The Bengals have an awful defense and offensive line, so they often trail and need to throw the ball, but the quarterback doesn’t have much time in the pocket. So there are many, many pass attempts, but not all that much scoring. In Week 10, we’ll see Ryan Finley take over for Andy Dalton coming off the bye.
The Bengals do pass enough to give their wide receivers fantasy points. Without touchdowns, it takes them a while, but it happens. The problem in Cincinnati right now is that there are three targets in Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, and Alex Erickson, who are good enough to put up numbers with targets, but their consistency is troubling.
Over their last three games, Tate leads with 10.3 targets per game, with Boyd second at ten and Erickson third with nine. Each of those target numbers is great, but none of them scored a touchdown, and all three weren’t good fantasy plays each week.
Fantasy football analysis: Cincinnati Bengals WRs Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, Alex Erickson
This week the rookie Ryan Finley will take on the Ravens, who just got cornerback Jimmy Smith back, shoring up their secondary. Finley is an accurate passer but isn’t going to blow you away with his arm strength.
Baltimore has been weak against wide receivers this year, allowing the eleventh-most fantasy points to the position, but Smith’s return should help. Last week, against the Patriots, the Ravens held the passing game down and got the win, but Tom Brady peppered Mohamed Sanu and Julian Edelman with short passes, completing 20-of-24 for 170 yards and a touchdown. If the rookie can get into a rhythm, he could help his receivers to good PPR games with underneath passes.
Baltimore also ranks 26th in adjusted sack rate, which could help Finley see less pressure throughout the game. On the year, Dalton has averaged 42.2 pass attempts per game, ranking second in the league. Finley will need to push toward that number again this week, as the Ravens offense should roll over the Bengals defense.
Tyler Boyd is set up well for short, quick passes out of the slot, and on the season, he’s been the best fantasy receiver. Erickson and Tate have come on of late, but their track record isn’t nearly up to Boyd’s level. If passes were more concentrated, this decision would be easier, but recently, targets have been spread out to these three, with no single receiver seeing consistent work.
Traditional Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start Boyd as a WR3.
Start Erickson as a WR4.
Start Tate as a WR4/5.
DraftKings DFS Recommendation
Boyd’s price is $4,700, Tate’s $4,000 and Erickson’s $3,900. Their target numbers of late make them all intriguing at these prices. I wouldn’t touch any of them in cash games, as there’s no way to feel good about a single player. But we know the Bengals are going to throw the ball a lot, and the Ravens might have a big lead and give them underneath targets for much of the second half. I’m not betting the farm on them, but there is some value in this passing attack in DraftKings PPR scoring.