|By Mark Morales-Smith, Friday, September 12, 2014|
QB Andy Dalton - Quality Backup
Dalton faces plenty of scrutiny and criticism in Cincinnati. Even after a stellar 2013 season statistically, he isn't thought of as an excellent QB. He did struggle in big moments (especially against the pass rush); however, if you look deeper at the numbers, the fantasy production is there. Dalton threw for 4,296 yards last season and accounted for 35 TDs. His interceptions are high, but if he can get them under control, he can better establish himself as a big-time fantasy QB. He has the talent around him with tremendous young weapons like A.J Green, Marvin Jones and Giovani Bernard. It remains to be seen whether or not new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will revert to a more run-focused attack as he is known for. Fewer attempts doesn't necessarily equate to a major decrease in passing numbers and it could actually create less turnovers. A more effective ground game would also give Dalton more time in the pocket and improve the efficiency of play-action. With his rookie contract on the verge of expiring, all eyes will be on Dalton. It's time for the former TCU QB to take that next step, much like Eli Manning and Joe Flacco did when they were questioned whether they could lead a team to a championship. All questions aside, Dalton should be drafted in all formats at least as a backup who can occasionally post QB1 totals when the matchup is favorable.
QB A.J. McCarron - Dynasty Only
McCarron has a championship pedigree. The rookie was drafted in the fifth round out of Alabama. His draft stock dropped, in part due to his arrogant persona (he reportedly rubbed a lot of teams the wrong way in pre-draft interviews). He is not NFL ready just yet and likely will not see any playing time in the immediate future. Even if Dalton goes down, Campbell will most likely be next in line to start. It doesn't help that McCarron has dealt with "arm soreness" during mandatory minicamp. Expect nothing out of McCarron this season. Dalton would have to really falter over the next season or two to give McCarron much dynasty appeal.
QB Jason Campbell - Not Draft Worthy
Campbell has floated around the NFL since leaving the Redskins some years ago. He is now on his fourth team in as many years coming to the Bengals from Cleveland this offseason. If Campbell does get an opportunity to start on the off-chance Dalton is injured, the former Auburn QB has some limited value as a bye week fill-in. Until that moment though, he has no fantasy value.