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Fantasy Football News 2022

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Bengals QB Joe Burrow told reporters that he won't play in Sunday's regular-season finale. He said it's to "rest up," but it's also worth remembering that Burrow tweaked his right knee at the end of last week's win over the Chiefs. Cincinnati has a 1st-round home playoff game locked up and would need the Titans to lose to the Texans and the Chiefs to lose to the Broncos to get the #1 seed. RB Joe Mixon (COVID) is already out for Week 18, and we're not expecting WRs Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd to play much, if at all, vs. Cleveland. QB Brandon Allen will get the start.

Bengals WR Tee Higgins (shoulder) is out for Thursday night's game vs. the Jaguars. We still don't have a timetable for Higgins' return. Ja'Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd will again operate as Cincinnati's clear top 2 WRs in tomorrow's plus matchup.

Bengals WR Tee Higgins (shoulder) is inactive for today’s game vs. the Steelers. Auden Tate figures step in as Cincinnati’s #3 WR but would be a desperation fantasy play. Higgins’ absence frees up a bunch of targets for WRs Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd.

ESPN's Adam Schefter confirms that Bengals WR Tee Higgins (shoulder) is not expected to play vs. the Steelers today. Higgins is listed as doubtful, so no surprise there. Auden Tate is the favorite to move into Cincinnati's 3-WR sets but isn't a viable fantasy play. WRs Ja'Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd should pick up extra targets with Higgins out.

Bengals WR Tee Higgins (shoulder) is listed as doubtful for this weekend’s game vs. the Steelers. HC Zac Taylor said Friday that he wants to wait to see how Higgins feels on Sunday before ruling him out -- but he’s obviously a long shot. Higgins’ absence would elevate WR Auden Tate to the #3 WR spot and free up a bunch of targets for WRs Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd.

The Bengals offense has struggled early in training camp, according to The Athletic. QB Joe Burrow, in particular, has struggled with turnovers and accuracy. "It’s just not good right now," insiders Jay Morrison and Paul Dehner write. "Throws that felt like layups last year are dropping harmlessly away from receivers or easily broken up by multiple defenders." It's early August. And Burrow, of course, is returning from last year's multi-ligament injury. So we're not hitting the panic button yet. But this has certainly become a situation to monitor over the next month.

The Bengals added LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase with the 5th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Chase opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns but had nothing left to prove after a massive 2019. He set single-season SEC records with 1,780 yards and 20 TDs. And he did it as a true sophomore battling for targets with Justin Jefferson, who just set the record for receiving yards by a rookie, and Terrace Marshall, who is expected to be a 1st- or 2nd-rounder this year. Chase goes 6’0, 201 pounds but plays bigger. He’s physical through his routes, at the catch point and after the catch. And he’s excellent going deep, leading the nation with 24 catches 20+ yards downfield in 2019, per Pro Football Focus. Chase blew up his Pro Day, blazing a 4.34-second 40-yard dash and registering a huge 41-inch vertical to earn a 98th percentile Relative Athletic Score. “Chase is one of the best wide receivers in the last 10 years,” a longtime scout told The Athletic’s Bob McGinn. “He can take an underneath ball and go 80 yards. He can just run right by you and catch it 60 yards downfield. He’s built like a fullback almost, but can run like a wide receiver. He’s as good as it gets.” Chase reunites with QB Joe Burrow in Cincinnati as part of a loaded WR corps alongside Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Any of those 3 could lead the team in targets this season.

Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (concussion) has been cleared to play in this weekend's finale vs. the Ravens, HC Zac Taylor Friday. Boyd has played just 2 full games without QB Joe Burrow, totaling 15 targets, 8 catches and 58 scoreless yards. He's a low-upside Week 17 fantasy play.

Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (concussion) returned to a limited practice on Wednesday, giving him a shot to play vs. the Ravens this weekend. We'll monitor his progress over the next couple of days.

The Bengals have ruled WR Tyler Boyd (concussion) out for Sunday's game against the Texans. That positions Tee Higgins as the clear #1 WR against a bad Houston secondary. Cincinnati will also get QB Brandon Allen back. The Bengals left him off the final injury report for the week after Allen missed Week 15 with a knee injury. Allen is nothing special but raises the passing-volume ceiling. Higgins looks like a decent WR3 for Week 16.

Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday. He seems like a long shot to be cleared in time for Sunday's game vs. the Texans. Boyd's absence would boost WR Tee Higgins' target projection -- but he'd remain a shaky fantasy play given Cincinnati's QB situation.

10:12pm EST 12/21/20

Bengals WR Tyler Boyd left Monday night's game against the Steelers with a concussion. He'll need to pass through the league protocol to be eligible to play Sunday at Houston. Having 1 less day than the normal week certainly won't help. Fortunately for fantasy decisions, Boyd has been a shaky option since QB Joe Burrow went down.

2:12pm EST 12/6/20

Bengals WR Tyler Boyd was ejected with about a minute left in the 1st half of Sunday's game against Miami after getting in a fight with CB Xavien Howard, who was also tossed. Boyd caught 1 of 4 targets before exiting -- but it went for a 72-yard TD. We don't expect Boyd to be suspended for Week 14.

The Bengals will start QB Brandon Allen against the Giants this weekend, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Cincinnati has evidently seen enough of QB Ryan Finley, who struggled in 3 starts last year and in place of QB Joe Burrow last week. Allen has been with the Bengals since August, spending the first 11 weeks of the season on the practice squad. A 6th-round pick of the Jaguars back in 2016, Allen's only 3 NFL starts came with the Broncos last year. He averaged 172 yards and 1 TD per game on a 46% completion rate and 6.1 yards per attempt. Cincinnati's offense is in serious trouble.

The "initial diagnosis" on Bengals QB Joe Burrow's left knee is a torn ACL, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "There may be additional damage," Rapoport adds. Burrow has already tweeted that he's done for the season. We'll look for another update on the final damage and exactly how long Burrow will be sidelined. He might not be a lock for the start of the 2021 campaign. QB Ryan Finley will step in for Burrow the rest of the way -- a huge downgrade for the offense.

Steelers slot CB Mike Hilton (shoulder) is inactive for today's game against the Bengals. That improves the matchup for Cincinnati slot WR Tyler Boyd.

Sustained winds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 are expected for today's Bengals-Steelers game. This was already a tough spot for Cincinnati's passing game. We've also scaled back our projections for QB Ben Roethlisberger and his pass-catchers. Avoid Ks Chris Boswell and Randy Bullock today.

Steelers slot CB Mike Hilton is questionable for Sunday's game against the Bengals with the shoulder injury that has cost him the past 3 games. Hilton seemed on track for a return this week when he put in a full Wednesday practice. But then he turned up limited Thursday and Friday. We'll check his status Sunday, but prepare as though you won't have Hilton available for your IDP lineup. His absence would help Bengals primary slot WR Tyler Boyd.

The forecast for today's Titans-Bengals game calls for winds of 20-30 mph. That's just past the threshold of when we start to worry about the passing and kicking games. We're lowering our projections for both passing games a tad and would avoid both kickers in this game. Note that the Bengals will be without all 5 of their starting offensive linemen from Week 1 today. Their implied total has sunk from 25.75 to 21.5.

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