The Cincinnati Bengals defense is coming off perhaps its best game of the season week five against the New England Patriots. They held the Pats to only 248 total yards and six points. They forced three fumbles and an interception. They held Tom Brady without a touchdown pass for the first time in 52 games. Next week, they travel to take on a banged up Buffalo Bills squad.
Owned in a surprisingly low 83 percent of Yahoo! leagues, the Bengals D/ST is a great plug and play matchup for you defensive streamers out there, if you can get them.
To start off, Buffalo has allowed the 12th most fantasy points to opposing defenses and special teams. As previously mentioned, Buffalo is banged up. Starting quarterback E.J. Manuel is out for at least the next six weeks, elevating Thaddeus Lewis to the starting position. Lewis only has one career appearance, going 22-32 for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With Lewis being pressed into action, expect the Bills to rely on their two best offensive weapons, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. The Bills are currently third in the league in rushing offense and will likely go heavy on the running game. The passing game takes timing and repetition to work and Lewis simply doesn’t have much time to get on the same pages as his receiving corps. Factor in that the Bills have allowed the fifth most sacks in the league this year (15) it would make sense for the game plan to be run heavy with quick outs and hot reads to keep Lewis out of trouble.
Against a stout Cincinnati front that ranks 12th in rushing defense, a less than 100 percent healthy Spiller could be a risky play this week. His ceiling is too high to sit, but Spiller is likely going to boom or bust this week. The Bengals front is one of the best in the league, and the team ranks eighth in total defense. Jackson is a safer play but still an RB2 at best.
The Bengals secondary has made a point of holding receivers in check, which doesn’t bode well for Stevie Johnson or Robert Woods. The Bengals are 13th in passing defense this season and with only 10 days to get the timing routes down, it could be a long day for the Bills receiving corps. Keep in mind that Brandon Marshall is the only receiver to have a 100+ yard day agasinst the Bengals this season, back in week one. It would be a safe bet that after holding Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jordan Cameron under 100 yards that Johnson and Woods could struggle.
If you can get them, the Bengals D/ST could be a great plug and play this week.
As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.
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