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Cincinnati Bengals Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2023

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Bengals TE Drew Sample left Thursday's practice on a cart after hurting his left knee. HC Zac Taylor told reporters Friday that he's only expected to miss a couple of weeks, though, with a mild sprain. That should put Sample on track to begin the season on time. Sample played in every game last year but tallied only 15 targets. Sample has performed well as a pass-blocker, though. So any regular-season absence could hamper that area. The Bengals have also been without new RT La'el Collins, as he works through a back issue.

Bengals HC Zac Taylor said Friday that QB Joe Burrow is "day to day" after his late-July appendectomy. Burrow still isn't practicing but has been leading meetings, Taylor said. It doesn't sound like Burrow is in any danger of missing the start of the season, but it'd be nice to see him get in a few weeks of practice before the opener.

Paul Dehner of The Athletic writes that WR Ja’Marr Chase “has picked up right where he left off” last season. You know, because All-Pro talents don’t just decline in their 2nd season. “It’s not a surprise, and it’s hard to imagine his stock soaring any higher, but Chase looks like he’s playing a different game,” Dehner shares. Good to know. The LSU product is currently coming off the board 3rd among WRs — and rightfully so.

Vikings TE Irv Smith underwent thumb surgery on Tuesday, HC Kevin O'Connell said. O'Connell expects Smith to be ready for the start of the season, but we'll track his rehab. The missed practice time isn't ideal for a young player who missed all of 2021 with a knee injury and is now learning a new offense. There's no viable pass-catching TE behind Smith on Minnesota's roster.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow will miss "some practice time" after undergoing surgery to remove his appendix, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. We'll see how long Burrow is sidelined, but the missed practice reps aren't a huge deal considering he's returning to the same offense with the same top 3 WRs. Consider Burrow's fantasy stock unaffected.

Per the Bengals’ official website, WR coach Troy Walters “envisions” WR Ja’Marr Chase playing in the slot more this season. "I'm cool in the slot,” Chase said. “I just need more reps in it. It doesn't really matter to me. It's just another way for me to get the ball.” According to Pro Football Focus, Chase spent 15.8% of his snaps in the slot as a rookie. Unsurprisingly, he posted an elite 2.49 yards per route run from the inside alignment. The 22-year-old remains a top-5 fantasy WR.

The Athletic's Paul Dehner believes the Bengals are no longer interested in making RB Joe Mixon a 3-down back. Dehner notes that Mixon's usage on 3rd downs fell off precipitously late in the season and through the playoffs. Over his final 9 games, Mixon played just 17 3rd-down snaps compared to RB Samaje Perine's 83. But, Mixon averaged 4.3 targets over those 9 games vs. just 2.7 over his first 11. Losing 3rd-down snaps obviously isn't ideal and will probably keep Mixon from joining the top tier of fantasy RBs. But he's still capable of RB1 production as the clear lead back in a strong Bengals offense.

Vikings TE Irv Smith "looked like a full participant" in last week's minicamp, according to The Athletic's Chad Graff. Smith was limited in OTAs coming off last August's meniscus tear, but it doesn't look like that injury will be an issue as we roll into training camp. Smith has some breakout potential in new HC Kevin O'Connell's offense.

New Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell is excited about TE Irv Smith's potential in his offense. "I've said this before, going back and watching some of his tape even before the injury, I know there was a lot of folks excited about him last fall before that injury happened," O'Connell said. "Some of the success he's had -- both with how we're going to use him and ultimately where he is at in his career -- he's ready to absorb all of this and be in a position to go play fast, go play with a bunch of confidence that he's going to be a major part of what we do." Smith is still working his way back from August's meniscus injury, but the Vikings reportedly expect him to be at 100% for the start of training camp. After Minnesota failed to add a significant upgrade at WR behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, there's room for Smith to carve out a significant role this season.

Bengals HC Zac Taylor confirmed on Tuesday that WR Tee Higgins (shoulder) is on track to be ready for training camp. Higgins underwent surgery to repair his left labrum in March and is doing rehab work at this week's OTA sessions. We'll continue to monitor his progress, but Higgins is fine to draft at ADP in early best balls.

Vikings beat writer Sam Ekstrom writes that TE Irv Smith “looked pretty agile” during minicamp drills. Ekstrom also observed Smith running at close to full speed. Last preseason, the 23-year-old sustained a meniscus injury that cost him all of 2021. If Smith can regain pre-injury form, he’ll carry a TE1 ceiling into a contract year. HC Kevin O'Connell recently added some fuel to the hype train by calling Smith "a major part" of the offense.

11:35pm EDT 4/28/22

The Bengals chose S Daxton Hill with the penultimate pick of Round 1 in the NFL Draft. A versatile 3-year starter at Michigan, Hill finished his college career with 4.7 tackles per game, 4 total INTs and 15 passes defensed. He joins a Cincinnati defense that already has Jesse Bates and Vonn Bell in place. Hill could compete for early snaps at slot corner, and Bates is no lock beyond this season after getting the franchise tag this offseason. We'll see about Cincinnati's plans.

Bengals HC Zac Taylor doesn't expect WR Tee Higgins (shoulder) to participate in any of the team's offseason program. Higgins had surgery on his left shoulder after the Super Bowl and is expected to be out for a couple of months, Taylor said. It sounds like Higgins should at least be ready for training camp, but we'll keep an eye on his recovery.

1:48pm EDT 4/19/22

Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell said TE Irv Smith is “right on schedule” in his recovery from an August meniscus tear. Smith, who called his 2021 injury a “freak” thing, added that the goal is to be 100% by training camp. Entering a contract-year, Smith will have a shot at a major role, especially with Tyler Conklin now in New York. Our early projections have him inside TE2 territory.

Bengals WR Tee Higgins had surgery on the labrum in his left shoulder in March, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Higgins is expected to be ready "well before training camp," so this shouldn't be an issue for his 2022 outlook.

Bengals HC Zac Taylor said Wednesday that QB Joe Burrow sprained his right MCL in the Super Bowl. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Burrow will not need surgery. The injury shouldn't be a factor in 2022, but we'll keep an eye on it.

NFL Insider Ian Rapoport tweeted Tuesday that Joe Burrow suffered a knee sprain in the Super Bowl. Burrow didn’t miss any time in Sunday’s loss, but you could tell he was in pain. While Burrow will need rehab, Rapoport writes that the injury “shouldn’t dramatically alter his offseason.” Look for Cincy to pour more money and draft picks into the O-line over the coming months.

Bengals WR Tee Higgins (foot) remained limited in Thursday's practice but isn't listed on the final injury report. We'll keep an eye on the situation, but it looks like Higgins will be ready for his usual role in Saturday's Wild Card game vs. the Raiders.

Bengals WR Tee Higgins was added to Wednesday's injury report with a foot and limited in practice. That might mean he got hurt the foot today. We'll see what he does on Thursday and how he's listed on the final injury report for Saturday's Wild Card game vs. the Raiders.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon has been activated from the COVID list. We'll watch his practice participation this week, but he should be ready for his usual workload in Saturday's Wild Card game vs. the Raiders.

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