The Cincinnati Bengals will have to take the good with the bad heading into Week 13 it seems. After the decision to place quarterback Andy Dalton on injured reserve, it’ll be the Jeff Driskel show moving forward. While that impacts the team in a big way, there’s some good news that’s also come to light on Wednesday.
As Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com revealed, A.J. Green was on the field for the team’s walkthrough and the wide receiver said he’ll be back to play for Week 13. This is huge news after Green missed the team’s three games since the bye week, all of which were losses. In turn, the Bengals’ record dropped to 5-6 on the year and they’ll need their star wideout on the field to help turn things around.
With Driskel now under center, it does create some questions surrounding Green’s fantasy football outlook. While the 30-year-old remains one of the NFL’s best wide receivers, he’s had a plethora of success with Andy Dalton, but a new face throwing him passes could prove concerning.
Let’s break down Green’s Week 13 fantasy outlook with Dalton sidelined.
Safe to Rely on A.J. Green in Week 13?
As tough as it is to consider, there’s virtually no chance you’re putting Green on your bench in fantasy, regardless of the league or situation. Unless by some very small chance he’s limited to a low number of snaps (as in, drastically low), Green is a must-start in every matchup. On the season, he’s caught 45 passes for 687 yards with six scores in eight games.
Although there’s no question Green may need a bit of time to get on the same page with his new quarterback, a player of his caliber isn’t tough to get used to throwing the ball to. While many star wide receivers have had continued success over the years playing without their normal starting quarterback, Green will fall in that same category.
Jeff Driskel’s Play and Bengals’ Schedule
On another bright note, Driskel didn’t look bad in Week 12, although it was a somewhat small sample size. He finished the day by completing 17-of-29 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown during the 35-20 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The biggest impact on Green’s fantasy value could come in the form of Joe Mixon. The Bengals may opt to utilize the run game more with their new quarterback, especially with multiple key AFC matchups down the stretch. With games against the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Browns once again, many of these will have playoff implications.
For the Bengals, wins are going to be vital over the next few weeks, but it should be Mixon, Green and Tyler Boyd who do the bulk of the heavy lifting offensively.