The Bengals are going into this season ranked as my 29th best team. I have them winning 4 games this year and finishing 4th in the AFC North and 15th in the AFC. Below is my in-depth breakdown of the team by position, staff, and fantasy worth.
Coaching: C-; The former quarterback coach for the Rams, Zac Taylor, hasn’t proven much of his worth so far. He wentz 2-14 last season, but I can forgive him for that due to the terrible roster and the fact that they were tanking. All eyes are going to be on him now as he has his franchise quarterback. I will give him a C- due to the fact that I don’t know if he is a good or a bad coach yet.
QB: C; Joe Burrow just finished possibly the best season in college football history. He is 23 years old and ready to prove his worth in the NFL. I can’t give him higher than a C because he has never played a snap. I think he will be good, but as of now, I don’t know.
RB: B-; Mixon is a very good back. He doesn’t fumble ever, and he manages to put up good stats even behind a lacking O-line. He picked up 1,137 yards and 5 touchdowns on 4.2 ypc last year. He also got 3 touchdowns in the passing game. He will continue to be an above average back, but he is still not at the level of some other great running backs in the league. Other than that mixon, the Bengals don’t have a whole lot of depth at the running back position.
WR: A-; With AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross returning and the Bengals drafting Tee Higgins for depth, the Bengals have a very good receiver room. Green hasn’t been fully healthy since 2017, so all Bengals fans are hoping for him to stay on the field. The same goes for John Ross, who has yet to play a full season. Last year, he put up 506 yards and 3 touchdowns in 8 games. That was his best season yet. Boyd is an underrated receiving talent as well. He broke 1,000 yards last season and caught 5 touchdown passes as the number one receiver. Joe Burrow should have plenty of options to throw to.
TE: F; The tight end is becoming more and more important in great offenses, but the bengals are severely lacking. The starting tight end is C.J. Uzomah. He has just over 1,000 yards in his 61 career games. Yikes.
O-line: D; A starting line up of Jonah Williams, Michael Jordan, Trey Hopkins, Xavier Su’a-Filo, and Bobby Hart is nothing to brag about. The addition of Su’a-Filo was nothing special as it was just a replacement for John Miller. I like the addition of center Billy Price in the draft, but I doubt he starts week one. The Bengals need to put much more effort into upgrading the offensive line if they want to keep Burrow safe throughout his career. The Bengals will have to go against the Ravens, Browns, and Steelers pass rush twice a year. That’s not even the worst of it. They also have to face the Chargers, Eagles, Colts, Redskins, and Cowboys this year. Tough schedule for the O-line.
D-line: B-; This Bengals defensive line is a little bit underrated. Carlos Dunlap got 9.5 sacks in 12 games last year. Geno Atkins played poorly last year, but I think he can go back to his normal self. DJ Reader was a great free agency pickup. He will add some good depth in the interior defensive line. Though this group is nothing fantastic, they could easily play better than their B- grade I gave them.
LB: D-; The Bengals love to forget about positions over the off-season, and this was one of them. With a below-average signing of Josh Bynes, this linebacking group has improved very little. I doubt any quarterback will be afraid of throwing it past Jordan Edwards and Josh Bynes. Not much to say besides that it is a weak spot on the defense.
DB: C; The secondary is nothing special, but it is definitely not the catastrophe it was last season. With the additions of Mackensie Alexander and Von Bell, this secondary got a little bit of much needed help. The group is young and fast. The average age is 25.8 years and the average 40 yard dash time is 4.44 seconds. Trae Waynes and William Jackson III will make a decent duo of cornerbacks next to Alexander. Though the back end of this defense may be inexperienced, they have some potential.
ST B+;; This is one of the best special teams coverage and returning teams in the league. They are second in average kickoff return yards and fourth in average opponents return yards. Randy Bullock is not an elite kicker, but he is serviceable.
Overall: C; the team went 2-14 last year in a tanking season. That doesn’t mean they are destined for failure this year as they had a good draft and a decent free-agency. This team is very young and inexperienced, but they will be fighting with all that they’ve got this year. I really think Joe Burrow will be a great quarterback, but don’t expect him to be lighting up the stat sheet this year. He has a lot of challenging teams ahead of him. The team is still very bad, but I have a feeling they will progress into a good team under Zac Taylor.
Fantasy Value: I wouldn’t draft many players on the Bengals. Joe burrow is too much of a risk due to the great defenses he will be facing and his poor offensive line. The wide receiver room is a little crowded, so don’t expect repeat years from Tyler Boyd or AJ Green. I could see Joe Mixon performing a little bit worse with a more pass centered attack. Zac Taylor is a former quarterbacks coach, so you know he will have passing tendencies when he has Joe Burrow starting. Overall, there are too many fantasy risks on the Bengals