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Start or sit John Ross in Week 2?

The Bengals nearly upset the Seahawks in Week 1, and we saw a breakout performance from John Ross. Can he carry it over to Week 2? We break it down.

John Ross of the Cincinnati Bengals wears a University of Washington mouthguard before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 8, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Every summer we spend far too much time looking for a post-hype sleeper. Have we found one in John Ross after a massive Week 1 showing against the Seahawks? I wouldn’t be so sure. Obviously, the numbers jump off the page. The former first-round pick hauled in seven of his 12 targets from Andy Dalton, scored two touchdowns, and picked up 158 receiving yards in the process. Unfortunately, while that level of success is rarely seen, I’m inclined to view Ross though the lens of a larger sample. A lens that is in no way rose-colored.

Even including Sunday’s fantastic performance, Ross has averaged just 0.88 fantasy points per route run going back to the start of last season. To put that number in perspective, only two wideouts with at least 400 routes have produced at a less efficient clip: James Washington and Chris Conley. I mean, we’re talking about a player who found the end zone on a wholly unsustainable seven of his 21 receptions in 2018; yet somehow still managed a paltry 0.14 PPR points per snap. Heck, Ross also mustered a mere 3.82 yards per target in his sophomore campaign, the fewest by a full yard of any of the 73 wide receivers who played at least 50% of their team’s snaps.

Fantasy Impact: The Bengals are going to be an interesting team to study. Though they led for much of their eventual loss to Seattle, Cincinnati wound up throwing the ball on an NFL-high 80 percent of its offensive plays. A continuation of that level of volume with Ross’ big play capabilities could be a tantalizing standard league proposition in the future; but, as it pertains to Week 2, I’m pretty apathetic. Ross is inconsistent and - maybe most importantly - his second touchdown last weekend was simply an incredulous misplay by the Seahawks’ secondary. I’m avoiding him in a PPR setting.

Recommendation: Sit