The fantasy playoffs are almost here. Are you ready for the final stretch? Let’s do this! Without further ado, here’s my weekly breakdown of the fantasy matchup between The 5-3-1 Bengals and the 4-5 Saints.
Andy Dalton is struggling big time: he has scored fewer fantasy points than Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith or Eli Manning. NFL.com’s fantasy analyst Michael Fabiano says Dalton should not start:
"Dalton isn’t as bad as he looked last week against the Cleveland Browns, but it’s still hard to have a whole lot of faith in him. This week’s matchup against the Saints won’t help either, as opposing quarterbacks have struggled at the Superdome. In fact, New Orleans has allowed just four touchdown passes in four home contests."
Giovani Bernard is still out due to a hip/clavical injury so former LSU back Jeremy Hill should be a good fantasy option this week. The Saints are allowing 100+ rushing yards per game in 2014 and 17.20 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs over the last four weeks.
A.J. Green’s status is not up for discussion, especially with a banged-up Keenan Lewis. Mohamed Sanu (39 fantasy points over the last four games) is a good start as he will be covered by Corey White/Patrick Robinson.
147 reciving yards over the last four games: Jermaine Gresham shouldn’t even be on your roster so let’s move on.
Mike Nugent, an average fantasy kicker, does not have a good matchup this week against New Orleans, a team that is allowing the 6th-fewest fantasy points to opposing kickers.
Last year Cincinnati’s defense was one of the top fantasy units. Now…not so much: even the Chicago Bears scored more fantasy points than the Bengals. Sit ’em.
Oct 26, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs by Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward (29) and Green Bay Packers safety Sean Richardson (28) in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans defeated Green Bay 44-23. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Despite two interceptions and the lost fumble Brees still put up 18.38 fantasy points last week. Obviously you can’t sit him.
With three running backs out for the Saints (Pierre Thomas, Khiri Robinson and former practice squad project Edwin Baker) Ingram is a must-start. Plus, Cincinnati is ranked 31st in the league against the run (143.0 yards per game allowed.
Last week I was right about Cooks and guess what? I’m rolling with Cooks again this week! Colston’s targets are declining and so are Stills’. Don’t be afraid to start the rookie this week.
The Bengals have the 7th-worst defense against tight ends so expect big things from Jimmy.
The matchup is great as the Bengals are allowing 11+ fantasy points to home kickers, more than any other team in the league. If there’s one week to start Graham it’s this one. Hey, you can start both Saints’ Grahams this week!
Once again Rob Ryan’s unit could be a nice streaming option, as Michael Fabiano writes:
"If you like to stream defenses, the Saints are well worth a look off the waiver wire this week. That’s because of a good home matchup against struggling quarterback Andy Dalton and the Bengals, who have been prone to turning the ball over. In fact, Cincinnati has tossed six interceptions and allowed 10 sacks over the last four weekends."