Cincinnati Bengals

AFC North

2014 Schedule

  • Week 1

    CIN @ BAL


    1:00 pm

  • Week 2

    ATL @ CIN


    1:00 pm

  • Week 3

    TEN @ CIN


    1:00 pm

  • Week 4


  • Week 5

    CIN @ NE


    8:30 pm

  • Week 6

    CAR @ CIN


    1:00 pm

  • Week 7

    CIN @ IND


    1:00 pm

  • Week 8

    BAL @ CIN


    1:00 pm

  • Week 9

    JAC @ CIN


    1:00 pm

  • Week 10

    CLE @ CIN


    8:30 pm

  • Week 11

    CIN @ NO


    1:00 pm

  • Week 12

    CIN @ HOU


    1:00 pm

  • Week 13

    CIN @ TB


    1:00 pm

  • Week 14

    PIT @ CIN


    1:00 pm

  • Week 15

    CIN @ CLE


    1:00 pm

  • Week 16

    DEN @ CIN


    8:30 pm

  • Week 17

    CIN @ PIT


    1:00 pm

PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart

The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.

Cincinnati Bengals - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview

cincinnati bengals preseason preview 2014




Cincinnati Bengals - 2014 Preason #FF Preview



“Leave the gun, take the cannoli”. If you cannot place these famous words, you need to turn in your man card, sorry, but your representation of the gender is not making the cut. For the rest of us, we know this line from The Godfather shows a callousness, a certain necessary ambivalence. The murder of Paulie is done, finished, in the past. What’s important for Clemenza is the future, the cannoli he needs to bring home. Same thing with the Bengals, leave the quarterback, take the running backs.



The glory found by the Red Rifle, Dalton finished 5th amongst fantasy quarterbacks last year, is finished. A large part of his success came from Jay Gruden’s QB friendly system. Well, Gruden has moved on to Washington, and Hue Jackson, the Bengals former running backs coach, moves in to fill his shoes. The Bengals will most likely be moving to a run first approach. The Bengals have a tough schedule against the pass, coming in at number 25. As of mid July, Pyro is ranking him in th low 20’s for QBs. Even the douche canoe sites rank him in the high teens. On the whole, Dalton’s 2013 numbers look good. He passed for 4,293 yards, 33 TDs, and 20 INTs. The bottom line is with Jackson’s run heavy system, the opportunities to throw the ball are not going to be there. Dalton will be expected to “not lose games”. Mainly, they want him to hand the ball off. And why shouldn’t he?


Going back to my metaphor, Giovanni Bernard is not only the man in Cincinnati, he is the cannoli. As of mid July, he is in Pyro’s top 10 RBs for 2014. He averaged 4.1 yards per rush (4.6 on grass). He ran the ball 170 times and totaled 695 yards, and had 5 TDs. He is a great PPR guy, and if you are in a league that rewards for long TDs, Bernard is one to target, as the majority of his scores will come from outside the red zone. Bernard added 514 yards receiving, snagged 56 receptions on 71 targets, and crossed the end zone an additional 3 times. One of the more reliable catchers from the backfield, his catch rate is 78.9%. Not only is he sure handed, on average, he was targeted 7.24 yards down field. Out of backs that were targeted at least 20 times last year, only 4 other backs ran further down field for passes. Bernard was under used last year, something that should change this coming year. In their 6th game last year, he saw the most work, carrying it 15 times. There were 8 games last year were he only had 10 carries or less.  Again, don’t let this scare you, his work load will undoubtedly increase in this his sophomore season. He also gets help from the schedule. Last year, the Bengals had the 25th easiest run schedule. This year they are tied for 14th. This not only helps Gio, but with their second pick in this year’s draft, the Bengals selected LSU running back, Jeremy Hill.



The thunder to Gio’s Cannoli… Alright, so maybe I am mixing my metaphors a bit much, but regardless, Jeremy Hill is a powerful back that will add a new dimension to the Bengals backfield. Hill ran the ball 213 times for LSU last season. Incredibly, he averaged 7.03 yards per carry against stout SEC defenses. He crossed the goal line in all but 2 games, he amassed 16 TDs in 12 games. He rushed for at least 100 yards 50% of the time. Only one time, did his per game rushing average fall below 4 yards a carry. He should make an immediate difference on the field. There have been several reports that state Hill will see a significant amount of carries this year, as well as pick up the goal line work. As of mid-July his ADP of the early 9th round (in a 12 team league) would be considered a steal if indeed he is getting close to 175 carries. While you will never win or lose your draft with one pick, it is guys like this, guys that are undervalued that can be drafted in rounds 7-10 that can bring home the hardware at the end of the season. I took Hill in my dynasty rookie draft and will look to target him as early as round 7 as long as he is one of maybe 2 rookies on my team. As far as BenJarvus Green_Ellis, once the Bengals drafted Hill, they pretty much closed the doors on the Law Firm. Green_Ellis was given the rock 32 times in the red zone last year. Barring injury, those carries should go straight to Hill. This bodes well for his owners. Last year, the Bengals were 1 of 2 teams whose red zone scoring was over 70%.


A.J. Green, while undoubtedly an amazing talent, is a potential bust candidate. Again, this is only due to his draft position. As of mid-July, Green is going at the end of the first round. He was just behind Garcon for most targets last year with 178. This will undoubtedly fall. With heavy emphasis placed on the running game, and Dalton becoming more of a game manager, Green will not have the production he did last year. Dawgmatica would not be surprised to see him fall out of the top 10 for scoring this year. Clearly, if you draft a guy in the first, or second round, that is precisely what you are betting will not happen, hence, the bust call. Dawg goes on to point out, it is really not that far of a fall out of the top ten. If Green scored just one less touch down last year, and lost 10 receiving yards a game, that would be enough to knock him out of top 10 contention. Looking at the writing on the coaches wall, that is likely to happen with Hue at the helm.


aj green sick catch


The other Bengals receivers in the mix are Marvin Jones, and Mohamed Sanu. Jones had something of a breakout season in 2013. He scored 10 TDs, and racked up 712 yards, snagging 51 of 80 targets. Jones was targeted 14 times in the red zone. He came in at number 20 for total scoring at the wide receiver position (137.7 fantasy points in 2013). Sanu should be assigned the slot role, along with Sanzenbacher, which will increase play opportunity for Jones. Last year, Jones was in on just 48% of the snaps. This year should see that increase a great deal. While his TD’s will most likely come back down to earth, his yardage should increase with a greater number of targets expected his way this year. Jones has solid hands. In fact, when comparing Jones and Sanu, Jones had a higher catch rate, even though his average target was further downfield. Jones caught 64.6% of his passes and his average target per pass was 9.01 yards down field. Whereas Sanu’s average target was only 5.91 yards downfield and only caught 61% of his passes. As of mid-July, Marvin Jones is going in the 10th round for 12 team leagues.


As far as the tight end position, the Bengals often run with two: Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham. Neither guy will be much of a factor with Hue Jackson implementing a run oriented offense. Gresham will miss some camp time due to hernia surgery. Eifert is expected to be healthy for training camp after an early injury in OTAs. While Gresham should begin the year as the starter, Eifert could very well eclipse him if his progression continues. Out of the two, Eifert is more of a red zone threat and Pyro has him rated higher. Eifert averaged 3.77 fantasy points per game in his rookie season. Once every coon’s age does a rookie tight end emerge to fantasy relevance, so he has nowhere to go but up. This just may not be the offense to really provide much of a spring board for him.


Defensively, the Bengals are a top 5 contender as of mid-July. In 2013, the Bengals defense ended the year ranked 5th for both opponents rushing yards and passing yards. The Bengals had 5 defensive scores last year, just 2 less than the Chiefs who had the most defensive touchdowns. With names like Atkins (keep your eyes on his recovery during camp), Hunt, and Burfict they are a force to be reckoned with. Not only that, they have arguably the best group of cornerbacks in the NFL. Last year, the Bengals had 20 interceptions, good enough for 5th best in the NFL. The Bengals were 10th in the sack department with 43. The Bengals continue to be a safe defensive pick. 





Pittsburgh Steelers - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview



By Mo




Cincinnati Bengals - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview


Cincinnati Bengals - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview

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Carl Pickens

carl pickens touchdown

Carl Pickens was one of the most dominating receivers in the NFL from 1994-1996. Pickens came out of Tennessee after his Junior season to enter the 1992 NFL Draft, where he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round. Carl had some attitude issues in the Cincinnati, which tarnished his time with the Bengals, but he is still one of the best receivers in their history.

When Pickens joined the Bengals, he came with rookie first round quarterback David Klinger, who would go one to be one of the many first round quarterback busts for the Bengals. Klingler was the backup to Boomer Esiason, who was playing in his final season with Cincinnati, and the Bengals were not a very dynamic team in 1992, as they only threw for 2,284 yards as a team. The leading receiver that season was Tim McGee who had 35 catches for 408 yards and three touchdowns, but Carl Pickens was starting to turn heads in his rookie season. Pickens started 10 games and finished the year with 26 catches for 326 yards and one score. Those numbers don’t look special, but they were good enough for Carl to be named Rookie of the Year. Pickens would continue to improve, but what he did between 1994-1996 was truly special.

The Bengals entered 1994 with David Klinger clinging to his starting job, and after going 0-7 to start the season he was replaced by Jeff Blake. Blake brought more excitement and a big arm to the offense, and Carl Pickens quickly became his favorite target. The Bengals only won three games this season, but Pickens finished with 71 catches for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns, which was the third most by a receiver. Blake liked to throw the deep pass, and he connected with Pickens on six pass plays of 50 yards or more this season. The stage was set for Carl to dominate, and he had his best season in 1995.

Personally, I will never forget Pickens 1995 season. I was playing in my second year of Fantasy Football, and I had fallen in love with Pickens the season earlier watching his highlights on George Michael’s Sports Machine. I grabbed Pickens as the third receiver off the board that year in the third round, and he led me to my first championship. Jeff Blake was the starter full time, and the Bengals began to play better football and Pickens led the way. He finished the season with 99 catches for 1,234 yards, which was tops in the AFC, but led the NFL with 17 touchdowns.  Carl was dominant, but he lacked the longer catches this season, as Darney Scott came on to take over that role.

In 1996 Carl showed that he might take a step back after his career season, but not by that much. Once again, the longer catches eluded Pickens in 1996, but he finished the season with 100 catches (3rd in NFL) for 1,180 yards (8th in NFL) with 12 touchdowns (3rd in NFL). Blake to Pickens was becoming normality in Cincinnati, although the two were never able to take the next step to make the Bengals a playoff team.

Pickens dominated the NFL during this span with 270 catches for 3,541 yards and 40 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Pickens was not the best locker room guy, and had issues with the front office. An injury in 1997 allowed the team to start planning for life without Pickens, and even after a resurgent 1998 season, he was no longer looked at as the answer in Cincinnati, and he was shown the door after the 1999 season. Pickens still ranks second all-time in receiving for the Bengals with 530 catches for 6,887 yards and 75 scores.


Carl Pickens career stats



By Houdini

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The Ickey Shuffle

the ickey shuffle

Its players knew the NFL as the No Fun League during the 1980’s. The Ickey Shuffle came front and center to that debate in 1988.

Ickey Woods was a rookie running back from UNLV, taken at the top of the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals. He had a fantastic rookie campaign rushing for 1,066 yards, with a 5.3 YPC average. That was not what made Ickey so special. Woods had a knack for scoring touchdowns, and finished with 15 during his rookie year. It was what Woods would do after scoring that raised the ire of the league.

It is crazy to think back that they made such a big deal about this dance that was so easy anyone could do it. All he did was hold the ball in his right hand and take two shuffles to the right, shift the ball to his left hand for two shuffles left, followed by two more to the right, two hops and a spike of the ball. That was followed by twirling your finger around like an umpire signaling a home run, but grooving while doing it. Ickey would shuffle on in the endzone until Nov. 27, 1988.

On that day, against Buffalo, Woods scored a touchdown and did his shuffle. As he did the referee threw a penalty flag for delay of game, and a five-yard penalty. After that, Woods did his shuffling on the sidelines. The question I always had was; where did this big man find the passion for dancing?

According to an interview Ickey did back then, this is what he had to say.

At high school dances, Elbert ``Ickey`` Woods was never the smooth mover in the spotlight.

``I was never really hot on the big dances,`` he says. ``But I went to a lot of parties and I was not opposed to getting a little wild.``

But later in life, while sitting at home with his mom watching TV, the idea for the Shuffle burst into his head.

``I just got up and started going crazy,`` he said. ``My mother was yelling at me to sit down.``

He decided that if he scored a touchdown in the game the next day, he`d dance. And dance he did.

You have to give the guy credit for creating something that became bigger than he ever dreamed it could be. Woods football career was all-downhill after that, but he will always be remembered for the Ickey Shuffle. The Shuffle has also reached cult icon status as it now has a meaning in the Urban Dictionary.

Urban Dictionary – The Ickey Shuffle

When you finish taking a dump in an empty public restroom then realize there is no toilet paper and no one to help you, you are forced to stand up and shuffle over to the next stall with your pants down by your ankles. The cold crap swishing between you buns is nothing if not "ickey" - you're doing the Ickey Shuffle.

So Ickey Woods and his shuffle will live on in infamy for the rest of time. So the next time you are stuck with no toilet paper, do your best to shuffle like Ickey.



By Houdini

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Eddie Brown

Eddie Lee Brown was born on December 18th in 1962.  He played for the University of Miami.  At Miami he was part of the 1984 winning Orange Bowl team that shocked Nebraska for the National Championship.  He was also named the consensus All-American, and the first wide receiver to gain over 1,000 yards. Upon his departure into the NFL he set career school records for receptions, yards, and touchdowns.

In 1985 he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, with the 13th pick of the NFL draft and was the second wide receiver chosen after Al Toon. He was also three picks ahead of the G.O.A.T. Jerry Rice.  Eddie Brown went on to win Rookie of the Year honors, after he recorded 53 receptions for 942 yards and eight touchdowns.  Three years later in 1988, he caught 53 passes for 1,273 yards at a franchise best 24 yards per catch average, and is still a NFL record for receivers with 50+ receptions. Brown finished his career with the Bengals, and the top 10 in receptions (363), yards (6,134), and touchdowns (41).

Eddie Brown career stats


By Vaaal-Verde

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Missing More Time

Geoff Hobson writing editor for the Cincinnati Bengals stated via his twitter that "No sign of AJ at practice" today. Green was out last week with a toe injury, which was not really explained, and it looks like it hasnt healed well enough for him to return to practice.

Pyro's take: I would be planning to start your replacement wide receiver, as he is most likely going to be out. You can also grab Mohamed Sanu, who did well last week filling in for the injured AJ Green.

10/15/14, 04:52 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Could Require Surgery

Marvin Jones has been out since prior to week one. He over came his primary injury and was ready to go. Then two weeks ago he hurt his ankle, and it just seems as though he has not been able to recover. This may mean he could have surgery to relieve the discomfort he is facing. IF he does require surgery his season will be over.

Pyro's take: The situation looks grim, and if you need the bench space, I would drop him. If your comfortable where your at, then hold on to him and wait for official word. Mohammad Sanu will continue to replace him until he can come-back if he does come-back.

10/13/14, 03:10 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Looking for Gresham

Jermaine Gresham needs to step-up this week, especially now that AJ Green is going to be out of comission. Gresham surprisingly has not done as well as coaches would like. He has the tight end position to himself as Tyler Eifert has been out of the line up since injuring himself in week one.

On the year, Gresham has eight receptions for 61 yards and no touchdowns despite playing 233 snaps, 101 of which have been passing plays. Gresham averaged 54.5 receptions and 565.5 yards in his first four seasons, but is on pace for a career-low 32 catches and 243 yards. He is also coming off a game against New England in which he dropped a touchdown pass and dropped another pass in which he appeared to stop running his route across the middle.

"He'll get to where he needs to be," said Jackson. "I have a lot of confidence in him. I haven't lost any confidence in him at all. He just needs to go make those plays when they present themselves."

Pyro's take: Whats keeping Gresham the starter, is his willing to block and experience on the field. He has the talent to be a solid contributor and has been in places to do good things. He just needs to concentrate at a higher rate. Hugh Jackson noted: "We ain't changing, you can't change," said Jackson. "You can't worry about the things that don't go well, that's pro football. We don't want it to happen, it's unfortunate that it did happen, but at the same time you just have to say let's move on to the next play. You have to keep your confidence up and keep playing."

10/09/14, 08:15 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Green Shut-Down?

AJ Green could miss significant time, if his toe is as damaged as those around think it is. This would be devastating to the Bengals, as they are already missing Marvin Jones, and Tyler Eifert.

For Green, "Wednesday’s MRI is going to send him to another consultation with one of the nation’s leading foot specialists when he meets with Cincinnati doctor James Amis on Thursday. Since a visit with another foot specialist is also planned, it’s hard to see him being ready for Sunday, but he did play seven days after leaving the Atlanta game early.It’s believed the MRI again showed no tears or breaks, but he’s obviously still having discomfort in the ligament under the sesamoid bone in the ball of the foot underneath the big or great toe."

Pyro's take: If Green can’t play, you figure it’s going to be another heavy duty day for the tandem of Bernard and Hill. Against Atlanta they split 42 carries for 164 yards and they’re going against a Carolina team that is 23rd against the rush.

“Never out of weapons,’ said Jackson, when asked if he was running out. “We’ll put somebody else up in there and let’s go.”

I would prepare your line-up as if Green will miss at least this week, and possibly more. Check the waiver wire, or if your deep enough then go with next man up.

10/08/14, 10:55 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde


Richard Skinner, Cincinnati Bengals reporter, via his twitter announced that AJ Green has been carted off the field during practice. "AJ green appears to have tweaked his toe again. Threw shoe off in disgust after warm ups. He is leaving field on a cart."

Pyro's take: Not maybe too serious, but serious enough to cause frustration and concern for AJ Green and fantasy owners. At this point there is not enough information to make a decision, so stay tuned for updates. IF he cannot play, Marvin Jones will most likely step-up in that role, or Mohamed Sanu.

10/08/14, 01:04 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Gonna Start?

AJ Green has stated that his toe feels better and he is wanting to start Sunday's game. Green strained a ligament in his foot last weekend, forcing him out most of the contest. He missed practice Wednesday and caught a few passes Thursday.

Pyro's take: Green will test his toe, and if he feels fine, its all systems go. This is a big relief for Dalton as he already has Tyler Eifert and Marvin Jones out.

The Bengals are going to rely heavy on the run against the Titans, as Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill will continuously get carries against this poor run defense that ranks 24th, but 1st against the pass.

09/20/14, 11:42 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Hill and Bernard tandem

At this point early in the season, Giovani Bernard is on a pace to carry the ball 328 times, while Jeremy Hill looks to carry the rock 152 times, combining for 480 attempts. This seems like an a projection that is most likely not going to happen.

Ex running backs coach Jim Anderson who coached for 29 years with the Bengals stated about the duo “Both guys are showing they can not only run it, but they also have the ability to catch it and they not only can catch it, but they can make runs after the catch. Their creativity is a key factor in what’s been going on. When you have weapons where anytime a guy can get the ball and they can take it to the house, it makes you feel good.”

Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, doesn't have a fixed number in his head for the amount of carries each will receive, to him its the feel of the game: “I don’t have a number. It’s how the game is flowing and how the guys are flowing in the game…And the first game I didn’t do it as well. I’ll be the first to tell you I could have done it better. But last week I think I improved in that area, making sure (Hill) was out there and he made some plays. My comfortability with him, I had to talk to myself about. You have to do that. When you’ve been around a guy like Gio and his talents and what he’s able to bring to the team, you get used to that. But the other guy’s very talented, too. That’s why we drafted him… whatever their name is, whatever it is they want to (call) themselves after, they’re just a tandem.”

Pyro's take: Both Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill have the youth and talent to make a great tandem for a long-time in this league. Bernard should continue to get near 18-20 carries per game, while Hill gets 12-15. They would like to format their offense this way to keep the pressure of Andy Dalton.

09/17/14, 10:07 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Green not practicing

Green is not practicing due to his injured foot, and was found wandering the practice field holding a football. The Bengals have not ruled him out yet, but if he is, he will have two weeks of rest, due to the fact, the Bengals have their bye-week in week four.

Pyro's take: It could be very possible that AJ Green misses this game, due to their following week bye. Coaches like to work that angle, and if he isn't 100% I can see that happening. Keep an eye out for his situation, and see if he practices between tomorrow and Saturday.

09/17/14, 06:40 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Eifert placed on IR

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has been placed on the IR list designated to return, this according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Eifert was hurt when he fell to the ground trying to brace himself after a 14 yard reception. He immediately clutched his elbow and was in obvious pain.

The IR designation means that Eifert is not eligible to play again until November 16th against the New Orleans Saints.

Pyro's take: With Eifert out until the middle of November means that Jermaine Gresham is of priority for your fantasy team. If you own Eifert, check to see if you can hold a roster spot for three tight ends, if not players such as Niles Paul, Travis Kelce, and Delani Walker may present opportunity for you.

09/10/14, 12:24 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Injured elbow

Tyler Eifert left the game in Cincinnati due to an ugly elbow injury. Eifert hurt himself after a making a 14-yard reception, as he fell, he tried to brace himself, and then it popped out of place. Tyler Eifert finished the day with three receptions for 37 yards.

Pyro's take: It appeared Eifert was on his way to a very solid game, but at this point, it looks like a 4-6 week recovery time. Jermaine Gresham will take over full-time until Eifert returns. If you own Tyler Eifert, Gresham is a good choice if available on waiver wires, other possibilities could be Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, or even Delani Walker.

09/07/14, 02:12 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

A rolling Hill

Jeremy Hill may be in store for more carries than originally thought. When asked by Ross Tucker of NBC Sports about who would get more touches, head coach Marvin Lewis stated "A smart guy would say Gio gets a little bit more."

Jeremy Hill has outperformed Giovanni Bernard all preseason, in both rushing and receiving, as Hill has racked up an average of 4.6 YPC on 41 attempts while Bernard rushed for 49 yards in 20 tries. As for receptions, Hill has 10 catches for 91 yards. Bernard, who has thrived in that capacity, managed just four catches for 16 yards.

Pyro's take: Clearly Jeremy Hill deserves playing time, will it be just a little less than Gio? No, I think Marvin Lewis is dipping into the coach speak pool a tad too much. Hill will get action just more of getting Giovanni Bernard some rest time, and get a good look at what the rook can do. This battle could go on for awhile, so get the popcorn and crack a soda, it should be fun.

09/04/14, 12:42 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Dalton looking great through two games

Andy Dalton's first game at Paul Brown Stadium since signing his contract extension couldn't have gone more perfectly for him, literally.

Dalton completed all eight of his pass attempts for 144 yards and a touchdown for a perfect 158.3 passer rating and led the Bengals to 17 points in the three drives he played before the Jets rallied from a 17-3 deficit for a 25-17 win on Saturday night before a crowd of 45,330.

In two preseason games, Dalton has completed 11 of 13 passes for 215 yards and in four drives he has played in the preseason the Bengals scored all four times (two touchdowns and two field goals).

"That's about as good as it gets in the preseason, I guess," said Dalton. "It just felt good out there. We are all in sync, moving the ball, got some big check plays and score points. That's what you want."

Pyro's take: Dalton is looking very comfortable after signing his big contract extension this off-season. Dalton is not a prized possession at the quarterback position, but should start to get more attention in fantasy. Three years ago he was the 16th best quarterback, then 12th two years ago, and finished third in scoring last season. There are many who are shying away because the Bengals plan to run more in their new offense, but Dalton is also continuing to develop and get better as a quarterback. He has a great chance to once again finish in the top ten, and he is not being taken as a starter in fantasy drafts.

08/17/14, 07:18 PM CDT by Houdini

Hill will be productive as a rookie

The Bengals are going to run the ball more in 2014. That became evident the second they spent a second-round pick on LSU RB Jeremy Hill in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Cincinnati is in win-now mode, and any player they draft that high figures to get significant playing time as a rookie. We saw a glimpse of that in Hill's first preseason game. The Bengals gave him a team-high six carries, and he produced 36 yards (6.0 ypc).

Assuming Giovani Bernard gets the bulk of touches in the regular season, Hill still has the potential to get 10-15 touches per game, as well as goal line carries.

Pyro's take: I have been a big supporter of Jeremy Hill since he was drafted by the Bengals. He quickly took the Law Firm's job as the second back in the offense, and has been impressive so far in camp and preseason games. Hill is going a see a healthy amount of touches as rookie, I figure somewhere between 170-200 carries. He should get a lot of carries at the goal line, and will have a chance to put up a lot of fantasy points. If Gio goes down, he will be even more valuable.

08/15/14, 12:04 AM CDT by Houdini

Jones breaks foot

Marvin Jones broke his foot in practice today, leaving a huge hole for their second wide receiver spot. Geoff Hobson of the team's offcial web-site for the Cincinnati Bengals, has tweeted that Jones has had "A Pin has been put in fifth metatarsal...Now the question is if they put him on IR return 8 games into season, PUP him for first 6 or maybe back sooner...Lewis says it will be a few weeks for Jones. Similar injury knocked Sanu out of last month of 12 season."

Pyro's take: It appears that Marvin Jones will be out at least a month, which may have him back for week one of the regular season. It will take some time to get back to game shape, but should have little impact on your fantasy team. Where it does effect is at quarterback with Andy Dalton and the rest of the receiving game.

Mohamed Sanu or Dane Sanzenbacher will likely replace Jones, but another intriguing prospect would be rookie James Wright. Wright had a touchdown in week one of the pre-season, and has the size and athleticism to make great plays. He was the Bengals seventh round draft choice from LSU.

Marvin Jones was greatly paired with A.J. Green, and finished the season with Jones emerged as a playmaker last season, catching 51 passes for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns.

08/11/14, 04:25 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Dalton Signs big Extension

The Bengals agreed to a six-year extension with the fourth-year quarterback, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, per a source directly involved. NFL Media's Albert Breer said the deal is worth $115 million, per a Bengals source. ESPN first reported the news.

Bengals owner Mike Brown sees a young signal-caller that has been to the playoffs every season of his career and has room to grow. Only Dan Marino and Peyton Manning have passed for more touchdowns in their first three seasons.

Pyro's take: Dalton will remain in Cincinnati for the foreseeable future after signing a six year deal to stay with the Bengals. Dalton has put up some great numbers over his first three seasons and has continued to improve as a passer. Although he has not been great in the playoffs he has one of the best records ever by a quarterback in his first three seasons.

Fantasy wise this is good news for A.J. Green who has established a strong chemistry with the Ginger Gunslinger and will continue to work together for the foreseeable future as long as green gets a contract of his own. Dalton himself will still regress from last seasons huge points output as he will be moving to a more run centric offense than what he dealt with his first three seasons in the league. I would draft Dalton as a QB2 and expect him to perform as such with a few big weeks mixed in.

08/04/14, 11:13 AM CDT by Stagg Party

Gio showing he can handle the goal line

Gio Bernard was one of the stars of Friday night's Bengals practice, including a 1-yard touchdown where he bulled his way into the end zone.

The 5-9, 208-pound halfback displayed his familiar shake early on, as he broke some long runs. Near the end of practice, Bernard also showed his power as he charged in to score. It was as plausibly "live" as could be, with tackling allowed.

"Goal line is just all about determination, who wants it more," Bernard said.

Pyro's take: Jeremy Hill may weigh 20 more pounds than Gio, but the rookie has yet to prove it on the big stage. Bernard ran for five touchdowns last season, and with a more run focused offense that number should rise in 2014.

The good news for those who are fans of Gio, like me, is that he will get work in the redzone, and on the goal line. While he is not a true workhorse back, he is also not a back that is pulled inside the five-yard line. He is a determined runner, and should be able to build on his rookie season where he had 1,209 yards from scrimmage with 56 receptions.

08/01/14, 09:45 PM CDT by Houdini

Sanu impresses while Jones remains on PUP

Marvin Jones, the No. 2 receiver, hasn’t had the ball because he tweaked an ankle early in July and they’re making sure it takes time to heal so it won’t linger. So he’s still on PUP. In the meantime, Sanu, the slot receiver has had a monster camp. Just on Monday alone he threw a touchdown pass, caught a touchdown pass in the red zone, and took a handoff for a run.

Lapham saw him on the sidelines and said, “You the man,” and Sanu said, “I’m just a guy behind the other two guys.”

Pyro's take: Sanu lost his mojo midway through last season, and Marvin Jones emerged. Jones is dealing with an ankle injury, and Sanu is taking advantage of the extra reps. There is a new coordinator in town, and while the Bengals plan to go to more of a balanced offense, Sanu is an X-factor receiver. His ability to run and throw the ball will give him extra looks, and his ADP is very low. If Mohamed looks like he did in the second half of last season then it won't matter. So far it looks like he is turning a corner in the new offense.

07/28/14, 09:20 PM CDT by Houdini

Receivers Coach Urban takes blame for performance Sanu

On the final day of the Bengals' organized team activities earlier this month, the receivers coach, (James Urban) was all business. He admitted he messed up. He didn't handle one of his best playmakers properly last season and felt bad about it.

"Mo's a good football player," Urban said, referring to wideout Mohamed Sanu. "I asked too much of him last year. I spread him thin. It's sort of the old thing where too much of a good thing is just as good as not enough.

"That's a shame on me."

"All these things I talk about as far as watching reps and making sure he's fresh with A.J., I've got to do the same thing with Mo," Urban said. "I've got to do it with Marvin. I've got to do it with everybody. If they're going to run the way we ask them to run and do the things we ask them to do, I've got to keep my eye on it. And I didn't do that last year. That's a shame on me."

Pyro's take: Sanu saw his play drastically diminish in the second half of the season, but that was also the same time that Marvin Jones made his breakout. Sanu did not seem to have the explosiveness that he had the season before, and if that has something to do with the coaching, then maybe this will help. I truly believe that he just got passed up based on talent. If the explosiveness is not there for Sanu, then he has not value.

06/29/14, 06:17 PM CDT by Houdini

Dalton passing attempts on the decline

According to the Cincinnati Bengals article by Bengals editor Geoff Hobson, new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will use the run more, he states: "A big adjustment that has to make is cutting his pass attempts from 586 to closer to Russell Wilson’s number of 407."

Jackson was a student under Al Davis, which means a "vertical" offense, but primarily rushing the ball to weaken the defense, and then strike with a deep pass.

Pyro's take: The Bengals were in the top 10 in the NFL in yards per game and points per game in 2013, but Jackson is moving away from what Jay Gruden ran, and has discussed a more of a power running game. In the second round of this year's draft, Bengals took running back Jeremy Hill who weighs 220 pounds and stands at 6'2. Hill is a "wrecking ball" of a back, and has good skills to run inside.

Wide receiver Marvin Jones, commented about the offense, calling it "very up-tempo," mixed with "A lot of aggression. No matter what period it is, you're going to see all aggression."

The schematic should work well with the players the Bengals have, but this is going to kill Andy Dalton's fantasy production.

06/22/14, 07:20 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Hill should become the second to Gio

Why did the Bengals pass on Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde for LSU's Jeremy Hill?

For Bengals coaches, the style and versatility of Hill's game and the system he played in set the two apart.

Running backs coach Kyle Caskey: "You hit it on the head; it's the type of offense you see at different schools where you get these spread-out, zone-read option teams, and you do get six-feet-wide holes to run through. Jeremy Hill wasn't getting that all the time because of the type of offense they run. He was able to find creases and you saw that on film. With the other guys, it wasn't always evident whether they could do that kind of downhill running. But he showed it on film, and it was there and it was hard evidence."

Pyro's take: Hill has great skills, which is especially impressive since he is 6'1" and 233 pounds. The fact that Bengals drafted the LSU product so high indicates they expect him to beat out The Law Firm, and become Giovani Bernard's backfield mate.

This is a great landing spot for the Hill, and he should be able to flourish in the Bengals offense. He will also benefit from the Bengals new offense, which will look to be more balanced with the run. Hill will have a chance to make an impact as a rookie.

05/12/14, 09:00 PM CDT by Houdini


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