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Cincinnati Bengals 2023 Fantasy Football Team Preview

As we inch closer to opening day of the NFL season, we want to get you prepared for your fantasy football drafts. That process begins with our team previews, where we’ll break down each team’s offense while providing players we’re targeting and, in some cases, avoiding.

>> READ: Bengals Season Preview from Chuck Pagano

Bengals Fantasy Football Team Preview

Head Coach: Zac Taylor (fifth year)

Offensive Coordinator: Brian Callahan (fifth year)

Key Offensive Additions

Key Offensive Departures

Key Offensive Rookies

Points Per Game: 26.1 (seventh)

Passing Yards: 265 (fifth)

Rushing Yards: 95.5 (29th)

Vacated Targets: 138 (16th)

Pass: 66 percent Run: 34 percent

Pace: 22nd

OL Rank: 10th


Joe Burrow’s 22.7 fantasy points per game last season were fourth-best among quarterbacks. In 2021, Burrow was 10th among quarterbacks in fantasy points per game with 20.5. Consider Burrow’s baseline range, where he’s an entrenched QB1 option with massive spike week potential. 

One thing to keep in mind is that Burrow is already dealing with a calf issue early on in training camp. Injury is the only factor that can lower Burrow’s floor, so we will be keeping an eye on this situation as we get closer to opening day. For now, we are handling Burrow as if he’ll be ready for Week 1.

For Burrow to crack the top three fantasy performers at the position, he’ll need to have an MVP-caliber season. Burrow’s fantasy production is driven by his prowess as a passer, where 4,500 yards passing with 35 touchdowns is becoming his norm.

However, keep in mind that Burrow added 257 yards and five touchdowns on the ground last year. If Burrow can maintain that type of rushing production while pushing towards 5,000 yards passing with more than 40 touchdowns, he at least has a path to being the top scorer at the position.

Running Backs

Joe Mixon was out-snapped by Perine in two of the team’s three playoff games this past season. While Mixon is the clear top option in this backfield, there is at least some season-long role fragility for him - even if he stays healthy. Fortunately, Mixon set career-highs across the board in the receiving game to balance out his declining rushing efficiency.

The Bengals’ offensive line is improving, and Burrow’s calf strain — and limited mobility — could be a serious plus for Mixon’s newfound receiving role. He still managed to hit more than 16.5 PPR points per game for the fourth time in the past five years, and while his talent profile has dipped, he remains a low-end RB1 option for fantasy football.

>> READ: Top 55 Fantasy Football Rankings

Behind Mixon are a bunch of unknowns now that former backup Perine is a Denver Bronco. Trayveon Williams has 55 career touches through four seasons, and Chris Evans’ promising rookie year was halted in 2022, as he was given just three touches during all of last season.

Brown was selected in Round 5 of the 2023 NFL Draft, and he brings a well-rounded skill set, along with solid athleticism. However, coming from Illinois, there’s a decent chance he adjusts slowly to the NFL game. While Brown is the most exciting option among the current backups, it’s far from certain he’ll see the field at all this year.

The Bengals’ running back room could easily house another veteran name, with several still floating around on the market, so this continues to be a situation to monitor.

Wide Receivers, Tight Ends

The Bengals' wide receiver trio, led by Ja'Marr Chase, is one of the most dangerous in the league. Chase is a top-tier fantasy wide receiver in all formats, but he faced challenges against high coverages last season, which might continue this year. That’s the primary reason why Jordan Vanek has Justin Jefferson and Cooper Kupp slightly ahead of Chase.

Tee Higgins, the Bengals' second option, is one of the more talented wide receivers in the league. Higgins is likely to see another year with more than 70 receptions and 1,000 yards receiving.

The third wide receiver is Tyler Boyd, who is a bench piece in fantasy that is tied to a great offense. Boyd is capable of playing a big role if either Chase or Higgins misses time. Boyd doesn't have the ceiling of these players, but he has shown that he can be highly productive with significant volume.

At tight end, Smith Jr. is the top option in a high-scoring offense. However, the wide receivers will likely dominate the targets, reducing overall tight end volume in Cincinnati.

Dynasty Sell

Ian Miller: Higgins (WR10)

Among all of our 32 fantasy team previews, Higgins is Miller’s lightest sell. Higgins was disappointed last season, not because of the injuries, but due to posting a lower target rate than he did as a rookie.

Higgins is a good receiver and will continue to produce in this offense, making him a fine hold. But when he inevitably leaves Cincinnati for a new contract, his high-end finishes will likely fall outside of the top 10. 

Bengals We’re Targeting or Avoiding in Fantasy Football

Josh Larky: Target Chase, Avoid Burrow (Unless you have Chase)

Ryan Reynolds: Target Chase

Jordan Vanek: Target Chase, Higgins

Other Fantasy Previews



NFC South: NO | ATL | CAR | TB 

NFC West: SF | LAR | SEA | ARI

AFC East: BUF | MIA | NE | NYJ

AFC North: CLE | BAL | PIT

AFC South: HOU | IND | JAX | TEN

AFC West: KC | LAC | LV | DEN

Follow our team on Twitter:

Josh Larky: @JLarkyTweets

Ryan Reynolds: @RyanReynoldsNFL

Jordan Vanek: @JordanVanekDFS

Ian Miller: @Dynasty_IM

Our data is provided by Sports Info Solutions and our vacated targets figure is provided by Tru Media

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