Week 12
November 27, 2015

Cincinnati Bengals

AFC North

2015 Schedule

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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Think twice before starting A.J. Green


Pyro's take: Be careful if you’re starting Bengals receiver A.J. Green on your fantasy team Sunday. Not only has his production the past two weeks been uninspiring (five points vs. Cleveland, four points vs. Houston, per ESPN’s standard scoring system), but he’ll be facing one of the best corners in the league in Arizona’s Patrick Peterson. With respect to fantasy, Peterson has been a veritable shutdown corner, holding all but two of the receivers he’s faced this season to under eight fantasy points. Only St. Louis’ Tavon Austin (23) and Seattle’s Doug Baldwin (19) hit double-digit production. As division rivals, both wideouts face Peterson and the Cardinals regularly. Green doesn’t. As you gear up your team for the playoffs, perhaps consider starting Cincinnati’s Marvin Jones or Tyler Eifert instead. -- Coley Harvey

11/22/15, 01:34 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: espn.go.com

Andy Dalton completed 22-of-38 passes for 197 yards and one interception


Pyro's take: The bright side of Andy Dalton's game tonight was his ability to complete just over half his passes. The rest of the night could be flushed as he only had 197-yards and also threw a pick.

The Bengals receivers didnt help matters either as they dropped passes. The whole offense was a mess.

11/16/15, 01:08 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Giovani Bernard rushed eight times for 36 yards and caught 5-of-8 targets for 43 yards


Pyro's take: He out-snapped backfield mate Jeremy Hill 50-22, according to PFF's Nate Jahnke, and out-gained Hill 79-20 on just three more touches.

Its obvious that Hill isnt much more than a short yardage goal back, and Bernard is doing all the other work, he is especially a hot commodity in PPR leagues, and should be treated as a number 2 or flex play.

11/16/15, 12:59 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

A.J. Green caught 5-of-7 targets for 67 yards


Pyro's take: Green was missing in action for nearly three quarters. He opened the night catching three passes, then pulled the disappearing act until late in the fourth quarter. He also fumbled the ball away which sealed the win for Houston.

Green has not had over 100-yards nor a touchdown in five of his last six games, he is still a number one receiver, but will need a breakout game soon.

11/16/15, 12:55 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Marvin Jones caught 4-of-9 targets for 44 yards


Pyro's take: Marvin Jones led the team in targets but didnt much with his four receptions from those 10 targets. He averaged just 10-yards a reception. Its a toss up who was the best receiver tonight between Eifert, Green, and Jones. All three were miserable.

11/16/15, 12:51 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Tyler Eifert caught 3-of-7 targets for 26 yards


Pyro's take: Tyler Eifert and the rest of the Bengals took the night off, or so it seemed. Eifert dropped three passes after only having three on the season. He will look to turn it around next week against Arizona. He remains a start in every format.

11/16/15, 12:43 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Jason Campbell wont un-retire to play for Colts


Pyro's take: According to Jason La Canfora via Twitter "Jason Campbell has rebuffed Colts overtures to bring him in. Not going to happen. He's essentially retired"

Colts will now have just Matt Hasselbeck as the only available quarterback

11/12/15, 02:09 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Tyler Eifert has a tasty match up against the Steelers defense


Pyro's take: Vernon Davis, Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Gates all set individual season-high marks in fantasy production, according to ESPN’s standard scoring system. Gronkowski and Gates actually gave their fantasy owners 20-plus points in their respective games against Pittsburgh.-Per ESPN

This matchup could be perfect for Eifert to have similar production. Besides, why wouldn’t you start him this week? Eifert already ranks third in tight end production with 68 points. -- Coley Harvey

10/31/15, 08:09 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: espn.go.com

Jones Could have a Big Week #4

Jones week 4

Pyro's take: Jones and the Bengals face KC in Week #4. No other team is giving up more yards to opposing #2 WRs. Through 3 games, the #2 WR on the opposing team is averaging nearly 110 yards per game.

10/04/15, 10:25 AM CDT by M O
Source: www.footballoutsiders.com

Green at practice


Pyro's take: According to Boston beat writer Geoff Hobson via twitter "AJ suited up today walking to practice"

Whatever speculation that he may not go on Sunday is now mute.

09/24/15, 12:03 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Pryor burns for Jets


Pyro's take: According to Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot via twitter "Former #Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor turned in a 4.2 and a 4.3 in the 40 in #Jets workout today, source tells cleveland.com"

Pryor seems to be over any injury that may have plagued him, and if Jets need insurance for Eric Decker, it could very well be Pryor. Fitz has a strong arm and this could make a good match.

09/22/15, 10:22 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Not Practicing

Not practicing today for the Cincinnati Bengals is Andy Dalton. According to Cole Harvey via Twitter "not practicing today: Andy Dalton"

Pyro's take: More precautionary than anything to worry about. Andy Dalton and the Bengals have a shot to either be the third seed or the fifth, either home or away, and do that they need to beat the Steelers, and to do that, they need a healthy Dalton.

12/24/14, 01:53 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Not at Practice

Cole Harvey has stated that AJ Green was not at practice today. "not practicing today: A.J. Green"

Pyro's take: Look for Green to be out most of this week for precautionary measures. They have the Steelers this week and a chance to be the third seed instead of the fifth. Green is gonna play.

12/24/14, 01:53 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

As Advertised

Jeremy Hill outsnapped Gio Bernard 47-28 in Sunday's game. Hill's 62.6-percent snap rate was a four-week-high, while Bernard's 37.3-percent rate was a four-week-low. Hill added 148 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, adding one catch for four yards. Bernard had 103 rushing yards.

Pyro's take: There is no mistake here as Hill is the best running back for the Bengals. He will continue to be the starter. As for Bernard, look for him to be a flex start, or third running back. He still adds value in PPR leagues

12/15/14, 12:42 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.profootballfocus.com


Eifert is progressing, but exactly when he may start practicing is anyone's guess. "He's been around the team but hasn't worked out since dislocating his right elbow reaching for extra yards at the end of a catch in the season opener at Baltimore. Originally, Eifert was placed on the short-term injured reserve, designated to return nine weeks later. Now 11 weeks have passed, and he still hasn't practiced."

Lewis has confirmed that Eifert will return to the team by seasons end.

Pyro's take: It may take another three or more weeks to even see Eifert on the practice field. Most likely he could return with one or two weeks left in the season, which means, he is possible for your championship game at earliest.

11/21/14, 01:13 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: espn.go.com

Not Expected

Gio Bernard is not expected to suit up this weekend. According to NFL reporter Albert Breer "The Bengals are expecting to be without RB Gio Bernard on Sunday at Superdome, which means plenty more Jeremy Hill."

Pyro's take: If you have Jeremy Hill continue to put him in your lineup. He wont be the PPR player that Gio is, but is still valuable around the goal line, and will grab one or two receptions for your team.

11/13/14, 01:25 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com


It is possible that Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert could be out for the rest of the season. Head coach Marvin Lewis has stated that: "I can't give you an update until he's close to being healthy," Lewis said, before stating there is a chance Eifert misses the rest of the season. "So he's on the mend, he's healing, he's doing things, and if he gets back and healthy, and he's gonna be able to contribute and not risk further injury, then he'll be back and out there.

"But obviously not gonna risk Tyler's future for any part of this season right now until he's completely 100 percent healthy, to be able to do his job thoroughly."

Pyro's take: Tyler Eifert is huge for the Cincinnati Bengals, he allows them to have a big target down the middle as the other receivers stretch the seem. He also was having a nice game, before he took on the brutal injury to his elbow.

Dont release him yet, if you have continued to hold on to him, but I would say it looks grim.

11/07/14, 04:28 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.nfl.com

Possibly Out Longer

According to Albert Breer, NFL reporter, and via his twitter has stated that "Bengals RB Gio Bernard is out tonight, and could miss more time. And when he gets back, coaches won't be going away from Jeremy Hill."

Pyro's take: Its been rumored that Jeremy Hill has been moving up the board in Cincinnati, and has already cut Bernard's playing time in half when he returns.

Bernard's validity as a starter on your fantasy team is now up for debate, at the very worst he makes a good flex option, but see if you can get some high value for him.

11/06/14, 01:58 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Hill to Climb

Now that Jeremy Hill is starting for the second straight week, it was mentioned if he would replace Giovani Bernard as the starting running back, beat writer Coley Harvey stated via twitter on this situation "Zero. Might see little more Hill now, but Gio still No. 1"

Pyro's take: There is no chance that Gio loses his starting job to Hill. He has garnered the trust of the coaches, based on Sunday's performance against the Jaguars as he finished the day with 24-154-2 in a win over the Jacksonville.

11/03/14, 06:09 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Out-According to Paul Dehner

Giovanni Bernard will be out for Thursday's night game according to beat writer Paul Dehner Jr. "I may have missed this but is gio bernard good to play this thursday? // Won't happen."

Pyro's take: It would of been surprising to see him in the lineup after this short week. He will get more than 2 1/2 weeks of rest now, and should be ready for the following week.

Jeremy Hill can more than handle himself as the feature back and Bernard appeared to be wearing down a bit before his injury. If Gio is inactive, Hill will be a no-brainer RB1.

11/03/14, 05:18 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com


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