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Fantasy forecast 2013: Bengals edition

Posted Jul 3, 2013

It is no secret that the National Football League is the most popular of the “Big Four” sports entities in the United States of America. With the growing popularity of the NFL, the popularity of fantasy football has exploded along with it.

It is no secret that the National Football League is the most popular of the “Big Four” sports entities in the United States of America. With the growing popularity of the NFL, the popularity of fantasy football has exploded along with it. According to Paul Charchian, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Associated, an estimated 36 million people in the United States and Canada played fantasy football for the 2012 season. With football at the forefront, the fantasy sports industry in general has averaged a 12 percent increase annually, according to industry analyst IBISWorld. IBISWorld also forecasts annual growth of 8.8 percent over the next five years, making fantasy a $1.7 billion business by 2017 (as reported on Forbes.com). Needless to say, fantasy football is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Today we rank the Top 10 at each position heading in to the 2013 NFL season. We will also provide a “Bengals Outlook” for each position where we will break down the fantasy value of Bengals’ players in each position group.
(Note: These rankings are for fantasy football only and are not a representation of predictive value for said players for the 2013 season.)
Quarterback
1. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)
2. Drew Brees (New Orleans)
3. Peyton Manning (Denver)
4. Tom Brady (New England)
5. Cam Newton (Carolina)
6. Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco)
7. Matt Ryan (Atlanta)
8. Russell Wilson (Seattle)
9. Robert Griffin III (Washington)
10. Matthew Stafford (Detroit)
Bengals outlook: Entering his third season, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will look to improve upon his first two campaigns, in which he led the Bengals to two playoff berths. Dalton’s numbers improved virtually across the board from his first season to his second, and expect them to improve from year two to year three. Dalton’s completion percentage rose from 58.1 percent to 62.3 percent, his yards from 3398 to 3669 and his touchdowns from 20 to 27. The one negative from year one to year two was his interceptions total rising from 13 to 16. 
The Bengals offense looks to be more dynamic heading into 2013 with potential impact rookies in tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard. Eifert could prove to be a reliable red zone target for Dalton, while Bernard proved in college to be a very solid receiver out of the backfield. 
Last season, Dalton finished as the 12th-highest scorer among quarterbacks according to ESPN.com’s scoring system. While just outside our preseason Top 10 for 2013, Dalton could very well edge himself into the pack with in-season improvement. 
Running Back
1. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)
2. Arian Foster (Houston)
3. Doug Martin (Tampa Bay)
4. Jamaal Charles (Kansas City)
5. Marshawn Lynch (Seattle)
6. C.J. Spiller (Buffalo)
7. Ray Rice (Baltimore)
8. LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia)
9. Alfred Morris (Washington)
10. Matt Forte (Chicago)
Bengals outlook: While BenJarvus Green-Ellis is still going to start the season as the Bengals feature back, look for rookie Giovani Bernard to get many opportunities to touch the ball, both running and receiving. Green-Ellis ran for a career-high 1094 yards in 2012 and added six touchdowns, finishing as the 19th-highest scorer among running backs in ESPN.com leagues. It is unknown how many touches each Bengals back will get this season, but expect offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to creatively get both players involved on a game-by-game basis. Green-Ellis should be a solid No. 2 fantasy running back, and Bernard certainly has the potential to be a late-round sleeper as he should see a fair share of touches. 
Wide Receiver
1. Calvin Johnson (Detroit)
2. A.J. Green (Cincinnati)
3. Dez Bryant (Dallas)
4. Brandon Marshall (Chicago)
5. Julio Jones (Atlanta)
6. Demaryius Thomas (Denver) 
7. Percy Harvin (Seattle)
8. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona)
9. Roddy White (Atlanta)
10. Victor Cruz (NY Giants)
Bengals outlook: The Bengals have one of the premier wide receivers in all of football in third-year player A.J. Green. Green has amassed 162 receptions, 2407 yards, 18 touchdowns and two Pro Bowl appearances (one start) in his two seasons. The sky is the limit for Green headed into his third season. Green finished as the fourth-highest scorer among receivers in ESPN.com leagues in 2012. We rank him second only behind Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson headed into the 2013 season. Green was a touchdown machine in 2012, finishing with 11, which includes a streak of nine straight games with at least one TD reception. The Bengals possess more offensive weapons than in his first two seasons, so don’t be surprised to see Green at the top of the list at the end of the year. 
Second-year receiver Mohamed Sanu looks to have a big impact in the Bengals offense in 2013. Sanu played in nine games with three starts in 2012, before suffering a season-ending foot injury. He saw more action as the season went on, notching four touchdown catches in his final three games of the season. Sanu is healthy and looks to be a big-time contributor in 2013 alongside Green, especially in the red zone. Slot receiver Andrew Hawkins had a nice 2012 campaign, finishing with 533 yards on 51 catches and four touchdowns. The explosive Hawkins is a major threat in space, as evidenced by his 50-yard catch-and-run touchdown against the Browns in Week 2. While Sanu and Hawkins may not be selected in every fantasy draft, keep an eye on them to be potential fantasy sleepers and solid producers for the Bengals in 2013. 
Tight End
1. Jimmy Graham (New Orleans)
2. Jason Witten (Dallas)
3. Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta)
4. Vernon Davis (San Francisco)
5. Dennis Pitta (Baltimore)
6. Rob Gronkowski (New England)
7. Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)
8. Greg Olsen (Carolina)
9. Antonio Gates (San Diego)
10. Owen Daniels (Houston)
Bengals outlook: With 2013 first-round pick Tyler Eifert and 2010 first-round pick Jermaine Gresham, the tight end position should be one of the focal points for the Bengals offense in 2013. Gresham’s numbers have improved in each of his three seasons, and he has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two. Gresham ranked second on the team in receptions (64) and yards (737) in 2012, adding five TDs, and finished as the 11th-highest scoring tight end in ESPN.com leagues. We rank him just outside the Top 10 for 2013 because of the presence of another playmaking tight end, Eifert. Despite that, Gresham still should be a solid No. 1 fantasy tight end. 
The versatile Eifert can also line up as a receiver or H-back, but will be listed as a tight end for fantasy purposes. Eifert was the winner of the 2012 John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s top college tight end, and was also voted a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly while at Notre Dame. Because he is technically the Bengals No. 2 tight end, Eifert may not be drafted highly in fantasy drafts, but he should be highly involved in the offense and could put up big numbers in his rookie season.
Kicker
1. Stephen Gostowski (New England)
2. Blair Walsh (Minnesota)
3. Matt Bryant (Atlanta)
4. Matt Prater (Denver)
5. Justin Tucker (Baltimore)
6. Phil Dawson (San Francisco)
7. Sebastian Janikowski (Oakland)
8. Garrett Hartley (New Orleans)
9. Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis)
10. Dan Bailey (Dallas)
Bengals outlook: It is generally difiicult to forecast fantasy success for kickers, because so much is dependent on how many field goal opportunities a kicker will receive. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent was solid in 2012 when healthy, converting on 19 of his 23 opportunities, including a career long 55-yard blast. But he missed the last four games of the season due to a calf injury. Nugent holds a career field goal percentage of 81.1 percent (146-for-180) and should have a solid 2013 season if the calf holds up. 
Defense/Special Teams
1. Seattle Seahawks
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Chicago Bears
4. Denver Broncos
5. Houston Texans
6. Cincinnati Bengals
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. New England Patriots
9. Arizona Cardinals
10. St. Louis Rams
Bengals outlook: Defense and special teams are combined into one unit, and the Bengals figure to be one of the best. In 2012, the Bengals defense ranked sixth in the league in total defense and eighth in the league in scoring defense. With the defense from last season virtually intact, the unit could potentially be just as strong, if not stronger. Back are the sack masters, Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap, with newcomer and former Defensive Player of the Year, James Harrison in the linebacker corps. The defensive line is certainly the strength of the unit and should pile up sacks in bunches for fantasy owners. On the special teams side, the Bengals employ two solid kick/punt returners in Adam Jones and Brandon Tate, who have a combined eight career return touchdowns between the two of them. Look for rookie defensive end six-foot-eight Margus Hunt to be a welcome addition to the kick and punt block units, as he had 17 career blocks while at Southern Methodist University. 
While many Bengals players may not be highly ranked for fantasy football purposes in the preseason, do not be surprised to see several as valuable fantasy commodities as the season progresses. Many feel that the Bengals new weapons on offense will contribute to added yardage and points for the 2013 season.It is no secret that the National Football League is the most popular of the “Big Four” sports entities in the United States of America. With the growing popularity of the NFL, the popularity of fantasy football has exploded along with it. According to Paul Charchian, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Associated, an estimated 36 million people in the United States and Canada played fantasy football for the 2012 season. With football at the forefront, the fantasy sports industry in general has averaged a 12 percent increase annually, according to industry analyst IBISWorld. IBISWorld also forecasts annual growth of 8.8 percent over the next five years, making fantasy a $1.7 billion business by 2017 (as reported on Forbes.com). Needless to say, fantasy football is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Today we rank the Top 10 at each position heading in to the 2013 NFL season. We will also provide a “Bengals Outlook” for each position where we will break down the fantasy value of Bengals’ players in each position group.
(Note: These rankings are for fantasy football only and are not a representation of predictive value for said players for the 2013 season.)
Quarterback
1. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)
2. Drew Brees (New Orleans)
3. Peyton Manning (Denver)
4. Tom Brady (New England)
5. Cam Newton (Carolina)
6. Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco)
7. Matt Ryan (Atlanta)
8. Russell Wilson (Seattle)
9. Robert Griffin III (Washington)
10. Matthew Stafford (Detroit)
Bengals outlook: Entering his third season, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will look to improve upon his first two campaigns, in which he led the Bengals to two playoff berths. Dalton’s numbers improved virtually across the board from his first season to his second, and expect them to improve from year two to year three. Dalton’s completion percentage rose from 58.1 percent to 62.3 percent, his yards from 3398 to 3669 and his touchdowns from 20 to 27. The one negative from year one to year two was his interceptions total rising from 13 to 16. 
The Bengals offense looks to be more dynamic heading into 2013 with potential impact rookies in tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard. Eifert could prove to be a reliable red zone target for Dalton, while Bernard proved in college to be a very solid receiver out of the backfield. 
Last season, Dalton finished as the 12th-highest scorer among quarterbacks according to ESPN.com’s scoring system. While just outside our preseason Top 10 for 2013, Dalton could very well edge himself into the pack with in-season improvement. 
Running Back
1. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)
2. Arian Foster (Houston)
3. Doug Martin (Tampa Bay)
4. Jamaal Charles (Kansas City)
5. Marshawn Lynch (Seattle)
6. C.J. Spiller (Buffalo)
7. Ray Rice (Baltimore)
8. LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia)
9. Alfred Morris (Washington)
10. Matt Forte (Chicago)
Bengals outlook: While BenJarvus Green-Ellis is still going to start the season as the Bengals feature back, look for rookie Giovani Bernard to get many opportunities to touch the ball, both running and receiving. Green-Ellis ran for a career-high 1094 yards in 2012 and added six touchdowns, finishing as the 19th-highest scorer among running backs in ESPN.com leagues. It is unknown how many touches each Bengals back will get this season, but expect offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to creatively get both players involved on a game-by-game basis. Green-Ellis should be a solid No. 2 fantasy running back, and Bernard certainly has the potential to be a late-round sleeper as he should see a fair share of touches. 
Wide Receiver
1. Calvin Johnson (Detroit)
2. A.J. Green (Cincinnati)
3. Dez Bryant (Dallas)
4. Brandon Marshall (Chicago)
5. Julio Jones (Atlanta)
6. Demaryius Thomas (Denver) 
7. Percy Harvin (Seattle)
8. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona)
9. Roddy White (Atlanta)
10. Victor Cruz (NY Giants)
Bengals outlook: The Bengals have one of the premier wide receivers in all of football in third-year player A.J. Green. Green has amassed 162 receptions, 2407 yards, 18 touchdowns and two Pro Bowl appearances (one start) in his two seasons. The sky is the limit for Green headed into his third season. Green finished as the fourth-highest scorer among receivers in ESPN.com leagues in 2012. We rank him second only behind Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson headed into the 2013 season. Green was a touchdown machine in 2012, finishing with 11, which includes a streak of nine straight games with at least one TD reception. The Bengals possess more offensive weapons than in his first two seasons, so don’t be surprised to see Green at the top of the list at the end of the year. 
Second-year receiver Mohamed Sanu looks to have a big impact in the Bengals offense in 2013. Sanu played in nine games with three starts in 2012, before suffering a season-ending foot injury. He saw more action as the season went on, notching four touchdown catches in his final three games of the season. Sanu is healthy and looks to be a big-time contributor in 2013 alongside Green, especially in the red zone. Slot receiver Andrew Hawkins had a nice 2012 campaign, finishing with 533 yards on 51 catches and four touchdowns. The explosive Hawkins is a major threat in space, as evidenced by his 50-yard catch-and-run touchdown against the Browns in Week 2. While Sanu and Hawkins may not be selected in every fantasy draft, keep an eye on them to be potential fantasy sleepers and solid producers for the Bengals in 2013. 
Tight End
1. Jimmy Graham (New Orleans)
2. Jason Witten (Dallas)
3. Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta)
4. Vernon Davis (San Francisco)
5. Dennis Pitta (Baltimore)
6. Rob Gronkowski (New England)
7. Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)
8. Greg Olsen (Carolina)
9. Antonio Gates (San Diego)
10. Owen Daniels (Houston)
Bengals outlook: With 2013 first-round pick Tyler Eifert and 2010 first-round pick Jermaine Gresham, the tight end position should be one of the focal points for the Bengals offense in 2013. Gresham’s numbers have improved in each of his three seasons, and he has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two. Gresham ranked second on the team in receptions (64) and yards (737) in 2012, adding five TDs, and finished as the 11th-highest scoring tight end in ESPN.com leagues. We rank him just outside the Top 10 for 2013 because of the presence of another playmaking tight end, Eifert. Despite that, Gresham still should be a solid No. 1 fantasy tight end. 
The versatile Eifert can also line up as a receiver or H-back, but will be listed as a tight end for fantasy purposes. Eifert was the winner of the 2012 John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s top college tight end, and was also voted a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly while at Notre Dame. Because he is technically the Bengals No. 2 tight end, Eifert may not be drafted highly in fantasy drafts, but he should be highly involved in the offense and could put up big numbers in his rookie season.
Kicker
1. Stephen Gostowski (New England)
2. Blair Walsh (Minnesota)
3. Matt Bryant (Atlanta)
4. Matt Prater (Denver)
5. Justin Tucker (Baltimore)
6. Phil Dawson (San Francisco)
7. Sebastian Janikowski (Oakland)
8. Garrett Hartley (New Orleans)
9. Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis)
10. Dan Bailey (Dallas)
Bengals outlook: It is generally difiicult to forecast fantasy success for kickers, because so much is dependent on how many field goal opportunities a kicker will receive. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent was solid in 2012 when healthy, converting on 19 of his 23 opportunities, including a career long 55-yard blast. But he missed the last four games of the season due to a calf injury. Nugent holds a career field goal percentage of 81.1 percent (146-for-180) and should have a solid 2013 season if the calf holds up. 
Defense/Special Teams
1. Seattle Seahawks
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Chicago Bears
4. Denver Broncos
5. Houston Texans
6. Cincinnati Bengals
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. New England Patriots
9. Arizona Cardinals
10. St. Louis Rams
Bengals outlook: Defense and special teams are combined into one unit, and the Bengals figure to be one of the best. In 2012, the Bengals defense ranked sixth in the league in total defense and eighth in the league in scoring defense. With the defense from last season virtually intact, the unit could potentially be just as strong, if not stronger. Back are the sack masters, Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap, with newcomer and former Defensive Player of the Year, James Harrison in the linebacker corps. The defensive line is certainly the strength of the unit and should pile up sacks in bunches for fantasy owners. On the special teams side, the Bengals employ two solid kick/punt returners in Adam Jones and Brandon Tate, who have a combined eight career return touchdowns between the two of them. Look for rookie defensive end six-foot-eight Margus Hunt to be a welcome addition to the kick and punt block units, as he had 17 career blocks while at Southern Methodist University. 
While many Bengals players may not be highly ranked for fantasy football purposes in the preseason, do not be surprised to see several as valuable fantasy commodities as the season progresses. Many feel that the Bengals new weapons on offense will contribute to added yardage and points for the 2013 season.

It is no secret that the National Football League is the most popular of the “Big Four” sports entities in the United States of America. With the growing popularity of the NFL, the popularity of fantasy football has exploded along with it. According to Paul Charchian, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Associated, an estimated 36 million people in the United States and Canada played fantasy football for the 2012 season. With football at the forefront, the fantasy sports industry in general has averaged a 12 percent increase annually, according to industry analyst IBISWorld. IBISWorld also forecasts annual growth of 8.8 percent over the next five years, making fantasy a $1.7 billion business by 2017 (as reported on Forbes.com). Needless to say, fantasy football is not going anywhere anytime soon.
 
Today we rank the Top 10 at each position heading in to the 2013 NFL season. We will also provide a “Bengals Outlook” for each position where we will break down the fantasy value of Bengals players in each position group.
 
(Note: These rankings are for fantasy football only and are not a representation of predictive value for said players for the 2013 season.)
 
Quarterback
1. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)
2. Drew Brees (New Orleans)
3. Peyton Manning (Denver)
4. Tom Brady (New England)
5. Cam Newton (Carolina)
6. Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco)
7. Matt Ryan (Atlanta)
8. Russell Wilson (Seattle)
9. Robert Griffin III (Washington)
10. Matthew Stafford (Detroit)
 
Bengals outlook: Entering his third season, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will look to improve upon his first two campaigns, in which he led the Bengals to two playoff berths. Dalton’s numbers improved virtually across the board from his first season to his second, and expect them to improve from year two to year three. Dalton’s completion percentage rose from 58.1 percent to 62.3 percent, his yards from 3398 to 3669 and his touchdowns from 20 to 27. The one negative from year one to year two was his interceptions total rising from 13 to 16. 
 
The Bengals offense looks to be more dynamic heading into 2013 with potential impact rookies in tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard. Eifert could prove to be a reliable red zone target for Dalton, while Bernard proved in college to be a very solid receiver out of the backfield. 
 
Last season, Dalton finished as the 12th-highest scorer among quarterbacks according to ESPN.com’s scoring system. While just outside our preseason Top 10 for 2013, Dalton could very well edge himself into the pack with in-season improvement. 

 
Running Back
1. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)
2. Arian Foster (Houston)
3. Doug Martin (Tampa Bay)
4. Jamaal Charles (Kansas City)
5. Marshawn Lynch (Seattle)
6. C.J. Spiller (Buffalo)
7. Ray Rice (Baltimore)
8. LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia)
9. Alfred Morris (Washington)
10. Matt Forte (Chicago)
 
Bengals outlook: While BenJarvus Green-Ellis is still going to start the season as the Bengals feature back, look for rookie Giovani Bernard to get many opportunities to touch the ball, both running and receiving. Green-Ellis ran for a career-high 1094 yards in 2012 and added six touchdowns, finishing as the 19th-highest scorer among running backs in ESPN.com leagues. It is unknown how many touches each Bengals back will get this season, but expect offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to creatively get both players involved on a game-by-game basis. Green-Ellis should be a solid No. 2 fantasy running back, and Bernard certainly has the potential to be a late-round sleeper as he should see a fair share of touches. 

 
Wide Receiver
1. Calvin Johnson (Detroit)
2. A.J. Green (Cincinnati)
3. Dez Bryant (Dallas)
4. Brandon Marshall (Chicago)
5. Julio Jones (Atlanta)
6. Demaryius Thomas (Denver) 
7. Percy Harvin (Seattle)
8. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona)
9. Roddy White (Atlanta)
10. Victor Cruz (NY Giants)
 
Bengals outlook: The Bengals have one of the premier wide receivers in all of football in third-year player A.J. Green. Green has amassed 162 receptions, 2407 yards, 18 touchdowns and two Pro Bowl appearances (one start) in his two seasons. The sky is the limit for Green headed into his third season. Green finished as the fourth-highest scorer among receivers in ESPN.com leagues in 2012. We rank him second only behind Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson headed into the 2013 season. Green was a touchdown machine in 2012, finishing with 11, which includes a streak of nine straight games with at least one TD reception. The Bengals possess more offensive weapons than in his first two seasons, so don’t be surprised to see Green at the top of the list at the end of the year. 
 
Second-year receiver Mohamed Sanu looks to have a big impact in the Bengals offense in 2013. Sanu played in nine games with three starts in 2012, before suffering a season-ending foot injury. He saw more action as the season went on, notching four touchdown catches in his final three games of the season. Sanu is healthy and looks to be a big-time contributor in 2013 alongside Green, especially in the red zone. Slot receiver Andrew Hawkins had a nice 2012 campaign, finishing with 533 yards on 51 catches and four touchdowns. The explosive Hawkins is a major threat in space, as evidenced by his 50-yard catch-and-run touchdown against the Browns in Week 2. While Sanu and Hawkins may not be selected in every fantasy draft, keep an eye on them to be potential fantasy sleepers and solid producers for the Bengals in 2013. 

 
Tight End
1. Jimmy Graham (New Orleans)
2. Jason Witten (Dallas)
3. Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta)
4. Vernon Davis (San Francisco)
5. Dennis Pitta (Baltimore)
6. Rob Gronkowski (New England)
7. Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)
8. Greg Olsen (Carolina)
9. Antonio Gates (San Diego)
10. Owen Daniels (Houston)
 
Bengals outlook: With 2013 first-round pick Tyler Eifert and 2010 first-round pick Jermaine Gresham, the tight end position should be one of the focal points for the Bengals offense in 2013. Gresham’s numbers have improved in each of his three seasons, and he has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two. Gresham ranked second on the team in receptions (64) and yards (737) in 2012, adding five TDs, and finished as the 11th-highest scoring tight end in ESPN.com leagues. We rank him just outside the Top 10 for 2013 because of the presence of another playmaking tight end, Eifert. Despite that, Gresham still should be a solid No. 1 fantasy tight end. 
 
The versatile Eifert can also line up as a receiver or H-back, but will be listed as a tight end for fantasy purposes. Eifert was the winner of the 2012 John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s top college tight end, and was also voted a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly while at Notre Dame. Because he is technically the Bengals No. 2 tight end, Eifert may not be drafted highly in fantasy drafts, but he should be highly involved in the offense and could put up big numbers in his rookie season.
 
 
Kicker
1. Stephen Gostowski (New England)
2. Blair Walsh (Minnesota)
3. Matt Bryant (Atlanta)
4. Matt Prater (Denver)
5. Justin Tucker (Baltimore)
6. Phil Dawson (San Francisco)
7. Sebastian Janikowski (Oakland)
8. Garrett Hartley (New Orleans)
9. Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis)
10. Dan Bailey (Dallas)
 
Bengals outlook: It is generally difiicult to forecast fantasy success for kickers, because so much is dependent on how many field goal opportunities a kicker will receive. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent was solid in 2012 when healthy, converting on 19 of his 23 opportunities, including a career long 55-yard blast. But he missed the last four games of the season due to a calf injury. Nugent holds a career field goal percentage of 81.1 percent (146-for-180) and should have a solid 2013 season if the calf holds up. 

 
Defense/Special Teams
1. Seattle Seahawks
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Chicago Bears
4. Denver Broncos
5. Houston Texans
6. Cincinnati Bengals
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. New England Patriots
9. Arizona Cardinals
10. St. Louis Rams
 
Bengals outlook: Defense and special teams are combined into one unit, and the Bengals figure to be one of the best. In 2012, the Bengals defense ranked sixth in the league in total defense and eighth in the league in scoring defense. With the defense from last season virtually intact, the unit could potentially be just as strong, if not stronger. Back are the sackmasters, Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap, with newcomer and former Defensive Player of the Year, James Harrison in the linebacker corps. The defensive line is certainly the strength of the unit and should pile up sacks in bunches for fantasy owners. On the special teams side, the Bengals employ two solid kick/punt returners in Adam Jones and Brandon Tate, who have a combined eight career return touchdowns between the two of them. Look for rookie defensive end six-foot-eight Margus Hunt to be a welcome addition to the kick and punt block units, as he had 17 career blocks while at Southern Methodist University. 
 
 
While many Bengals players may not be highly ranked for fantasy football purposes in the preseason, do not be surprised to see several as valuable fantasy commodities as the season progresses. Many feel that the Bengals new weapons on offense will contribute to added yardage and points for the 2013 season.

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