With Joe Burrow healthy and first round uber prospect Ja’Marr Chase in the fold, the Bengals are one of the easiest teams to project for a jump in offensive production this year. As Adam Levitan notes here, they were already playing fast and aggressive with Burrow at the helm:
Now comes a report from The Athletic’s Jay Morrison about the pass catchers, who relayed some comments from Bengals HC Zac Taylor and OC Brian Callahan:
"The idea is for each of the three starting receivers to end up with about the same number of targets and catches. When you have a passing game that is designed with progressions in mind, and it can start anywhere — it can start with either side — you have two outside receivers and a slot receiver that can all be productive, it forces you less into trying to get the perfect guy in the perfect spot all the time.”
Similar to the situation in Dallas, it’s certainly possible for the entire offense to roll and for all three pass catchers—Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd—to be productive, but what’s more likely is that one of these guys is overvalued and another is undervalued.
Chase is the most expensive of the three right now (mid 4th round pick), but you are paying that price with the idea that he could become a full blown monster down the stretch (think Odell Beckham in 2014 or AJ Brown in 2019). Higgins is the best bang for your buck right now in my opinion (early 5th round pick). He’s already shown elite efficiency in his rookie year and is poised to make another leap:
And that makes Boyd, like Michael Gallup in Dallas, the most undervalued of the trio (mid 7th round pick). People wrongly attribute a low ceiling to a player like Boyd because he plays in the slot, but as you can see from the coaches’ comments, the ball is going to go to whoever's open and that will be Boyd a decent amount of the time. Boyd also led the Bengals with a 21 percent target share in Burrows’ 9 full games last year.
I think the moral of the story is to grab pieces of this offense whenever you can, but don’t force the issue with any one specific player because there’s probably another exciting Bengal just around the next turn. Hell, Callahan even said that 50 receptions for TE C.J. Uzomah is realistic this season.
📊 Stat of the Day…
RosterWatch—part of the Rotopass network that includes a bundle of great sites for less than $80—has a set of pro tools that includes valuable schedule and offensive line rankings for each team. Check out what they have on the 49ers:
* Easiest overall schedule based on opponents' projected win totals* Easiest overall schedule for RBs based on opponents' front 7 personnel
* 7th best OL in the NFL
I’ll let you read between the lines on that one.
📰 Fantasy News for the true sickos.
* It’s basically impossible for me to draft Josh Jacobs right now: “Enter Kenyan Drake, whose massive (for a backup) contract suggests he will be heavily involved in the offense, particularly as a pass-catcher. He should also spell Jacobs carrying the ball to keep him fresh, not only late in games but late in the season.”
* Larry Fitzgerald told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols he’s undecided on whether he’ll retire. “Training camp starts in a few weeks. I’m excited, it’s going to be another great year for the NFL,” said the 38 year-old Fitzgerald. I can’t wait for the Cardinals to open up the season with a 4-WR set that features both Fitz and AJ Green. You know it’s happening.
💸 What’s Your Favorite Bet?
Jack Miller recently posted some of the season-long receiving yards props from the sportsbook.
- Calvin Ridley (1350.5, over -130)
- Stefon Diggs (1350.5, under -120)
- DeAndre Hopkins (1350.5, under -120)
- Tyreek Hill (1350.5, under -130)
- Justin Jefferson (1325.5, under -120)
Let us know on Twitter what’s your favorite bet? Those are all massive numbers, and because I’m no fun, I’m probably taking unders everywhere despite having an unhealthy love for WRs. For reference, Hill (1276 yards) had an awesome year last year and didn’t clear his 2021 number.
🎥 Grainy Camp Video Szn
This is a cross between Grainy Camp Video Szn and High Key Thicc, but here’s DK Metcalf hitting a single leg 42” box jump while holding a 15lb medicine ball. As someone who can barely do a couple 42” box jump—sorry to brag—it is unfathomable to imagine doing it on one leg with a medicine ball. Goodness.
🐦 Tweet of the day
See ya Wednesday.