2022 Fantasy Football Cincinnati Bengals Preview

by Mike Bonni
2022 Fantasy Football Cincinnati Bengals Preview

Welcome to the 2022 Fantasy Football Cincinnati Bengals Preview. The Bengals were quite the busy bees this offseason as they look to defend their AFC Championship. They made it their mission to shore up the offensive line, and that they did, having signed three offensive linemen.

Alex Cappa was the big signing, getting a four-year/35-million-dollar contract. He will help Joe Burrow stay upright, considering Cappa was T-11th in sacks allowed. The Bengals also signed Ted Karras and La' El Collins.

With these three, plus Jackson Carmen and Jonah Williams, Cincinnati is hoping they can keep Joe Burrow upright. The only other signing on the offensive side of the ball was Hayden Hurst, who will be the starting tight end in 2022.

Since the Bengals went so heavy on offense during free agency, their draft had only one selection on the offensive side of the ball. This was OL Cordell Volson (Rd. 4, P. 136) from North Dakota State.

In 2021, the Cincinnati Bengals were one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league, averaging 27.1 PPG (7th). They were also 13th in YPG, 7th in passing production, and 23rd in rushing offense. The Bengals are going to be deadlier in 2022, so draft them as much as you can.

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2022 Fantasy Football Cincinnati Bengals Preview

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In 2021, Joe Cool (Joe Burrow) was the QB8. He threw for 4, 611 yards (6th), 34 touchdowns (8th), and completed 70% of his passes (1st). The one knock on Burrow is the sacks. He was sacked 51 times, which was the most in the league. The Bengals made sure that won't happen again by signing three starting offensive linemen.

In 2022, Joe Burrow is being ranked as QB6 (Fantasy Pros), QB6 (F6P), and QB9(Me). I'm slightly lower on him, which I'll go over below.

Burrow's fantasy points were gaudy thanks to Ja'Marr Chase's RAC ability/knack for touchdowns. This leads me to believe that some regression is on the table. I also believe the Bengals will run the ball more in 2022, compared to 2021 (42%). With that being said, Joe's numbers might not be what they were last year.

Joe Burrow still has all the weapons in the world to be deadly, so don't be afraid to draft him. He will be a QB1 this year, top-10 more than likely.

As for Brandon Allen/Jake Browning, please don't have these guys on your radar.

Running Backs

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Joe Mixon had a phenomenal year in 2021, he rushed the ball 292 times for 1,205 yards (3rd) and 13 touchdowns (4th). He also added 42 catches (15th) on 48 targets for 314 yards (18th) and three touchdowns (5th). These were career-high numbers for Mixon across the board. This put Joe Mixon as the RB3 in 2021, his highest career finish.

Joe Mixon gets a healthy workload, 67% of the Bengals rush attempts to be exact. There is no need to worry about him losing touches, barring injury. Even better news, Joe Mixon gets 81% of the rushing TDs in this offense. You know Joe Mixon will get his red zone touches, and not have them stolen by the likes of Samaje Perine or Chris Evans.

In 2022, I expect the same from Joe Mixon. He is currently being drafted as RB7 (Fantasy Pros), which is behind the oft-injured star, Dalvin Cook. There is no reason Cook should be drafted over Mixon in 2022. For one, Dalvin Cook has never played a full season (14 games was his most). Compare this to Joe Mixon, who has played 14+ games in four out of five years.

Here at F6P, we have Joe Mixon ranked as RB7 as well. I'm higher on him than most, he is my RB5 in 2022. The Bengals will look to run the ball more. There's a possible 300+-carry situation brewing here.

Joe Mixon is going to skate his way to an RB1 season in 2022, with a very real possibility of breaking into the top-3 again.

Other RBs

If something were to happen to Mixon, Samaje Perine (442 total yards) will be the guy. Chris Evans also will be in the mix, he caught 15 balls and two touchdowns last year.

I hope you are enjoying the 2022 Fantasy Football Cincinnati Bengals Preview article. The moment we have all been waiting for is coming up next, the WRs.

Wide Receivers

Ja'Marr Chase

1A in the receiver duo that I call the gruesome twosome, Ja'Marr Chase was incredible in his rookie season. He put up some insane numbers: on 128 targets, he caught 81 balls (18th) for 1455 yards (4th) and 13 TDs (3rd). He ended the season as the WR5.

Having said that, there are some things I am concerned about regarding Ja'Marr Chase for the 2022 season. Do I dare say Chase was a little boom or bust in 2021? He scored under ten fantasy points 40% of the time. This includes three games in his final eight (WR9). That doesn't look bad, but it was helped by an insane 55-point fantasy performance against the Chiefs.

Will Chase be able to repeat his 18.0 YPC? Unlikely, considering in the playoffs he was down to 14.7. He still commanded a 27% target share during those playoffs, so it looks like he is getting more targets (less downfield).

Another thing to worry about is the TDs; will he be able to put up 13 again? Especially since he only had 12 RZ targets (35th) and relied, heavily, on his YAC (5th) for his touchdowns, this could also be unlikely.

In 2022, Chase is being ranked as the WR3  (Fantasy Pros, F6P, and myself). It looks like everyone is in agreement with Chase being a top-three WR in 2022. This puts him ahead of Davante Adams (who finished as WR1-or-2 in the past two seasons) and Stefon Diggs (who finished with back-to-back 160+ target seasons).

Don't be shocked if Ja"Marr Chase finishes below these two, considering what they have done in the past. With all that being said, I still believe Ja'Marr Chase will finish as a top-three WR. Draft him often and reap the rewards.

Tee Higgins

Now onto 1B of the gruesome twosome, Tee Higgins. This is one player I'm trying to get in every draft I partake in. In 2021, Higgins caught 74 (26th) of 110 targets for 1091 yards (15th) and six touchdowns (18th), which put him as WR22. He only played 14 games and averaged 15.7 FPPG, good enough for 12th among WRs.

Tee Higgins scored 13+ points 64% of the time and 57% in his final seven games. During those last seven games, Tee Higgins was WR10.

In 2022, Higgins is being ranked as WR12 (Fantasy Pros and F6P). I have him ranked one spot higher, at WR11.

I would take Tee Higgins in a heartbeat over the likes of A.J. Brown (a new team with competition), and maybe even Tyreek Hill (who is on the Dolphins).

With everything I said above, Tee Higgins will be a low-end WR1, high-end WR2 at the worst.

Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd, coming into the 2021 season, knew his role was going to be diminished. He caught 67 (31st) of 94 targets for 828 yards (34th) and five touchdowns (30th), finishing as WR32.

Since his bye week (Week 10), Boyd was WR26 (10.9 FPPG). He still holds value in the fantasy world.

In 2022, He is ranked as WR53, behind Michael Gallup (injured), Kenny Golladay (washed), and four rookies (London, Wilson, Burks, and Olave). Two of which (Wilson and Olave), are third options at best.

This is unacceptable.

Tyler Boyd is a terrific depth piece, especially in this high-powered offense. Get him with your late picks, he could be useful.

As for Trent Taylor, the fourth-string WR, should remain undrafted. Barring an injury, he won't see enough targets to warrant spending a draft pick on him. The rest of the receiver room, leave them undrafted as well.

Tight End

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The Bengals let C.J. Uzomah walk in free agency, bringing in Hayden Hurst to replace him.

In 2021, Hayden Hurst caught 26-of-31 targets for 221 yards and three touchdowns (Kyle Pitts, we see you). With these numbers, Hurst was a measly TE37 (Fantasy Pros).

Hayden Hurst is currently going as TE28 (Fantasy Pros) and TE26 here at F6P. It looks as if F6P might be ahead of the curve. As for me, I have him TE23.

First off, the tight end landscape is brutal; it doesn't take much to be a TE24.

Secondly, Hayden Hurst is better than C.J. Uzomah. Speaking of Uzomah, he finished as TE19 last year. He caught 48-of-63 targets for 483 yards and five touchdowns. Hayden Hurst can do that and more in this offense.

Lastly, Hurst is only one year removed from a TE8 finish. During that year, he caught 56-of-88 targets for 541 yards and six touchdowns. It looks like he is capable of putting up some solid numbers.

There is no risk in taking Hayden Hurst, so you might as well take a chance on him with a late pick. I might even be too low on him.

As for Drew Sample (15/11-81-0 TDs), you can leave your drafts without him and should as well.

Final Verdict

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This team is going to be deadly in 2022. Joe Burrow will be a QB1, Joe Mixon an RB1, and the duo of Ja'Marr Chase/Tee Higgins will be WR1s as well. Hayden Hurst can give you some boom weeks, even so I wouldn't go out of the way to draft him. As for Tyler Boyd, he will be a great depth piece on your fantasy roster.

That should do it for the 2022 Fantasy Football Cincinnati Bengals Preview article. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Check out the rest of our 2022 Fantasy Football Team Previews!

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