Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is the fantasy football QB10 through his first three weeks of NFL action. With a Week 4 clash against the Jacksonville Jaguars on the docket, will he continue his success?
Joe Burrow’s success with Bengals WRs
Fifth-year wide receiver Tyler Boyd has been the primary beneficiary to this point, corralling 21 of 26 targets for 230 yards with a whopping 17 first down receptions. Boyd currently sits at WR13 on the year with the potential to enter the top 10 with consistent performances.
Then we have his other high profile targets in A.J. Green and Tee Higgins. Green has seen the target volume with 28 so far, but they have not added up to the expected production that comes with those numbers. Green is currently WR64 and has not hit 150 yards receiving on the season.
Higgins, on the other end, just had a coming-out game securing five of nine targets for 40 yards and two scores in Week 3. Still, it was his first productive game as a professional, and he’s WR56 so far.
The Bengals have got to find a way to keep all three players involved to start winning games. Finding a balance between that and reinvigorating the running game with Joe Mixon is paramount to offensive success. However, they may have just the matchup to do that.
Can the Jaguars defense stop him?
If the Jaguars are capable of stopping the pass, they’re keeping that news under wraps. Currently allowing a league-high 80% (72/90) completion on passes, and 31st in TD pass percentage with 7.8% (7/90) of all passes leading to a score. If those numbers aren’t bad enough, they’re 31st in yards gained per pass attempt at 8.5, and 32nd at QB rating allowed.
Interpreting these numbers is key to understanding fantasy success. For Burrow, it means we should see a high completion percentage that can extend to good fantasy production for Boyd, Green, and Higgins. Burrow has been careful with the ball, posting five touchdowns to just a sole interception.
Through three weeks, the Bengals have the third-most passing attempts but are 22nd in completion percentage. The Jaguars’ defense should provide the Bengals offense and NFL fans with an opportunity to see Joe Burrow get in a rhythm reminiscent of his days at LSU.
Concerning sack numbers
There is no quicker way to turn a franchise quarterback into a mess than leaving him under the rubble of defensive bodies. The Bengals are doing just that with potentially no viable starters on the line other than blindside protector Jonah Williams who has also looked to be a franchise cornerstone.
Burrow has been sacked an NFL high 14 times in just three games, at a 9% rate of dropbacks, putting him on pace to be on the ground with the ball in his hands a ridiculous 73 times. Pacing out early-season numbers isn’t always a great indicator, but this line has seen problems all over with no sign of them slowing down.
With Burrow off to a hot start, it is on the Bengals coaching staff to energize the offense into steady production. Head coach Zac Taylor sees film of his QB turning into a bonafide stud; he needs to bring some of the other players up to speed. Finding out the pecking order behind Boyd and giving Burrow more rhythmic progressions is a step in the right direction. If this can happen, Burrow may join the fantasy QB elites before long.
Andrew Thomas Jordan is an editor and analyst for Pro Football Network covering fantasy football: dynasty, redraft, best ball, DFS, and more. You can follow him @The_ATJ on Twitter and hear him weekly as co-host of The Fantasy Force Podcast.