The Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the most consistent teams in the National Football League over the past few seasons. The Bengals have made the playoffs in five straight seasons but failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs in any of those years. The Bengals finished the 2015 season at 12-4 and finished as the AFC North champions last season. Let’s look at the Cincinnati Bengals 2016 fantasy football preview.
Cincinnati Bengals 2016 Fantasy Football preview
Quarterback Andy Dalton has been a consistent quarterback in the NFL since being drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft. Dalton came into the 2015 season as a sleeper and he produced solid fantasy numbers until he was injured later in the season. Before his injury Dalton threw for 3,250 yards, 25 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and even amassed 142 rushing yards with three touchdowns. Before his injury Dalton was averaging 18 fantasy points per game and was the fifth-ranked quarterback. With Dalton coming back from his injury he should be targeted in the later rounds of your draft and produce solid fantasy points next season. The big question mark for Dalton and the Bengals offense is that with Hue Jackson gone, the offense could look different under new offensive coordinator Ken Zampese.
Starting running back Jeremy Hill was coming off a fantastic rookie season in 2014 and had very high expectations for the 2015 season. He failed to live up to these expectations in 2015 as he finished the season with 870 total yards and 12 touchdowns. Hill finished as the 14th-ranked running back last season with 155 fantasy points. Hill averaged 10 fantasy points per game, but was very inconsistent last season. He was a disappointment because he was drafted in the late first or early second round. With another off-season under his belt Hill should produce solid numbers next season and be a solid RB2 or a high and flex next year. Hill should be a target in the middle rounds of your draft next season.
Running back Giovani Bernard has been one of the most electrifying players to watch since he came into the league in 2013. While Bernard did not produce major fantasy numbers last season he was a solid flex option and a solid running back to use in PPR leagues. Bernard had 1,200 total yards and two touchdowns last season. Bernard had 132 fantasy points and averaged eight fantasy points per game. With the Bengals having a true committee between Hill and Bernard the two running backs will most likely continue to hurt each others value in regards to fantasy football. Bernard is worth a late round draft pick in next years drafts. With the departures of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, Bernard should be more involved in the passing game. This should give him a boost, especially in PPR leagues.
Over the last few seasons wide receiver A.J. Green has been one of the most consistent and elite wide receivers in the NFL and in fantasy football. Green totaled 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Green finished as the eighth-ranked wide receiver with 187 fantasy points and averaged 12 fantasy points per game. Green is an elite wide receiver and should be drafted in the second round and duplicate his 2015 stats.
The Bengals signed Brandon LaFell in the off-season to replace the receivers they lost in free agency. This will be his third team in the last four years. With the depth at the wide receiver position he is not worth much more than a late round flier in deeper leagues. The receiver that is drawing a lot of interest is rookie Tyler Boyd out the University of Pittsburgh. He finished as Pittsburgh’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. The news coming out of camp is that Boyd will play out of the slot in 2016. He is worth a late round flier in your drafts next season.
One of the skill position players that lived up to his off-season hype was tight end Tyler Eifert. He totaled 615 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. He finished the season as the fifth-ranked tight end with 139 fantasy points and averaged 12 points per game. He has dealt with several injuries throughout his young career. Eifert had surgery on his ankle and might miss a month of the regular season. He is worth the risk and is worth a middle round pick in next year’s drafts.
Mike Nugent has been in the NFL for 12 seasons and been one of the most consistent kickers in the League. Last season he made 23 of his 28 field goal attempts and 48 of his 49 extra point attempts. With the Bengals having one of the best offensives in the NFL, Nugent is worth a late round flier.
The Bengals have one of the better defenses in the NFL. The defense finished last season as the 10th-ranked defense. It had 42 sacks and forced 28 turnovers. Where it fell short is that the defense had only one TD. It is worth a late round pick in next year’s drafts.
The Cincinnati Bengals have lost a lot of talent via free agency this past off-season. The Bengals have done a good job building through the draft and will still be one of the best teams in the AFC next season. With Jackson’s departure the Bengals’ skill position players might have a little difficulty in duplicating last season’s numbers. Their skill players will still be productive for your fantasy teams this upcoming season.