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Cincinnati Bengals Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2021

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According to Chris Roling of Bengals Wire, Cincinnati coaches have indicated that "roughly 50 catches wouldn't be a surprise" for TE C.J. Uzomah this season. That's not an exciting level, just 2.9 receptions per game. But it would have tied for 19th among TEs last year. So keep Uzomah in mind as a fill-in option or late stash in a TE-premium format.

Bengals beat writer Paul Dehner Jr. tweeted Sunday that RB Chris Evans will have a “small role on third downs.” He adds that Evans’ role could grow as the year goes on. (Of course.) The Michigan rookie caught a long TD from backup QB Brandon Allen in Sunday's preseason game and has drawn camp praise for his pass catching work. A high-end athlete, Evans is a name to monitor in deep formats.

Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase has had a "fantastic week" of practice, The Athletic's Paul Dehner writes. It's certainly noteworthy after an early-August report that he was struggling in camp and then a 3-drop 2nd preseason game. We're not worried about Chase's on-field performance. It's the target competition and volume projection that's keeping him suppressed in the WR rankings.

Bengals DE Joseph Ossai will have surgery this week for a meniscus injury that the team fears will end his season, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The 3rd-round pick appeared headed for a spot in Cincinnati's DE rotation. He had a sack of Tom Brady among 5 total pressures in the preseason opener.

Bengals rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase endured a rough outing Friday night in the team’s 2nd preseason contest. The 1st-round pick dropped all 3 of his targets vs. Washington. Drops weren’t a problem for Chase in college. Pro Football Focus charted him with just 5 among 118 targets in 2019, his final campaign at LSU. And we’re not generally too concerned with a WR’s drops in the NFL. But Chase’s lackluster performance stands as another signal we should be cautious about trusting the rookie for big fantasy football production right away. We’ll see whether the latest display knocks his ADP down, though.

After a rough start to training camp, Bengals QB Joe Burrow has "been stacking one quality practice on top of another over the past 10 days," Sports Illustrated's James Rapien writes. Burrow went 11 of 15 with 3 TDs in team drills on Monday, per Rapien, and also scrambled for a pair of 1st downs. That last note is especially encouraging for a guy returning from a serious knee injury. Burrow isn't going to play this preseason, so these practice reports are all we'll get before Week 1. He's probably not a guy you'll want to trust in that opener vs. the Vikings -- but Burrow could certainly be an every-week QB1 by October.

The Athletic's Paul Dehner lists WR Ja'Marr Chase as 1 of the fallers of the first couple of weeks of Bengals training camp. "His skill set is that unique. You see flashes of that early, but you also see somebody tentatively getting used to a new offense, new league and not playing football since January 2020," Dehner writes. "He has endured a string of drops, on short and long passes, with another coming Sunday. He has not shown as much separation as you’d hope, and the contested balls haven’t gone his way much, either." It's not a major surprise that Chase is off to a slow start after opting out of the 2020 season -- but it is at least part of the reason that we have him as overvalued at his 4th- or 5th-round price tag.

Bengals OC Brian Callahan repeated his thoughts on RB Joe Mixon, saying the 5th-year back “has the ability and the skill set to be a 3-down player. “Joe has a really unique ability because he’s so big and fast and strong,” Callahan continued (via The Athletic). “He also catches the ball well, so there’s a place for him in the pass game. The third part of playing running back besides running and catching is protection. They’re a huge part of protection on third down. Joe has grown and improved in that area, really through his career. It’ll be asked of him a bunch this year to be able to do that. He’s an advantage for us because he’s so big. A lot of those blitzing DBs don’t really wanna run through Joe. They don’t like tackling him, then they gotta blitz against him. So there’s some things that he brings that his skill set allows you to have a little bit more of an advantage in pass protection.” Mixon’s rebounded well from his mysterious 2020 foot injury. Now, we’ll see when Joe Burrow’s able to recapture his pre-injury form.

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.

Before the 1st practice of Bengals training camp Wednesday, QB Joe Burrow said: “I’m just about 100 percent. Feeling great, still getting stronger in my legs. Going to continue to lift throughout camp, keep getting stronger, so I just feel great going into Week One.” Burrow also said that he wants to play in a preseason game, but we'll see what the team decides to do. We wouldn't be surprised if they deny the franchise QB that wish. Still, signs continue to look positive for the health of Burrow's knee heading into his 2nd season.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow (knee) will participate on day 1 of training camp. He’s avoided the PUP or NFI list, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. If his knee continues to cooperate, there’s no question Burrow could pay off his QB13 FFPC ADP. See where he sits in our 2021 QB rankings.

The Athletic's Paul Dehner expects "monster numbers" from Bengals RB Joe Mixon this season. Dehner projects Mixon to play around 80% of the offensive snaps and add 15-20 receptions to his previous career high of 43. That'd make Mixon a shoo-in for RB1 numbers with a shot at the top 5. He's an exciting pick at his current mid-2nd-round ADP.

Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah declared himself 100% recovered from last year's torn Achilles and was a full-go in OTAs and minicamp, according to The Athletic's Paul Dehner. Uzomah opened last season as Cincinnati's starter, tallying 11 targets before going down in Week 2. Dehner confirms that Uzomah is expected to play ahead of TE Drew Sample this year -- assuming he regains pre-injury form. A pass-heavy Bengals offense helps Uzomah's fantasy outlook. But he figures to be battling RB Joe Mixon for the title of 4th option in the passing game behind WRs Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.

Bengals WR Tee Higgins has been the talk of minicamp. QB Joe Burrow said Tuesday that Higgins looks "completely different" than he did as a rookie and is "going to have a big year." Then OC Brian Callahan said the next day that Higgins has gotten "markedly more explosive." The Clemson product is coming off an excellent rookie season, tallying 67 catches, 908 yards and 6 TDs. He faces increased target competition with the arrival of rookie WR Ja'Marr Chase. But there's room for all 3 Bengals WRs (including Tyler Boyd) in what figures to be a pass-leaning offense without a real threat at TE.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow expects his surgically repaired left knee to be back to 100% for the start of training camp. "The knee still has a little ways to go, but my upper body, my right leg, everything else feels better than it ever has before," Burrow said. "When I'm on the field and executing, I'm playing better than I ever have before. So I'll continue the program we were on and get back to 100% before camp." Burrow was able to get on the field for minicamp. And while we thought he still looked a bit hobbled, he was moving around and throwing with nice velocity. We'll continue to keep a close eye on his progress leading up to Week 1.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow (knee) participated in OTAs on Tuesday and spoke to reporters afterwards. He said his surgically repaired left knee is at "80-85%." Burrow believes his arm is as strong as ever and is now working on getting comfortable with movement in the pocket and off-platform throws. He's wearing a knee brace and is still testing out different options. Burrow's status will be 1 of the bigger fantasy storylines of the summer. If healthy, he and this Cincinnati offense have a chance to explode.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon is "full go" for OTAs, HC Zac Taylor said Tuesday. Mixon missed the final 10 games of last season with a right foot injury that we never learned much about. It shouldn't be an issue in 2021, though. The Bengals have talked up a bigger receiving role for Mixon this season, which would be a nice boost to his fantasy value.

The doctor who operated on the left knee of Bengals QB Joe Burrow says Burrow is "on track for full go for start of the season," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Burrow, of course, tore the ACL in that knee, along with other damage. Dr. Neal ElAttrache has been working with Cincinnati's medical staff through the recovery, though, and says the QB is "well into the return to performance phase of his recovery. With him already performing this way, it's 'all systems go' for the start of the season." That's obviously good news for the entire Bengals offense and makes it a little easier to take Burrow in current best-ball drafting.

Bengals HC Zac Taylor praised 6th-round rookie RB Chris Evans' pass-catching ability. "He’s a very natural route runner out of the backfield,” Taylor said. “He can split out. That’s one of the things that really jumped out to us at the Senior Bowl, just how dominant he was in those one-on-ones. How natural and easy it looked for him." Cincinnati released pass-catching RB Gio Bernard this offseason, although we're expecting RB Joe Mixon to soak up most of that work this year. Evans remains just a dynasty stash for now but is worth monitoring this summer.

Bengals OC Brian Callahan was asked about his plans for a 3rd-down back this season and had this to say: "I don't want Joe (Mixon) to leave the field, and I think he's up for that challenge." Nice. Mixon has been an excellent pass-catching back dating back to his college days. But that part of his game has never been fully unleashed in Cincinnati. He topped out at 43 catches back in 2018 -- although he was on pace for 56 through 6 games last season. The Bengals cut RB Gio Bernard this offseason and only added 6th-round rookie Chris Evans and undrafted rookie Pooka Williams to the backfield so far. A healthy Mixon is a good bet for a new career high in receptions this year. His ADP at the Round 2-3 turn in FFPC best-ball drafts right now (RB15) makes him a good target.

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