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Fantasy Football News 2021

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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.

Buffalo
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.

Buffalo
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.

The Colts had 1 player and 3 staff members originally test positive for COVID, but all 4 have come back as false positives, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. So the Bengals-Colts game is on for Sunday. We'll let you know if that changes.

The Colts had "several" COVID tests come back positive, insider Kevin Bowen reports. The team's facility has been closed as they confirm the tests. This weekend's Colts-Bengals game is now in question. Stay tuned for updates.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow predicts "a big season" from WR Tyler Boyd. "I have a great connection with him right now," Burrow added. Boyd has notably been 1 of the few Cincinnati WRs to stay healthy all August, helping him build chemistry with his rookie QB. It's also worth noting that Burrow just fed slot receiver Justin Jefferson 111 receptions at LSU last year. Boyd remains a big-time value at his 7th-round ADP.

The Bengals selected LSU QB Joe Burrow with the 1st pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Burrow looked like a mid- to late-round prospect at this time a year ago. He redshirted his 1st season at Ohio State and then backed up J.T. Barrett for the next 2. Burrow transferred to LSU in 2018, when he mustered just 2,894 passing yards with 16 TDs on a 58% completion rate and 7.6 yards per attempt. Then came a massive 2019: 5,671 yards, 60 TDs, just 6 INTs, a 76% completion rate and 10.8 yards per attempt. Burrow received the highest passing grade from Pro Football Focus since the site started grading college players in 2014. We could point out the fact that the breakout season came as a 22-year-old, 5th-year senior playing with a loaded group of weapons. But watch Burrow and it’s tough to not fall in love. He has incredible pocket presence and mobility, is pinpoint accurate to all levels of the field and has underrated athleticism, totaling 767 rushing yards and 12 TDs over the past 2 seasons. He’ll be under center for Cincinnati come Week 1, whether or not QB Andy Dalton is traded. Burrow will have a nice group of weapons at his disposal in A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross, Auden Tate and Joe Mixon. Hopefully the Bengals use the rest of this draft to bolster their offensive line.

The forecast for today's Bengals-Dolphins game calls for sustained winds of 15-20 mph with gusts up to 30. That's enough to impact the passing and kicking games. Check the updated projections for all the guys in this game.

Buffalo
1:10pm EDT 10/2/19

The Bengals have placed WR John Ross (shoulder) on IR. It's unclear if he's a candidate to return, but he's out for at least the next 8 weeks. Ross can be dropped from redraft rosters. Cincinnati moves forward with Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate and Damion Willis atop the WR depth chart -- until A.J. Green is ready to return from his ankle injury.

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