Thursday night Football Preview: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia Eagles
We have come to the end of the road on the Thursday Night Football schedule for 2012, but this final game could turn out to be one of the most important. The semi finals of the fantasy football playoffs kick off with this game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cincinnati Bengals. There are some big name players in this game that will impact most fantasy teams one way or another. We have saved the best for last, so lets go out with a bang!
Andy Dalton looks to continue his fantasy production against this week, the Bengal QB has been excellent consistency, which is needed this time of year. It’s Always nice to know an estimate guarantee points as opposed to a boom or bust type player. Dalton should have his way with the 15th ranked Philadelphia pass defense. Aiding Dalton will be the law firm Benjarvus Green-Ellis, who has been on a warpath the last few weeks averaging around 100 yards per game and is closing in on 1000 yards for the season. The Bengals will continue to feed Green-Ellis the rock to control the tempo of the game. A.J. Green is a must start in all fantasy line-ups, the 2nd year WR has been a reliable fantasy gem all season and he will no doubt have a high number of targets in this contest. The other side of the field however will be tricky to figure out, Andrew Hawkins has made a big impact this season as a slot receiver, and Marvin Jones is now opposite Greene. Yet of the two, Hawkins seems to be more valuable in PPR formats, whereas Jones might be the better start in standard scoring leagues. Jermaine Gresham has really turned it on in the second half of the season, the towering tight end has become the number two receiving option for Andy Dalton and has become an every week starter in all league formats.
Michael Vick has been ruled out again for this week, which means Nick Foles will continue playing for his 2013 starting job this Thursday. The 3rd round rookie has improved with every passing game and has had no turnovers his last 3 games. Foles will probably produce the same type of numbers as he has the last few weeks, but isn’t a startable in the fantasy playoffs. Lesean McCoy has also been rules out for this match-up, so its another week of the Bryce Brown show. Brown is very raw, he still carries the ball like a loaf of bread and refuses to turn up field when trying to turn the corner. Brown has talented potential yet needs to hit the hole and stop being so cute in the backfield. Last week his struggles to get positive yardage did not help the team move the chains. Brown is a great RB2 or FLEX this week in any league. The Eagles receiving corps has been decimated with injury as of late. Jeremy Maclin will lead the charge along with Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson, Riley Cooper and tight end Clay Harbor. Of that group, Maclin is the only player worth a start this week, and even at that its a risky play. It’s not that what’s left of the Eagles receivers are terrible, its just that none of them stand to be consistent especially with Foles at the helm.
Prediction: The Bengals will need to win this to continue their playoff push, and they probably will. Their offense is well balanced, and the defense should be able to take advantage of a still inexperienced Nick Foles. Benjarvus Green-Ellis will be a key to controlling the game clock, as well as keeping the Eagles defense guessing on every play.
Bengals 20 Eagles 13
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to check out our Gridiron Experts Thursday Night Football Previews throughout the 2012 season. We hope they helped out your fantasy teams and look forward to having you back for the 2013 season!