The Cincinnati Bengals have a new quarterback in Joe Burrow and two fantasy-relevant wide receivers in Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green. Green has the potential to be one of the most dangerous in the league, but injury risks have caused him to be the WR29 per FantasyPros Average Draft Position. Boyd, meanwhile, makes his living in the slot and currently sits at WR31. While Green has the higher ceiling, Boyd is the safer pick and offers plenty of upside.
Draft Tyler Boyd Over A.J. Green in Fantasy Football
Shooting for the stars can be good for your fantasy team, but you need to build in some factor of safety to ensure you’re all set if the worst happens. Over the past two years, Boyd proved that he can be a reliable fantasy option with or without A.J. Green on the field.
Last year, Boyd appeared in all 16 games, leading an underwhelming passing attack led by Andy Dalton and Ryan Finley. Despite the unfortunate quarterback situation, Boyd still managed to be a fantasy-relevant asset week-in and week-out. The former second-round pick finished his season with 90 receptions for 1,046 yards and five touchdowns on 148 targets, good for a WR18 finish in PPR leagues. Even if he repeats what he did last year, he’ll still be a value in fantasy drafts.
Boyd’s first season of full-time fantasy relevance came in 2018. He finished as the WR17 in PPR with 76 receptions for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns, but that doesn’t even tell the full story. Green started and finished eight games that year and Boyd was the WR12 in those games. He will produce with or without Green and is one of the safest players at his ADP.
Of course, this doesn’t even account for the new quarterback. First-overall pick Joe Burrow is a safe bet to be a step up from Dalton and Finley. This should lead to more scoring opportunities, which will only help out Boyd’s production. Additionally, Burrow loved targeting the slot at LSU, which is where Boyd sees most of his snaps. No matter what happens, he should have a safe, reliable target share in this offense.
Tyler Boyd vs A.J. Green Upside
Safety is nice, but you want to balance it with some type of upside. There is a reason Jamison Crowder isn’t in the discussion here, after all. Admittedly, Green does have more upside than Boyd. At his best, Green is one of the most talented and dangerous receivers in the league and is capable of a top-three finish at the position. However, Boyd is no slouch himself.
As mentioned before, Boyd found a way to be the WR18 last year despite an atrocious quarterback situation. One year earlier, he was the WR12 with A.J. Green in the lineup. Boyd’s numbers took a dip in the back half of 2018, but that mostly had to do with Jeff Driskel replacing an injured Andy Dalton. Now that he has a better quarterback with an affinity for throwing to the slot, Boyd has WR1 upside and a realistic chance of finishing as a top-12 receiver.
While Green has a marginally higher upside, Boyd’s combination of ceiling and floor make him the preferable choice of the two. Green is a major health risk, and Boyd proved that he can produce at a high level with or without the former first-round pick.
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