||Rec. Yds.||Rec. TD||Points||Rank|
Hill is currently projected to rush for over 1,300 yards and rack up 10 touchdowns. Remember, these rankings assume points-per-reception (PPR) leagues, so Hill becomes even more valuable in standard leagues. Consider this: Hill is projected to catch 23 passes, while every other running back currently expected to finish in the top 10 is projected to notch at least 33 receptions.
Bernard will be more of a fringe RB2 or flex option for fantasy players in 2015. His value is almost solely tied to PPR leagues, however, as he’s expected to be more productive as a receiver than as a rusher. He will be among the leading running backs in terms of receptions and is currently projected to finish with nearly as many receiving yards (437) as rushing yards (473).
The Bengals also bring A.J. Green to the table, a WR1 that had a bit of a down year last season. He missed about a quarter of the season and finished the year on the worst possible note. In a pivotal Week 16 game fantasy football championships week for most Green was injured early but remained in the game as a decoy. He finished with no catches during the most crucial game of the (fantasy) season.
That left a sour taste in fantasy football owners mouths, no doubt, but Green remains an elite fantasy talent. He scored 0.59 fantasy points-per-opportunity (PPO) last season, tied with Antonio Brown for fourth best in the league. And if we remove Green’s Week 16 decoy/injured game from the equation, he would have tied Odell Beckham Jr. for third most PPO with 0.61. That’s good company.
You could also consider adding wideout Marvin Jones to your fantasy squad. He missed the entire 2014 season due to injuries, but his 2013 totals are enough to pique interest: 51 receptions for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns.
His reception and yardage totals could be similar in 2015, but it’s unlikely he’ll notch 10 touchdowns again a more reasonable bet is five. This would be enough to make Jones a fill-in consideration during bye weeks.
Tyler Eifert will be the team’s lead tight end this season, though we don’t expect him to come close to TE1 totals. He’s currently being taken in the 13th round of fantasy drafts as a flier.
So while the Bengals do offer some elite talent the second most valuable fantasy backfield and a WR1 is nothing to scoff at they don’t offer much depth. This is the same problem the Houston Texans (No. 27) have, a team that landed just a few spots below the Bengals on the power rankings.