Fantasy Football 2015: Browns at Bengals Week 9 Preview
Cleveland Browns (2-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-0)
Thursday, November 5, 2015; 8:25 PM ET
TV: NFL Network
Kicking off the Week 9 NFL schedule on “Thursday Night Football,” we’ve got an AFC North battle between the Browns and the Bengals. Cleveland (2-6) lost to the Cardinals in their last outing, while Cincinnati (7-0) has a stranglehold on the division following a win over the Steelers in Week 8.
There will be several notable fantasy football players out on the field for this one, so with that in mind let’s take a look at a few key names on both sides to see what we might be expecting from our rosters.
Josh McCown, QB, Cleveland Browns: McCown’s obviously not your first choice in a fantasy QB, but he played pretty well Week 8. He put up 211 yards and a trio of touchdowns on 18-of-34 passing against the Cardinals.
McCown laid an egg against the Rams, so this is a definite improvement. He’ll get a tough draw here, so he’s a mid-to-low QB2. It's a heavy bye week, though, so you may have to dip into the well.
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Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton was just good enough in a hard-hitting game against the Steelers in Week 7. He put up a 23-of-38 line for 231 yards and one touchdown, getting picked twice.
Dalton has served as a pretty decent matchup-based fantasy option this season. He’s usually pretty careful with the football and won’t get you in a whole lot of trouble. High-end QB2 here.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: Crowell’s line against the Cardinals in Week 8 was pretty horrid. He’d finish with 10 rushes for 14 yards and one grab for 12 more.
It’s Crowell’s third crummy fantasy line in a row, and he’s quickly falling down fantasy draft boards as the Browns try to find their identity. We’re looking at an emergency flex, so try to find someone else to fill the void.
Giovani Bernard/Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: The two-headed monster in Cincinnati has some advantages and disadvantages in fantasy. For instance, Hill got 15 rushes for 60 yards in Week 8, compared to Bernard’s one rush for 12 yards.
That said, Bernard caught two balls for 22 yards as opposed to Hill’s one grab for eight. Either one works as a flex; it’s going to come down to who can score--it could be either guy in any given week.
Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns: Barnidge is the hottest thing in Cleveland right now, and he put up another strong performance in Week 8 with seven grabs for 53 yards and a TD.
The bad news is that Cleveland’s offense simply isn’t good, so don’t expect Barnidge to go off for 100-plus yards every week. That said, he’s a definite fantasy starter in most leagues.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Green was the hardest-working man on the field in Week 8, hauling in 11 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown.
It was a nice bounce-back from his four-catch, 36-yard effort against Buffalo, and fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief. Green’s a no-duh fantasy start every game and has a huge ceiling.
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