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32 for 32: NFL Draft Predictions for the Bengals

The NFL Draft 32 for 32 series is an in-depth look into each team and the potential picks that may be made in the upcoming draft. Based on each team's needs, I will project the first three selections and give fantasy football managers perspective on how this affects fantasy value. Whether it be a positional player or players on the defensive side of the ball, all selections made can help in some way when it comes to fantasy scoring. As we have seen in recent memory, some rookies can enter this league and make an immediate impact. Based on the appropriate landing spot, this year's crop of prospects has the potential to create some very fantasy-friendly situations.

In this edition, we take a look at the Cincinnati Bengals. Holding the first pick in this year's draft, the first selection is all but signed, sealed, and delivered. But after the initial pick, what direction should this team head in? It is a team in need of help in multiple positions as they begin to rebuild the franchise. But all is not lost from a fantasy perspective. Both Joe Mixon (RB13 in 2019 with 225.5 FP) and Tyler Boyd (WR17 with 226.8 FP) are good players to build a foundation around. Mixon himself finished the season strong and may be poised to be a top-five back in fantasy scoring in 2020. The passing game for the Bengals will likely be rebuilt with the selection of Joe Burrow and long-time Bengal A.J. Green's position with the team in a state of flux. But one thing is for sure, the Bengals Defense should again be less than stellar, setting up positive game-scripts for the offense to provide points in fantasy.

So let's take a look at the numbers, coupled with the team's needs and determine just how the Bengals could improve this team, not only from a real-life perspective but in terms of fantasy value as well.

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Cincinnati Bengals - 2020 Outlook

Offense: 62.1 (31st)
Defense: 64.5 (23rd)
Overall: 66.5 (31st)



First Selection (1.01)

Joe Burrow, QB - LSU

Burrow is the consensus top pick across the board as it fills an immediate need for a Bengals team looking to start over. His amazing 2019 campaign that culminated with a Heisman trophy and national championship shot him up draft boards to put him in this position. His overall game at QB should translate easily to the NFL and if surrounded by the right amount of talent, he could pay dividends in fantasy as early as his rookie season.

He is a prospect that will become a perennial QB1 in dynasty formats and should be a player that you target in mid to late first round in rookie drafts. QB-needy teams should place higher importance on Burrow in dynasty as the depth of this year's class falls off very quickly.


Second Selection (2.01)

Tyler Biadasz, C - Wisconsin

Biadasz can help solidify the interior of the offensive for the Bengals. A consistent prospect at center, Biadasz brings his run-blocking ability to a team that will be looking to establish Joe Mixon as the centerpiece to the offense. He is a smart player that always is under control and is well-versed in most blocking schemes.

Pass protection could be a slight issue early on as he progresses to the next level but with proper coaching, he should develop into a solid starter in the middle. The addition of Biadasz only helps the potential of Joe Mixon to become a fantasy star in 2020.


Third Selection (3.01)

Malik Harrison, LB - Ohio State

Harrison has all the desired traits that teams look for in a prospect at the position. The combination of size, physicality, and range will make him an excellent defender against the run at the next level. He plays downhill and constantly disrupts blocking schemes. He is always looking for the impact tackle, which can be a detriment against play-action passing attacks.

He brings an added value as a blitzer but is limited when it comes to coverage. He's more adept playing inside but has the athleticism to play as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. He will be a nice addition to the Bengals defense, but he alone will not make this unit fantasy relevant in 2020.


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