After missing a pair of games with a shoulder injury, Higgins played 70% of the snaps, which is a bit less than he had seen in the other 2 games he played this season. With the Packers pressuring Joe Burrow, Higgins was an outlet for him, catching mostly short passes that didn’t lead to much yardage after the catch, leading to his 1st game with fewer than 58 yards, though he was able to convert on a 2-point conversion to add a bit to his fantasy totals.
Although this was a bit of a disappointing game for Higgins, he averaged 59 yards and a TD in the first 2 games of the season, so he’s clearly going to be involved the rest of the way. In the first 2 games of the year when Higgins was healthy, he had out-targeted Chase 15-11, though it seems as if Chase is seeing more of the downfield targets. Regardless, Higgins has shown to be very solid in the red zone, so he’ll have an excellent scoring floor, and he may have his better games against the tougher defenses with strong pass rushes, which could limit the downfield passing.
Higgins saw a team-high 10 targets in Sunday’s loss to the Bears, catching 6 for 60 yards and a score. It was his second straight week producing at least 58 yards and a TD.
Going forward, Higgins should be the most reliable option in this passing attack. His 15 targets through two games lead all Bengals pass catchers. Ja’Marr Chase may see more splash plays that end up in highlight reels, but Higgins is the one you will feel best about utilizing each and every week. This is not to say that he doesn’t have the big play ability, of course.
Higgins enjoyed a nice opener -- and almost enjoyed it even more.
His 2-yard TD catch in the 2nd quarter followed a 26-yard defensive pass-interference penalty Higgins drew against CB Bashaud Breeland. Higgins later set up Joe Mixon’s 2-yard TD run when he got knocked out at the 2-yard line on a 14-yard, 3rd-quarter catch.
Overall, Higgins drew 5 official targets, catchin 4 for 58 yards and the TD. We’d like a little more than 18.5% target share for Higgins, but the DPI play would have put him at 21.4% had it counted.
The only concern here is a Bengals offense that turned in the league’s lowest situation-neutral pass rate in Week 1 -- crazy low at 34.6%, according to RBSDM.com. Cincinnati is sure to come up from that, but remaining near the bottom of the league in that category would limit the available target volume in a crowded WR corps.
We’ll watch that factor going forward.