Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart and Fantasy Preview: Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Joe Burrow, and More

As long as Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase stay healthy, the Cincinnati Bengals could be a very potent offense for fantasy football purposes in 2024.

In fantasy football, we want good players on good offenses. Ever since drafting Joe Burrow, the Cincinnati Bengals have had one of the most fantasy-friendly offenses in the league. With the gang of Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins back for another year, let’s check out our 2024 Cincinnati Bengals fantasy preview.

Cincinnati Bengals Fantasy Depth Chart

QB
Joe Burrow, Jake Browning, Logan Woodside

RB
Zack Moss, Chase Brown, Trayveon Williams, Chris Evans

WR1
Ja’Marr Chase, Andre Iosivas

WR2
Tee Higgins, Trenton Irwin

WR3
Jermaine Burton, Charlie Jones

TE
Mike Gesicki, Drew Sample, Erick All

Joe Burrow’s Fantasy Outlook

It was a lost season for Burrow last year. Between the calf injury he never let fully recover and the season-ending wrist injury just as Burrow was getting healthy, he never had a chance to get going.

Burrow may have only had three games where he was healthy, but he reminded us just how good he was in those three games. In Weeks 8, 9, and 10, Burrow scored 27.6, 22.3, and 21.9 fantasy points. He averaged over 20 fantasy points per game in 2021 and 2022. This is still an elite quarterback.

Last year, even with Jake Browning starting half the season, the Bengals finished with a 63% neutral game script pass rate, second in the league. Their major offseason moves were to let Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon walk and to draft WR Jermaine Burton in the third round. Everything points to this offense being pass-heavy once again.

Burrow’s lack of rushing upside inherently caps his ceiling. But the only thing standing between him and a return to 20 points per game is his health.

Zack Moss’ Fantasy Outlook

Zack Moss averaged a very respectable 4.7 yards per touch last season. He also proved capable of handling a heavy workload. In six games as the Colts’ lead back with Jonathan Taylor out, Moss averaged 14.0 fantasy points per game. And that doesn’t include his 33.5-point effort in Taylor’s first game back in Week 5 when Moss was still the primary back.

After reviving his career with the Colts, Moss now gets a second chance at being a lead back. Given what we saw from a relatively inefficient Joe Mixon last season, it’s really not a stretch to say Moss can do the same thing.

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Mixon averaged 15.7 fantasy points per game last year. Moss does not have the same pedigree as Mixon. He won’t be as expensive in fantasy drafts. Subsequently, the threshold for what he needs to do to be worth drafting is lower.

If Moss can get to 13-14 fantasy points per game, he will likely be worth his cost. On an offense that projects to score a lot of points, Moss is looking like a pretty good value amidst a sea of unexciting running backs.

Ja’Marr Chase’s Fantasy Outlook

Isn’t it wild that 16.4 fantasy points per game and an overall WR11 finish is viewed as a major disappointment for Ja’Marr Chase? That only speaks to how talented he is.

Chase was the same player he had been throughout his career last season. His output is just yet another reminder of how inextricably intertwined WR production is with QB play. As an aside, it’s why we can and should believe in massive leaps forward for guys like Drake London and Garrett Wilson purely because of a QB upgrade.

With Burrow banged up, Chase never really got going. He wound up with a whopping eight games of 12.1 fantasy points or fewer. For context, Chase had a mere four games below 13 fantasy points in 2022.

We have no reason to project Burrow for anything other than full health this season. That means a return to 2022 levels is likely for Chase. We saw just how effective he could be as a fantasy asset in 2023 when Burrow was healthy, so the end of the season, when Burrow was out, should not sour us too heavily on Chase.

In 2022, Chase commanded a 29.3% target share and was targeted on 27.9% of his routes run. He averaged 20.2 fantasy points per game despite his yards per route run being only 20th and his yards per target outside the top 50.

This is one of the best players in the sport, and the clear WR3 after Tyreek Hill and CeeDee Lamb are off the board. You can make a case for him above those guys, too.

Tee Higgins’ Fantasy Outlook

Last season was an outright disaster for Tee Higgins. After his sophomore year breakout that saw him average 15.7 fantasy points per game, Higgins has taken a step back each of the following two seasons.

Between injuries of his own, Burrow’s status, and Higgins’ inconsistent play, he averaged just 11.5 fantasy points per game last year, finishing as a fantasy WR4. Higgins saw his target share plummet to 17.9%, and was targeted on a paltry 20.1% of his routes run.

Higgins’ disappointing performance in the past two seasons may present fantasy managers with a value proposition. If you are a believer in his talent, as I still am, we can easily throw last year out. Remember, this guy was being drafted as a borderline WR1 two years ago.

Fantasy managers likely forgot, but Higgins’ 2022 was better than it appeared. He averaged 13.1 fantasy points per game, but he left three games early, not scoring any fantasy points. If you remove those games, he averaged 15.8 fantasy points per game.

Over the past two years, we’ve seen a bunch of talented wide receivers ascend. These guys have now surpassed Higgins in perception and cost. To be clear, I’m not saying Higgins will necessarily be better than them. But if you can get 90% of their production at 70% of the cost, that’s how you win fantasy leagues.

Bengals Fantasy Sleepers

Ironically, it’s the teams with fewer clear fantasy-relevant players that tend to have more sleepers. The Bengals only have three clear fantasy starters: Burrow, Chase, and Higgins. Adding in Moss as a borderline starter gives us four.

There are teams out there with 5-7 fantasy-relevant guys. The Bengals may very well have some unexpected players emerge.

One such possibility is Chase Brown. For starters, Brown appears to be the primary handcuff to Moss. If Moss goes down, Brown will likely become the 1a in a timeshare. That alone, makes him worthy of a late-round selection.

More importantly, there’s a chance Brown could operate as the satellite back plus. As much as I like Moss, a big part of success in fantasy football is embracing the possibility that you are wrong. What if this ends up being more of a committee than I think?

If Brown handles 6-8 carries a game and sees 3-4 targets, he could have standalone RB3 value. Brown averaged 5.8 yards per touch, and 9.1% of his carries went for 15+ yards. He only had 44 carries on the season. He displayed explosiveness and a strong burst.

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I do not necessarily believe Brown will pan out. But if we’re looking for sleepers, look no further than the backup RB.

There are two other guys I can see finding their way into fantasy relevance. Both of them are rookies.

For years, Tyler Boyd has had fantasy value as a handcuff WR with the occasional spike week. If rookie Jermaine Burton wins the WR3 job, that could be his role.

Burrow is capable of supporting elite WR1 Chase, high WR2 Higgins, and another WR4. Burton is going to be very cheap in fantasy drafts. In deeper leagues, you could certainly do worse as your WR6/7.

Finally, we have the other rookie pass catcher, TE Erick All. In what will undoubtedly not be my worst joke of the year, the Bengals clearly were not satisfied with just a Drew Sample, so they went out and drafted Erick All.

On a more serious note, All went to Iowa. Yes. That’s the crux of the analysis. Iowa TEs are like a cheat code. From George Kittle to T.J. Hockenson to Sam LaPorta, Iowa just produces high-end NFL tight ends.

All is an incredible athlete. He ran a 4.59 40-time at 6’3″, 245 pounds. He’s got 85th-percentile speed and 89th-percentile agility.

All that All needs to do (I’m going to have to find a different way to word sentences with this guy) is to surpass Mike Gesicki and the aforementioned Sample. It may not happen right away. I’m not telling you to draft All. But keep an eye on him as the season progresses. The moment we see a sign of his playing time increase, it might be worth it to put him on your bench.

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