One of the biggest surprises of the 2019 season has been John Ross. The Cincinnati Bengals receiver currently leads the league in receiving with 270 yards over the first two games for the Bengals — that is more than he had in his first two seasons combined.
Ross, who was selected in the first-round, ninth-overall, by the Bengals in 2017, was previously viewed as one of the bigger draft busts of the last five seasons. But that has all been forgotten after his first two games this season.
Now, Ross faces another test going against an equally surprising Buffalo Bills defense. Still looking to prove his doubters wrong, Ross may be primed for another big game as he takes on the Bills.
John Ross Matchup vs Buffalo
The Bills allowed 250 yards passing to Eli Manning and the New York Giants last week but managed to pick him off twice. But all things considered, the Bills haven’t yet been tested against a strong, feature receiver.
Ross, who has been filling in for A.J. Green this season, has become the Bengals top receiver but has support alongside Tyler Boyd. With the Bengals offense evolving into a pass-heavy set this season, it has resulted in increased touches for Ross and Boyd.
Green and tight-end C.J. Uzomah have been dealing with injuries in recent weeks which has made for fewer targets at Andy Dalton’s disposal.
Other numbers that make Ross a dangerous receiver are his league-leading six 20-plus yard plays, three touchdowns, and 148 yards after the catch. But against the Bills, Ross may be strapped for short yardage. Buffalo leads the league allowing opponents only 4.9 yards per reception.
Ross has never matched up against an AFC East opponent in his young career, so there is nothing previous to compare how he might fare on Sunday.
Should You Start Ross Against Buffalo?
In the Bills first two games, they have not allowed a 100-yard receiver. The best performance was from Jets pass-catcher Jamison Crowder who needed 14 catches to pick up 99 yards. He caught half of the team’s passes in that game as well.
Ross isn’t the type of receiver to catch a ton of passes but doesn’t need to in order to pick up big yardage. He’s shifty and can get separation very quickly against loose coverage.
If the Bills double Ross, it would lead to more touches for a receiver like Boyd. So expect the Bills to play more of a zone against the Bengals passing game while bringing a strong pass-rush up front to rush Andy Dalton into making errant throws.
His stats have indicated a full turnaround in what has been an underwhelming career thus far, but Ross isn’t going to keep having 100-plus yard games for the entire 2019 season. That’s made even more difficult with another top receiver like Boyd and with two strong tight ends in Uzomah and Tyler Eifert.
So for this week, be careful if you’re going to start John Ross as your WR. He doesn’t get enough receptions to justify being a WR1 in a PPR league.