The Bengals might have opened Round 3 of the NFL Draft with their new MLB. Cincinnati picked Wyoming LB Logan Wilson, who started 52 games for the Cowboys. Wilson racked up 94+ tackles in each of his 4 seasons, tallying 34.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks for his career. He added 14 passes defensed and 10 INTs. Wilson lands in a Cincinnati D with no proven starters at LB and finds a clear path to a starting job -- likely in the middle. Wilson looks very good for dynasty rookie drafts.
The Bengals selected Clemson WR Tee Higgins with the 33rd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. A 5-star recruit and top 20 player overall in the 2017 recruiting class, Higgins broke out as a sophomore in 2018. He led the Tigers with 59 catches and 12 TDs that year, finishing 2nd with 936 receiving yards. Higgins caught another 59 balls last season and set new career highs with 1,167 yards and 13 scores. His 19.8 yards per catch was good for 6th among players with 40+ grabs. He averaged a big 13.4 yards per target, and his 3.67 yards per route run ranked 2nd among 30 of this year’s top WR prospects — behind only CeeDee Lamb. Higgins’ 27 career receiving TDs are tied with DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins for the most in school history. At 6’4 with 96th percentile arm length, Higgins is a classic big-bodied receiver who wins with size and ball skills. He opted not to work out at the Combine and disappointed with a 40 time in the mid 4.5s at his Pro Day. But the tape and college production say Higgins is a good bet for NFL success. He'll battle with John Ross and Auden Tate for snaps behind A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd this season. But Green is on the franchise tag, while Ross and Tate are only under Cincinnati’s control through 2021. Tied to QB Joe Burrow, Higgins has landed in a nice spot.
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.
According to multiple reports, the Bengals have agreed to a 3-year deal with S Vonn Bell. The former Saint joins a secondary that returns both starters at safety: Shawn Williams and Jessie Bates. Cincinnati's primary slot CB Darqueze Dennard, however, left for Jacksonville in free agency this offseason. We'd bet on that role being at least part of the plan for Bell with the Bengals -- and perhaps his primary job. We'll keep an eye out for word from the coaches as we move into 2020 IDP rankings time.
The Bengals are using their franchise tag on WR A.J. Green. This move seemed likely, based on HC Zac Taylor talking this offseason about wanting to keep the veteran wideout around. Green lost all of 2019 and half of 2018 to injury. But if he can return to full health for 2020, the veteran should remain Cincinnati's lead WR. A healthy Green in the 1st half of 2018 didn't hurt Tyler Boyd's target share at all. (Boyd actually drew a slightly larger share with Green on the field than he did after Green went down.)
Bengals HC Zac Taylor said in a Cincinnati.com podcast this week that WR A.J. Green is "a guy we want to be around." It sounds like the team could use the franchise tag to keep the veteran around if they don't agree on a contract extension. Green missed all of 2019 after sitting out 7 games in 2018, but he still looks like a solid fantasy football value at the bottom of WR3 range in early best-ball drafting. Green ranked among the top 16 WRs in PPR points per game every year from 2012 through 2018.
The Saints had a walkthrough practice Wednesday, according to NOLA.com's Amie Just. They listed S Vonn Bell as a limited participant. That marks progress after Bell missed all practices and both games with a knee injury over the past 2 weeks. We'll see if he's ready for Sunday's visit to Carolina.
Marisa Contipelli of the Bengals' official website reports that RB Joe Mixon has been battling a stomach bug over the last 24 hours. "Keep an eye on his workload – not yet known how much he will play today against the Dolphins," Contipelli adds. Mixon was set up beautifully in a workhorse role in a plus matchup. Now that volume is less certain. We've bumped Mixon down the Week 16 Rankings, but his upside keeps him in RB1 territory.
The Saints have ruled S Vonn Bell (knee) out for the 2nd straight game. His replacement, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, is questionable with the concussion that knocked him out of Monday night's win over the Colts. The rookie put in a full practice Friday, though, and seems likely to gain final clearance for Sunday against the Titans.
Bengals RB Joe Mixon (calf) isn't listed on the final Week 16 injury report. He was added to the injury report and limited on Thursday but returned to a full practice on Friday. ESPN's Ben Baby confirms that Mixon is expected to have "no issues" in Sunday's game against the Dolphins. Mixon is a legitimate RB1 in that matchup.
Bengals RB Joe Mixon was limited in Thursday's practice by a calf injury. We don't have any details beyond that, so it's unclear if Mixon is in danger of missing this weekend's game against the Dolphins. We'll know more when Cincinnati releases its final injury report on Friday afternoon. But for now, it'd be a good idea to stash Gio Bernard, who will serve as the Bengals' lead back in a plus matchup if Mixon is out.
The Saints have ruled S Vonn Bell (knee) out for Monday night's game against the Colts. That should mean rookie Chauncey (C.J.) Gardner-Johnson starting in his place. Gardner-Johnson has produced solid numbers in limited starting duty this season -- mostly at slot CB. He's a viable replacement for Bell in your IDP lineup.
The Bengals have placed WR Auden Tate on IR with his sprained MCL. It's not a serious injury, but there are only 3 weeks left in Cincinnati's season. Tate turned in an encouraging 2nd season, currently ranking 2nd on the Bengals with 40 catches and 575 receiving yards. We'll see what the team does at the position this offseason, but Tate could be among the top 3 on the depth chart in 2020. It'll be Tyler Boyd, John Ross and Alex Erickson as the top 3 WRs for the rest of this year.
Bengals WR Auden Tate has been diagnosed with a sprained left MCL, according to ESPN'S Ben Baby. There's no timeline yet for Tate's return, but consider him unlikely to play against the Patriots this weekend. That should mean more action for WR John Ross, but he's not a fantasy option vs. New England. That could change in a Week 16 matchup against the Dolphins.
Bengals WR Auden Tate injured his knee in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game in Cleveland and is officially doubtful to return. That could mean more action for WR John Ross, who returned from his collarbone injury today. We'll update Tate's status when we learn more.
The Bengals have ruled DE Sam Hubbard (knee) out for Sunday's game against the Browns.
Bengals WR John Ross (clavicle) is expected to return for Sunday's game against the Browns, HC Zac Taylor said. Ross exploded for 7-158-2 and 4-112-1 lines in the first 2 weeks of the season but totaled just 58 scoreless yards over the next 2. He can't be trusted in Week 14 fantasy lineups -- but his return does upgrade QB Andy Dalton's weaponry.
Bengals WR Auden Tate (concussion) is active for today’s game against the Steelers. He’ll continue to serve as Cincinnati’s #2 WR but isn’t a recommended fantasy play in this tough matchup.
Bengals WR Auden Tate (concussion) is listed as questionable for this weekend's game against the Steelers after returning to a limited practice on Friday. We'll see if he can get full clearance before Sunday, but Tate isn't much of a fantasy option in this tough matchup.
Bengals HC Zac Taylor said Monday that WR Auden Tate has been diagnosed with a concussion and a cervical strain. We'll keep an eye on him this week, but consider him unlikely to play against the Steelers on Sunday.
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