The Bengals have made it to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons with Andy Dalton under center. As well as Dalton has looked in the regular season, there have been growing concerns that his skill set isn’t high enough to lead this team to a Super Bowl victory. He is 0-3 in the playoffs with only 1 TD and 6 INT’s. Cinci’s offense and defense have improved over the last two seasons. Marvin Lewis is 90-85-1 as the head coach over the last 10 years. Hue Jackson takes over as the offensive coordinator. He has been in the NFL for 13 seasons while being in charge of the offense for three different franchises – Washington, Atlanta, and Oakland. Hue also has one year of experience as an NFL head coach. During his best season as an offensive coordinator, Jackson helped the Raiders move to sixth in the NFL in scoring (25.6 PPG) and 2nd in rushing yards (155.9 YPG) in 2010. Paul Guenther will take over as the defensive coordinator. He has been on the Bengals coaching staff for the last nine seasons.
A.J. Green - Green has improved in every season in the NFL, but last year his progress was minimal considering the Bengals offense made a step forward in the passing game. A.J. had a great run midseason over a five week stretch when he caught 34 passes for 652 yards and 3 TD’s. He only had one game where he scored less than 10 fantasy points. Green finished 3rd in the NFL in WR targets (178) behind Pierre Garcon and Andre Johnson, but his catch rate (55.1%) was a career low. Dalton threw 12 INT’s on targets to A.J., plus Green had 12 drops. Over the last two seasons, he is averaging just over 6 catches a game for about 87 yards and 0.69 TD’s per game. His value has even more upside with better throws from Dalton and more production from the Bengals other receiving options. He is an elite talent with explosive big-game ability. Top 5 WR in 2014 with high upside.
Marvin Jones - Jones had a surprising season for Cincinnati in 2013. He gave the Bengals big play ability on the opposite side of Green. Marvin had seven or more targets in six of his last eight games of the season, but he only averaged 42 of a possible 76 snaps per game. His fantasy value was delivered by his scoring ability (10 TD’s). He scored 7 of his TD’s at home. His best game of the season came in Week eight against the Jets when he caught 8 passes for 122 yards and 4 TD’s. He did all of his damage while only being on the field for 18 plays. Jones finished the year with 80 targets, which ranked 56th in the league at the wide receiver position. I like his growth in 2013, but I don’t trust his opportunity this year. He was out snapped by Mohamed Sanu and Cincinnati’s TE’s may have a bigger role in their offense in 2014. At best, he is the 4th option in the Bengals passing game. He’ll only have value as a bye week cover or a possible matchup play at home.
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