Close this search box.

2023 Fantasy Forecast: Cincinnati Bengals

Elite QB? Check. Elite WR? Check. Veteran RB and Improving Offensive Line? Check. How do the Bengals stack up for fantasy in 2023 and beyond?

The Bengals have become one of the richest offenses in fantasy football. It all hinges on their franchise quarterback, Joe Burrow. He’s one of the young stars, plays with passion and fire, and is due for a massive payday soon. Where he goes, the Bengals go, and he led the team to 26.1 points a game in 2022, the seventh-most in the league. The passing offense was in the top ten for most metrics. 

The rushing attack was effective but ranked near the bottom of the league due to volume and a paltry 3.8 YPC average. The receivers are amongst the best trios in the league in recent history, and a new tight end is now in the fold. 

The Bengals were 12-4, on the cusp of the Super Bowl again. We expect them to be right there again in 2023. 


Joe Burrow

After an injury scare, it looks like everything is aligned for Burrow to be the starter in Week 1 when the Bengals open the season in Cleveland. He had another stellar season in 2022, with 4,475 yards and 35 TDs with a 68.3% completion percentage. I’d like to see him cut back on INTs; he’s had 14 and 12 in the last two seasons. But it’s also a part of his gun-slinging persona. The Bengals will happily live with the INTs with the way Burrow wins by his arm. 

It goes without saying – Burrow is one of the top fantasy quarterbacks and will be for many years. He’s locked on with a team that will continue to surround him with weapons and an offensive line, which should be improving. The Bengals have certainly addressed it and are not being complacent – a tendency the organization had for many years. 

The Backups

As with nearly every team in the NFL, if it gets to the backup, it’s a massive drop-off. Long-time backup Brandon Allen is gone, but he’s been replaced with veteran Trevor Siemian. Siemian should get an abundance of snaps in the preseason and is a capable stopgap. He’s potentially one of the more valuable backups in Superflex leagues, as he would step into a strong offense and has been solid when pressed into duty before. 


Joe Mixon

The Bengals have been lucky to have Mixon as their lead back, but his time in the jungle is nearing its end. I wrote up this piece on the veteran back recently. I dove deeper into his film to see how he has progressed in his career. He’s a steady running back and has been hampered by a meager offensive line, but Mixon has been as consistent as one could hope. 

He restructured his contract, and the Bengals have an inexpensive out after 2023. As a runner, he’s going to average around four yards a tote, but his pass-catching has steadily improved. Mixon caught 60 passes last year en route to 1,255 total yards from scrimmage and nine TDs. It was a massive dip in production from 2021, but the veteran back does exactly what is needed of him from the Bengals. 

It’s hard to see a scenario in which Mixon is back in 2024, but the Bengals may not have any other option. They would need to address the position in the draft, which seems to be the way to go these days. The option for replacing Mixon is currently not on the roster. 

The Backups

Trayveon Williams is the RB2, and he’s a solid backup. But I’m not inspired to roster him, even if Mixon went down for an extended period. The Bengals added Chase Brown in the fifth round this draft and could be a short-term option. He’s got serious wheels and is a capable pass-catching option. He is smaller and has some holes in his game, which may keep him on the sidelines. Chris Evans is also just a situational back and not someone the team wants to rely on. 

If Mixon were to miss extended time, the Bengals would likely hit the free-agent market. Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt, and Ezekiel Elliott would be the top targets. 


Ja’Marr Chase WR1

I was one of the few people that was massively upset when the Bengals took Chase ahead of Penei Sewell. But I can’t deny what he has brought to the team and how critical Chase is in Burrow’s ascension. 

A strong case can be made for Chase to be the WR1 in all of fantasy, but his situation is likely not as fruitful as Justin Jefferson’s. Chase has to contend with Mixon and several other really good receivers for targets. He had 1,046 yards and nine scores in only 12 games last year. Chase did only have four games over 100 yards but did have seven or more receptions in his last eight games of 2022. 

Don’t overthink it if you’ve got Chase, don’t trade him unless you can get a massive haul. He’s a locked-in WR1 for the next seven to ten years. 

Tee Higgins WR2

After three consistent WR2 seasons, Higgins enters 2023 on the last year of his rookie deal and will be playing for a massive payday. He caught 74 balls again in 2022, with 1,029 yards and seven scores, almost identical stats to what he had in 2019 and 2020. Higgins is a prototypical boundary receiver, and he’s a reliable target to move the chains and make big plays. 

The Bengals are not going to likely be able to pay Higgins the $20 million plus he is going to command on the open market. I can’t see the team even being able to afford a “hometown discount” with the impending deals to Burrow and Chase on the horizon. 

Higgins would still be a valuable WR2 on another team. I believe he holds a little more value on the Bengals. But he could end up on another proficient offense and still be a consistent producer. 

Tyler Boyd WR3

Long-time slot staple-hold Boyd will also be playing 2023 in the last year of his contract. Hopefully, the Bengals can afford to keep him. Boyd has been consistent also and is comfortable in the WR3 role. He caught 58 passes (his lowest total since 2017) for 762 yards and five scores in 2023, and those numbers are close to his floor. Boyd is turning 29 and should still have a few strong seasons left in him. 

His open-market value will be much lower, but I could still see a time pricing out the Bengals on Boyd. A consistent slot receiver is nice to have, and some teams will be looking to simply weaken the Bengals’ offense. I’d love Boyd to retire with Cincinnati, but I could see him departing for greener pastures and a more robust offensive role. 

The Backups

The depth chart drops off quickly, but the team added a few interesting rookies who could end up playing a role in 2024. Charlie Jones, from Purdue, is going to be ready sooner and was taken in the fourth round. He’s a blue-collar player that works hard and has a knack for making plays. He’s not an overwhelming athlete and has questions, but Jones could step in right away if called on. 

Andrei Iosivas was added in the sixth round, and he’s raw but was impressive in the Ivy League. He’s a tall receiver with ball skills and plays like an alpha receiver. But he’s not faced strong competition. Iosivas was impressive in the off-season circuit and turned some heads at the Senior Bowl. 


Normally, I mention a name and then the backups, but I don’t love this whole position group. The good thing is the Bengals don’t ask a lot from their tight ends. Irv Smith Jr., a former Alabama freak athlete and Vikings tight end, is the TE1 at the moment. Smith’s talent is enticing, and if he can stay on the field, gives the Bengals a strong athletic option. 

Drew Sample was taken in the second round a few years back but is a blocking tight end with no fantasy value. Devin Asiasi is another enticing athletic tight end but hasn’t shown much thus far in the NFL and also holds no value for me. 

The Dynasty Nerds YouTube channel is a channel you need to check out now. You can see the podcast straight from NerdHQ!! Smash that subscribe button. Sign up for the DynastyGM tool to keep that edge over your league mates. Manage all of your dynasty teams, use the trade calculator, and we just added a player shares tool so you can see all players you roster in one place.

Share on Social

More to read


Rank Name Position Pos. Rank


Dominate your Dynasty leagues

Dynasty Nerds App is Mission Control for your Dynasty Leagues. Download Now!

Dominate your
Dynasty leagues

Dynasty Nerds App is Mission Control for your Dynasty Leagues. Download Now!

Black Friday Sale

25% OFF 

Coupon Code - holiday25
Sign-up Now
* Terms & Conditions Apply

Log In

Not a member yet?