John Ross Fantasy Outlook: Start-Sit Decision on Bengals WR

Getty John Ross of the Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross entered Week 3 as the second-highest scoring fantasy player at his position. However, he left Week 3’s contest as an utter disappointment. Hopefully you listened to us last week and opted against inserting Ross into your lineup. If you went out on a limb, you were burned.

Can the wideout bounce back this week or did the first two weeks of the season just mask the true John Ross that we’ve always known him to be.

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John Ross Fantasy Outlook vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

After the first two weeks of the 2019 season, John Ross looked to be a revelation in his now third season with the Bengals. Ross ranked eighth in fantasy football points, regardless of position, prior to Week 3. He seemed to be a perfect fit in Zac Taylor’s new offense and had been heavily targeted without AJ Green in the lineup.

Ross continued to see a hefty target share in Week 3, but his production and efficiency dipped tremendously. On Ross’ six targets vs. the Buffalo Bills, the former Washington Husky reeled in just two of them for a grand total of 22 receiving yards. Ross suffered through miscues and drops throughout the day. He struggled so mightily that Cinci opted to target other receivers such as Auden Tate in the second half. Tate responded with 12.88 fantasy points on a very generous 10 targets.

One would assume that the Bengals won’t completely turn a cold shoulder to their receiving yards leader despite one rough game. That will give Ross at least one more game to show he’s deserving of a major role within the offense prior to AJ Green’s imminent return to the lineup.

Ross owners are in luck because he has the perfect matchup to get back to his fantasy dominant ways this week. The Pittsburgh Steelers have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. That includes 23.5 points to Phillip Dorsett in Week 1, a player with very similar attributes to that of Ross.

For all Ross’ struggles a week ago, he yet again saw his snap count rate rise in as many weeks as games that have been played. Ross played literally every offensive snap for the Bengals in Week 3. You can look at that one of two ways. One, that the Ross is crucial to the Bengals offensive gameplan. Or two, that he had as much opportunity as a wideout could have had in Week 3, yet didn’t produce.

However, in a way, the Bengals passing game goes as Ross goes at this point. When Ross was lighting up the box score, quarterback Andy Dalton was averaging 364.5 passing yards per game while totaling four touchdowns to just one interception. While in Week 3, Dalton saw his passing yards drop to 250 yards, while tossing two interceptions to just one touchdown.

Should You Start or Sit John Ross in Week 4?

If we’ve learned one thing within the last week, it is that Ross is not matchup proof. He is, however, a player worthy of starting with a plus-matchup on deck.

You’ll likely be hard-pressed to find an owner willing to lock Ross in as their WR2 after last week’s blunder, however, they should feel confident with him as a flex start in Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh.

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