The Bengals selected North Carolina State QB Ryan Finley in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The 6’4, 213-pounder was a 3-year starter for the Wolfpack after transferring from Boise State. He completed a strong 64.5% of his passes at N.C. State and averaged 7.7 yards per attempt. He set career highs with a 67.4% completion rate and 8.1 yards per attempt this past season and ranked 10th in this draft class in Pro Football Focus’ adjusted completion rate. Finley has some long-term starter potential but will open his career backing up Andy Dalton in Cincinnati. Dalton is signed with the Bengals through the 2020 season but has no dead money left on his contract.
The Bengals have officially named Zac Taylor their HC. The marriage has been set for about a month, but the announcement had to wait until the Rams' season was over. Taylor spent the past 2 years working under Sean McVay, but it's unclear exactly how big a hand he had in the scheme or game-planning. Taylor has just 5 games of experience as an NFL OC, all with Miami back in 2015. The Fins averaged 17 points in those 5 contests. Taylor was the University of Cincinnati's OC in 2016, "leading" the Bearcats to a 106th-place finish in total offense.
The Bengals have fired HC Marvin Lewis. He's been the boss in Cincinnati for 16 seasons, compiling a 131-122-3 record. Lewis' squad made the playoffs 7 times but never got a postseason victory. Cincinnati went 19-28-1 over the past 3 seasons. We're already hearing Hue Jackson mentioned as a potential replacement for Lewis. Poor Bengals fans.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton connected on 11 of 18 passes for 180 yards and 2 TDs in Sunday's preseason game against the Bills. That damage came in just 5 series. Dalton found WR John Ross for a 57-yard score on the 1st play of the game and later connected with WR A.J. Green for a 14-yard TD. With Ross and TE Tyler Eifert healthy (at least for now), Dalton has a loaded group of pass-catchers. He remains a prime late-round QB target with an ADP sitting in the 16th round.
The Bengals have fired OC Ken Zampese, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson. Zampese's offense failed to score a TD in 2 games, although QB Andy Dalton has been just as much to blame as the play-calling. We'll see if this move sparks the offense. It might also help RB Joe Mixon, who's been mired in a 3-headed committee.
UPDATE: Zampese will be replaced by QBs coach Bill Lazor, who spent 2014 and 2015 as Dolphins OC. The 2014 Fins ranked 11 in points scored and 14th in total yards. They fell to 27th and 26th, respectively, in 2015.
Bengals WR A.J. Green (hamstring) is expected to return to practice on Wednesday, according to HC Marvin Lewis. Lewis went on to call Green's Week 15 outlook "partly sunny" -- whatever that means. It at least looks like he has a shot to play against the Steelers on Sunday. An active Green would be a must-start in fantasy and also give QB Andy Dalton a nice boost.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton was efficient in Sunday's win in Cleveland, completing 20 of 28 passes for 180 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs. Both TDs went to TE Tyler Eifert in the 1st half. Dalton didn't need to do much in the 2nd half with Cincinnati nursing a big lead. He has a tougher task next week against a surging Steelers defense. Dalton will be just a mid-range QB2 for that one, assuming WR A.J. Green remains out.
The forecast for today's Bengals-Browns game calls for 1-3 inches of snow and winds of 10-20 mph. We start to worry about the passing games when winds get over 15 mph, so this is a slight concern. Both teams figured to go run-heavy anyway, and the weather will only push them farther in that direction.
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) put in a full practice on Thursday. That seemingly puts him on track to make his 2016 debut this weekend vs. Cleveland. Eifert figures to be on some type of snap count, making him a TD-dependent fantasy play. His return is excellent news for QB Andy Dalton.
New Bengals OC Ken Zampese confirmed that the offense will look very similar to what Hue Jackson ran in 2015. “They [fans] won’t notice anything different,” Zampese told Bengals.com. “We’ll do the same things that got us to this point. There will be some things that show up that may be different and highlight particular players. The offense is always driven by the skills of players and it’s a matter of how you get it to them. We have a couple of new pieces offensively, and I need to find out what those guys are, their skill set, and how to get them the ball.” Last year, only 4 teams posted a higher run rate than Cincinnati. So the news is particularly encouraging for Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard. Andy Dalton also benefits from the promotion, as Zampese has been the Bengals QB coach for his entire career.
The Bengals have declared QB Andy Dalton (thumb) out for Saturday’s game vs. Pittsburgh. A.J. McCarron was expected to start all along, and now it’s official. Four weeks ago, McCarron recorded 280 yards, 2 TDs and 2 picks vs. Pittsburgh after coming on in relief of Dalton.
Bengals HC Marvin Lewis confirmed on Tuesday that the team is preparing to start QB A.J. McCarron in Saturday night's game against the Steelers. QB Andy Dalton is out of his cast but is unlikely to receive full clearance by the weekend. McCarron has been solid in relief over the last 4 weeks, completing 66% of his passes with 6 TDs and 2 INTs. That includes a 280-2-2 line vs. Pittsburgh. The playoffs are a different animal, though. McCarron will be a risk/reward DFS play in the Wild Card Round.
ESPN's Bob Holtzman reports that Bengals QB Andy Dalton had the cast removed from his injured throwing thumb. But his status for Saturday night's game against the Steelers remains "unknown," per Holtzman. Cincinnati will likely test Dalton's ability to take snaps, grip and throw the ball this week. He still seems worse than 50/50 to play this weekend.
Bengals QB A.J. McCarron hurt his left wrist on the final play of Monday night's OT loss at Denver. McCarron took his eyes off the approaching shotgun snap and then hurt the wrist diving after the fumble in an unsuccessful recovery attempt. He told reporters after the game that he was headed for an MRI and hopeful for good news but that he didn't know how bad it was. On the same day, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that QB Andy Dalton remains a few weeks away from returning to the field. Dalton will not only miss Week 17, but the team reportedly doesn't expect him back until the Divisional round of the playoffs. The Bengals will need to beat Baltimore this Sunday and hope for Denver to lose to San Diego if they're to secure a 1st-round bye. Keith Wenning's listed 3rd on the QB depth chart right now. Starting him would obviously ding the fantasy value of WR A.J. Green and any other Bengals receiving options in play.
The Bengals "hope" QB Andy Dalton (thumb) can return for the playoffs, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Dalton avoided surgery but still needs to wait for the bone to heal. He reportedly believes a Week 17 return is "possible," per Rapoport, but that seems like a long shot. Dalton can be dropped in redraft fantasy leagues.
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