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Cincinnati Bengals Late August Scouting Report
Mark Huber

The Bengals enter the final preseason game in good shape.

The team doesn't have any major injuries to deal with and the starting unit on all sides of the ball seems pretty set.

QB: Joe Burrow is on the mend from his appendectomy. Brandon Allen, Jake Browning and Drew Plitt are battling for backup roles. Allen seems to be safe at the No. 2 but Browning could move in to that role. Plitt may be destined for the practice squad. The local kid from Loveland, Ohio has shown well in preseason games. He's a longshot to make the roster or even practice squad but if things shake out right, he could stick around.

RB: Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine and Chris Evans are entrenched as the top three. After that, Treyveon Williams seems like the No. 4 guy while Jacques Patrick is No. 5. The team is unlikely to keep 5 so special teams is the way to go to make the club. Williams has the edge.

WR: Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd are 1-2-3 with Mike Thomas, Stanley Morgan, Trent Taylor, Trent Irwin, Kendric Pryor and Kwame Lassiter battling for a couple roster spots. Pryor has flashed big time but can he stick? The guys ahead of him are veterans and play special teams. I'd guess Thomas is No. 4 with Morgan and Irwin vying for 5 and 6. Pryor and Lassiter have to show on specials to have a shot but could land on the practice squad or even another club's roster.

TE: Hayden Hurst is the top guy with Drew Sample, Mitchell Wilcox, Thad Moss battling for 2 spots. Moss has struggled at the point of attack but Sample and Wilcox are battling injuries. Could be Moss or another team's cut to add depth here.

K: Evan McPherson. Nuff said. Kid's a monster.

As for the IDP guys, Trey Hendrickson is a sack master but not a real big fantasy guy unless your league goes overboard on sacks. Sam Hubbard is similar. At linebacker, Logan Wilson is the top guy on the team but likely a backup to some of the other stud 'backers in the league. Akeem Davis-Gaither is a sleeper who could be a be a splash play from time to time. In the secondary, Chidobe Awuzie and Eli Apple are going to get the bulk of play and should have good tackle numbers. At safety, not sure on Jessie Bates and his future. Could he come back before the start of the regular season? Yes. How good can he be after missing all that time? Guys who do what he's doing many times come away with injuries and don't play a complete season. I'd stay away. Dax Hill has been very good. Can he be that good against the best in the NFL? Not sure but he's going to get a chance to play and volume is king in fantasy football.
With this team, I don't anticipate any surprises. Burrow, Mixon, Chase, Higgins, Boyd, Hurst, McPherson are the guys to have. Even with injury, I wouldn't believe any of the guys behind them would be a major play this season.


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