Thursday Night Football Fantasy Versus: Bengals vs. Eagles
If you’re reading this then you’ve likely made the fantasy playoffs in any one of the leagues you might be in and that is no small feat. Millions of people across the world play fantasy football each year, while only a small percentage of those fantasy players actually make it this far. Having made it to the playoffs means you’ve made a few tough calls along the way, or some of you might have just been plain lucky. Whatever the case may be, we here at NFL Soup have been giving solid fantasy advice all year, and it will continue this week as well.
In tonight’s Thursday Night Football match-up the Cincinnati Bengals will play the Philadelphia Eagles. While the normal fantasy players that were drafted from the Eagles; Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and their defense/special teams aren’t fantasy relevant anymore for many different reasons, they still have a couple of players that can or will help you this week.
We will take a look at all the match-ups that matter this week in our Fantasy Versus Decision Maker for Thursday Night Football in Week 15:
Andy Dalton (Bengals) vs. Nick Foles (Eagles)
With Philadelphia having allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, you have to like the idea of Andy Dalton bouncing back from two sub-par weeks. Three interceptions for Dalton in the past two week might worry some fantasy owners, however who’s going to stop A.J. Green this week? Answer, nobody.
Although Foles had a huge fantasy game last week, it came against a very weak Tampa Bay defense. Hard to trust a guy who’s only starting his fifth game as a rookie against a better than average defense.
It’s Dalton over Foles tonight.
Bryce Brown (Eagles) vs. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Bengals)
After back-to-back huge fantasy performances, Brown was slowed down to the tune of zero fantasy points last week. Brown rushed the ball 12 times for only 6 yards, while also catching 2 balls for 6 more yards. He will do better than the zero points he had last week, but I don’t expect 26-28 points he was able to get the two weeks before. Look for a solid 80-90 yards with a touchdown from Brown.
BJGE has rushed for over 100 yards in three of the past four games, his only three 100 yard rushing games on the year. Philadelphia has done one thing good this season on defense, and that is slowing down the run, as they have allowed the 10th fewest fantasy points to running backs this season.
I don’t think the Bengals are going to have a comfortable win this week, and look for the Bengals to pass the ball more, so I’m a little bullish on Green-Ellis this week. I’ll take Brown over BJGE.
Jeremy Maclin/Jason Avant (Eagles) vs. Andrew Hawkins (Bengals)
A.J. Green doesn’t need to be involved in this match-up, because he’s a Top-2 WR every week.
Now on to the other guys. Jason Avant took advantage of DeSean Jackson being out for the season last week to the tune of 7 catches for 133 yards in week 14, good enough for 13 fantasy points. Maclin has been terribly inconsistent throughout the season, although with Jackson out he’s definitely the true number one guy for the next three weeks.
Cincinnati has been great against the pass this year, but the Eagles are always a team that enjoys throwing the ball a bit more than other teams. I’d leave both of these receivers off standard 10 or 12-team leagues, but they could hold some value in the deeper 16-team leagues.
Hawkins was virtually absent for a stretch of eight games during the middles weeks of the season, but with two decent games back-to-back, it seems Hawkins has found his role on this Bengals squad.
I like Hawkins over both Eagles receivers based on Philly’s bad secondary, then I’d go Maclin over Avant but only barely.
Jermaine Gresham (Bengals) vs. Clay Harbor (Eagles)
Brent Celek (concussion) is out tonight, so that leaves Harbor as Foles’ number one receiving threat at the tight end position. Great game last week with 52 yards and a touchdown, he could be a sneaky tight end this week still though, he would be hard to trust in the playoffs.
Gresham has been a borderline top-10 fantasy tight end this year, so I’m going to play it safe and take him over Harbor.
Josh Brown (Bengals) vs. Alex Henery (Eagles)
Brown replaced Mike Nugent (calf) last week and he is expected to start again this week.
Not a sexy match-up for either kicker, so I’ll roll with Brown, because Henery has been a disaster this season.
Cincinnati Bengals D/ST vs Philadelphia Eagles D/ST
I wouldn’t put the Bengals as a top-5 defense this week as I’ve seen on other sites, but I do think they can be a top-10 D/ST.
Give me the Bengals over the Eagles.
*Image via NFL.com