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.

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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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

Dalton looking for a big contract extension

The public backing from Lewis and new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who told SiriusXM Radio this month he sees Dalton "on the cusp of something really good," leave Dalton confident in his status within the organization.

In fact, their comments have him saying he feels he's the face of the franchise.

"I do," Dalton said. "I feel like in everything that Marvin has said, that Hue has said and everybody here has told me that and has told everybody that. I'm confident with that. I hope to spend a lot of career here. Hopefully, we can get something done."

"I'm very confident in what I've done," Dalton said. "The people who are the critics, they look at all of the negatives. They don't look at all of the stuff that I've accomplished. They don't look at that I'm one of three quarterbacks in the history of the NFL to do certain things. They don't look at that kind of stuff. They want to find ways to tear me down, but I'm not worried about that. They can say whatever they want. All that matters is what everyone believes in this organization and what I believe in myself. That's how I go about my business."

Pyro's take: Dalton has reason to make these statements. In his first three seasons with the Bengals he has made the playoffs each year. Even if those games have not gone his way, the fact is the Bengals had never made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons until Dalton took over. Dalton is one of only five quarterbacks to reach the postseason in his first three seasons.

The Red Rifle is also holds the franchise single season record for passing yards with 4,293, and touchdowns with 33, both set in 2013. There is no doubt that Dalton is and will be the starter in 2014, but he is angling for some big money, similar to the contracts signed by Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan. It will be interesting to see how much he gets, but this deal should get done before the season. The Bengals can't afford to start over at quarterback again.

04/22/14, 10:14 PM CDT by Houdini

Dalton named player of the week, but bench him this week

For the second time this season, Dalton was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. As he was also Offensive Player of the Month for October, he is the first Bengals player to get three league honors in a season since David Fulcher in 1989.

“I was a little surprised by this one. There were some guys who had bigger weeks,” said Dalton about the honor. “It just goes to show what we were able to do. It was a big week for us offensively and we have to keep that going.”

Dalton is going into Sunday night’s game against Pittsburgh much like he did before the Week 2 contest – with plenty of momentum. That hasn’t meant a lot, though, when Dalton has gone up against a Dick LeBeau defense.

In his five games against the Steelers, Dalton has a completion percentage of 53 percent and a passer rating of 67.8, which are well below his career numbers of 60.8 percent and 85.1. In three of the games, Dalton has had a completion percentage of 50 percent or lower and only once has he had a passer rating above 80 (81.7 in the first game this season).

Pyro's take: This is one of those where the numbers don't lie. Dalton has struggled against his division rival, and that familiarty is what makes him a player to bench this week.

The Bengals are also playing in one of the few games that will be played in potentially inclement weather. Dalton has had his moments this season, and if he led you to victory last week then he did his job. In week 2 he threw for 280, but only one touchdown, and that was at home in good weather. Play a better option if you have one.

12/13/13, 06:17 PM CST by Houdini

Campbell cleared to practice, but still not cleared to start...yet

Browns quarterback Jason Campbell moved one step closer to starting against the Patriots Sunday when he was cleared to practice Thursday by concussion specialists.

However, he hasn't yet been cleared to play, and that will depend on how he comes through his limited practice session.

“He still has not and will not pass the independent neurologist test until we see how he does (Thursday),'' said Chudzinski. "In the next 24-48 hours obviously we would have more information on that.''

Still, Chudzinski acknowledged that it "was very encouraging'' that Campbell was permitted to practice for the first time since suffering his concussion Nov. 24th. Campbell, who wasn't available for comment, is expected to address the media on Friday.

Pyro's take: It is encouraging that Campbell has been cleared to practice, but he still needs to be cleared to play. Brandon Weeden has not been cleared to practice, so if both of these guys can't go it would be Caleb Hainey and Alex Tanney as your #1 and #2 quarterbacks.

I believe that Campbell will be able to go this week, and if he does it will be a huge boost for Josh Gordon. Gordon is coming off back to back 200-yard games, and there would be no chance to come close this week if Campbell or Weeden is not under center. If Campbell starts Flash is a top five receiver this week.

12/05/13, 06:04 PM CST by Houdini

Gio is not going to be a 25 touch player this year according to Jay Gruden

Asked when Bernard might become the feature back, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said "when Coach (Marvin) Lewis," says so, but they aren't looking to displace BenJarvus Green-Ellis. So it sounds like it is going to remain by committee.

"Eighty-five or 90 percent of the teams in the league have two or three running backs that they use. So I think it's important to have two or three. These games are physical man, these 16 games. You play on a Sunday and a Thursday, then go to Baltimore and Cleveland, its non-stop," Gruden said.

"So to say we're going to give the ball to Gio 25 times each week is kind of unrealistic. He needs spelling. He needs a bigger back in there like BenJarvus to take 10, 12, 15 carries and a game…It keeps him fresh, too. Some of these guys, it's important for them to be fresh, fast. That's the way he is. He needs to have full stamina and be fresh coming out of the backfield running fast because that's what he is. If he's tired after his 17th, 18th carry and all of a sudden he becomes a 4.8 guy and tired, he becomes an ordinary guy."

Pyro's take: Gio is a fantastic back, who has the potential to turn any play into a big gainer. I do also feel what Gruden says is correct. Bernard is not going to be as effective if he is taking the punishment of 20+ carries.

We have seen what happened when the Bills decided to make C.J. Spiller a 20 carry player, and the Bengals should learn from that. Gio is a special talent, and he should be on the field more, but he does need to stay fresh.

This week Bernard is facing the Ravens who are only giving up 11.9 points a game to running backs, which is the best in the league. It would be wise to temper your expectations for him this week, but he can always break one.

11/07/13, 08:53 PM CST by Houdini

Jones blows up and will soon be owned in all leagues

Jones caught eight passes for 122 yards and four touchdowns – all career highs.

The four receiving touchdowns set a Bengals franchise record. Jones also tied Corey Dillon and Larry Kinnebrew for most total touchdowns in a game.

Only one time in his college career did Jones score even two touchdowns in a game and speculated he'd date back to Pop Warner days to find any other time he hit paydirt that often. Fitting really, considering Andy Dalton and Jones have looked like they are playing against little tikes the last three weeks.

“He's had the potential since he's been here,” Dalton said. “I think he's just comfortable with everything that we're doing and everything that we're asking him to do. For him to come out and have a game like this, we needed it.”

Pyro's take: Jones had been an improving receiver heading into this career performance this Sunday. Jones now has a touchdown catch in each of his last 3 games. Over that span he has 15 catches for 250 yards and 6 touchdowns.

The 23 year old has been developing a nice chemistry with Andy Dalton, and the Bengals have been dying to find other options in the passing game to take some pressure off of AJ Green. Dalton has been spreading the ball around as of late, and Jones has been a favorite redzone target. Hopefully you grabbed him when he was on our waiver wire pick up 3 weeks ago, otherwise you better check quick to see if he is available.

10/28/13, 05:53 PM CDT by Houdini

Jason Campbell gets nod

Rob Chudzinski announced that Jason Campbell will start this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Campbell has played the role of "anyone but that guy" since his stint in Washington. In Cleveland, it hasnt been much different. For example, the decision to start Brian Hoyer over Campbell, literally told Jason he was not wanted. But, after Hoyer went down with injury, and Weeden just obviously couldnt get it done, throwing more interceptions (6) than touchdowns (5), it became apparent, Cleveland had to make a change.

Pyro's take: Jason Campbell has had some success as a starter, and is more mobile than Weeden. Dont look for better stats than Brandon Weeden as both are game managers as quarterbacks, which usually means low touchdowns and passing yards, and both will have a high interception rate. But, when Chudzinski is faced with a quarterback dilemma, and the only player left is "anyone but that guy" then the team is forced to go with "that guy."


10/23/13, 02:35 PM CDT by d-Rx

Gio impressing everyone

Presently, the rookie Bernard is splitting carries with starter Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis.

“You can plug me into any type of offense and I’ll execute,” said Bernard. The explosive back had the same amount of carries as Green- Ellis in the Cleveland game.

“You have to find ways to get this guy the ball,” said Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham who is awed by Bernard’s explosiveness.

Bernard has tortured teams by running, catching the ball out of the backfield, and being a decoy thus far this season. There’s a reason he was the first running back picked in the draft, said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. Bernard was the 37 player picked in the draft. The Bengals knew they had finally acquired that versatile back so desperately needed.

Pyro's take: We hope you have this guy on your team, because we were all over this before the season started. Gio is by far the most talented back for the Bengals, and has shown the ability to do it all. Bernard will continue to see his role in the offense grow, and has become a solid RB2 with upside in fantasy football.

10/17/13, 06:45 PM CDT by Houdini

Giovani Bernard impressive again

The second-round draft pick had a 7-yard touchdown run in the first half before turning a short pass from Andy Dalton into a third-quarter score — a preview of what the Bengals (1-1) could become with a pass-catching threat out of the backfield.

“I saw green grass,” said Bernard, a second-round pick from North Carolina. “Once you see green grass, you’ve got to take it. You don’t get many chances like that. When you do, you’ve got to take it.”

“Gio’s done a good job,” Dalton said. “We drafted him to be versatile, move around the backfield and make big plays. And that’s exactly what we’ve gotten out him.”

Pyro's take: We have told you for awhile now that Giovani is going to be the real fantasy player for the Bengals, and this game was a prelude of things to come. Bernard was able to show off all the aspects of his game with running and receiving touchdowns. The bigger touchdown may have been the touchdown run against a tough run defense and he showed his determination pushing the ball over the goal line. The Law Firm is in trouble and will eventually give way to the rookie.

09/18/13, 10:22 PM CDT by Houdini


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