Cincinnati Bengals

AFC North

2017 Schedule

  • Week 1

    BAL @ CIN


    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



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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.



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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


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