The Cincinnati Bengals travel to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Week 4 Monday Night Football contest that few outside those two cities is anticipating. The only other groups of people interested? Fantasy football owners and sports bettors!
The Bengals continue to slog along without wide receiver A.J. Green, but that has opened the door for Tyler Boyd and John Ross to break out. Ross has 13 receptions for 292 yards and three touchdowns while Boyd has 24 receptions for 250 yards. They’ve combined for 59 targets, compared to 28 total targets for the team’s other three wide receivers.
Fantasy analysis: The Bengals face a reeling Steelers squad that ranks among the worst in the NFL in defending the pass. Given Cincinnati’s issues on the ground, Andy Dalton is likely to be plenty busy through the air on Sunday.
Boyd is a PPR machine right now, with at least six receptions in each game. He has yet to find the end zone, but remains a favorite target of Dalton. The Steelers provide a potentially useful test for Boyd as a slot receiver. Boyd has played the majority of his snaps in the slot the past two weeks. The Steelers have been miserable against slot receivers, with teams targeting the slot completing 26 of 29 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns. However, the Steelers acquired defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick prior to Week 3, and he gets a sizable amount of work in the slot. Fitzpatrick is a huge upgrade to the Steelers defense, and likely will see a lot of Boyd on Sunday. Boyd is a must-start in PPR leagues, and a solid start in standard leagues.
Ross had a quiet Week 3 performance against a solid Bills defense, catching two of his six targets for 22 yards while also losing a fumble. He had monster numbers the two weeks prior to that, catching a combined 11 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. A weak performance against a strong Bills defense undercuts some of Ross’ value, but he’s still someone worth starting. Fitzpatrick could split time between him and Boyd, but there will be plenty of opportunities against an otherwise porous Steelers pass defense.
Start/Sit Recommendations: Start Boyd, Start Ross