Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati: The Bengals come off a lackluster performance in Week 5 against a better-than-you-think Miami Dolphins team, losing 17-13. It was a very winnable game for the Bengals, but their offense just didn’t play up to their potential.
The good news is, Week 6 brings the winless Browns to town, who sport the 25th ranked passing defense and the 27th ranked rush defense. The bad news is the Browns get Joe Haden back from suspension, which might curtail some of the AJ Green fireworks in this game. Plus, the Browns are not likely to go winless the whole season, and this is their last best chance until probably December to get their first win under their belts, so expect them to fight to the bitter end against their cross-state rival.
Even if AJ Green gets shackled, Andy Dalton should find plenty of open spaces to hit his other receivers, including Andrew Hawkins and Jermaine Gresham. Hawkins leads the league in yards after catch at over 10 ypc, and is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. Gresham has also come on more lately, and is getting between 4-6 catches each week pretty regularly.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has looked like a plodding dud so far with only a 3.3 ypc, but that should increase against a Browns team that could even be without leading tackler D’Qwell Jackson due to injury. At the very least, he may not be as effective as usual, so Green-Ellis should be able to sneak in a close-up TD or two this week.
Good Start: QB Andy Dalton, WR AJ Green
Middle of the Road: RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, WR Andrew Hawkins, TE Jermaine Gresham
Bad Start: WR Armon Binns
Cleveland: For at least the first quarter, the Browns looked like they may just stun the Giants by jumping out to a 14-0 lead on the road. But then it all came unraveled as the Giants woke up and crushed the Browns the rest of the way, winning 41-27.
Brandon Weeden is slowly climbing up the ladder of viable fantasy QB stats, throwing for at least 300 yards and/or 2 scores in three of his last four games. He now goes up against a Bengals defense that hasn’t really been as good as they were last year when they were a top 10 defense, ranking 18th in total defense. Weeden is missing several targets, including new favorite Jordan Norwood. Someone has to pick up the pace though, so expect at least a decent game from rookie Josh Gordon, as at least he can hold on to the ball, unlike the struggling Greg Little.
Where the Browns should really shine in this game is with the running game led by Trent Richardson. Richardson has been at least as good as advertised, ranking in the top 10 for fantasy RBs in most every scoring system out there. He’s another solid start this week and will get a chance to run rampant over a defense ranked just 19th against the rush.
Good Start: RB Trent Richardson
Middle of the Road: QB Brandon Weeden, WR Josh Gordon
Bad Start: WR Greg Little, TE Ben Watson, TE Jordan Cameron