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Week 2 TNF Takeaways For Fantasy Football: Is Andy Dalton A Top-15 Fantasy QB?

Bengals

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

First Half

Flacco had about a 73 percent completion percentage and three touchdowns week 1, but that didn’t phase the Bengals defense. A three and out was the end result of the Ravens’ first drive.

The Bengals would follow with a three and out of their own, choppy play early on for a game with a final score of 34-23.

In fact, the next Ravens play Flacco threw an interception trying to hit Michael Crabtree on a crossing route where he led him to far, allowing the safety to make a play on the ball for a turnover.

Takeaway: Bills defense is just that bad. When the game was competitive, Flacco didn’t look like his week 1 self.

Andy Dalton took advantage of starting field position in the red zone, capping off a five-play drive with a four-yard dart to A.J. Green in the back right corner of the end zone. Oh, how the Ravens missed Jimmy Smith, who’s out the first four games due to suspension.

Takeaway: There was an outside shot Dalton finished top 15 at his position this season with Bill Lazor in his first full season as OC. Lazor guided Ryan Tannehill to a top-10 finish in 2014. Dalton’s put up over 20 in his first two outings

Crabtree caught a 16-yard post up the middle for the Ravens’ first, first down on 2nd and 8, but he was overthrown on a 3rd and 7 forcing a punt. Flacco had a clean pocket.

Takeaway: Crabtree played in 86 percent of snaps and had 10 targets, but caught five for 56 yards. Don’t drop Crabtree with his huge target share, but John Brown has taken over as the no. 1 for now.

Though Joe Mixon had 22 touches in the game, he missed a few series. Giovani Bernard provided relief, displaying the ability to run in between the tackles for an 11-yard run, and his versatility with an eight-yard catch. His plays set up another Green touchdown catch.

Takeaway: Mixon’s out weeks 3 and 4 after undergoing surgery Saturday. Bernard is a must-add.

Green ran a slant on 3rd and 2 that and caught a ball that Dalton would throw into traffic. His defender missed the tackle, albeit beyond the first down marker, then Green outran the Ravens defense into the end zone for a 32-yard score.

With Mixon back in the lineup, the Bengals used him to account for 22 yards on their next drive, setting up, wait for it, another A.J. Green touchdown. After Tavon Young allowed the first two Green touchdowns, Marlon Humphrey didn’t fare any better, allowing Green to score on a seven-yard catch where he bizarrely played off in the end zone.

Takeaway: A.J. Green is good at football. Also, good offenses will exploit Tavon Young and the Ravens’ cornerbacks as long as Jimmy Smith is suspended.

Don’t look now. Ravens showed signs of life with a deep pass up the middle on third and 15 completed to John Brown that was just out of the fingertips of a Bengals defender. The 45-yard gain landed the Ravens on the Bengals’ 23-yard line. To the dismay of Alex Collins owners, Buck Allen stomped his feet into the end zone from the one-yard line to make it 21-7.

Takeaway: John Brown’s a trade target after commanding 14 targets thru two weeks. In that span, he’s caught seven for 136 yards and two touchdowns, with four catches for 92 yards and a touch down coming during week 2.

Looking for a receiver to step up after releasing Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd did just that with two crucial third down catches for 22 and 17 yards. Dalton rewarded Boyd with a 14-yard touchdown pass on an underneath route which the Ravens played four deep on in the red zone. Bengals 28-7.

Takeaway: Boyd paced John Ross in targets week 1, and solidified himself as a week 3 waiver wire pick up doing so again week 2 with eight targets for six catches, 91 yards, and a touchdown. 

Questionable play ensued when John Harbaugh elected to go for it on 4th and 4, the Bengals throwing it three straight times wasting minimal play clock up 21 with about a minute before the half and a pass interference call that put the Ravens on the Bengals’ one-yard line. Flacco found Mark Andrews for a touchdown to make it 28-14 at halftime after Collins was stuffed.

Second Half:

Lazor kept applying pressure on the Ravens defense with a pass call that went for 16 yards to Tyler Eifert. A holding call negated a six-yard run by Joe Mixon on second down, making it 2nd and 20. Credit the Ravens defense for buckling down, forcing back-to-back incompletions.

After netting field position on their 40-yard line, Flacco one-upped Dalton’s first play pass to Eifert with a 25-yard gain to TE Maxx Williams. The offense would gain three more yards on the drive, but Justin Tucker was able to hit a 55-yard field goal to make it an 11-point game.

Collins was showcased on the next drive, starting with a three-yard run, but more importantly, catching a 24-yard reception breaking two tackles. But, Allen would sub in, and on a crucial 4th and 2 on the Bengals’ 44-yard line he was stopped a yard short.

Takeaway: Allen and Collins played in 49 percent of snaps. Collins had nine carries and three catches on four targets, while Allen had six carries and five catches on seven targets. Both got a goal-line carry, though Allen was the only one to convert his for a touchdown. Allen’s a week 3 waiver wire pick up, as this is about as close to a 50/50 timeshare as possible.

With Mixon sidelined again, Giovani Bernard accounted for 20 yards of offense, catching an eight-yard pass from Dalton and rushing for 12 yards, before Eifert would drop a potential third-down conversion. Opting to play a game of field position, Marvin Lewis decided to punt on the Ravens’ 37-yard line.

The Ravens started their drive on the nine-yard line, but Flacco hit TE Nick Boyle for a 17-yard pitch and catch up the middle of the defense on 2nd and 4. There goes field position, as the Ravens had a first down on their 32-yard line.

Takeaway: Flacco loves the TE. Target Hayden Hurst off waivers week 3 because he’s the most talented TE on the roster, and had a nice preseason. If you have an IR spot, you can stash him there.

Well, until Carlos Dunlap barreled down on Flacco on 2nd and 7. Flacco altered his throw and threw a duck that ended up picked off. Boyle, who made the big catch four plays before, was pushed back by Dunlap on the play.

Takeaway: Bengals defense might be a streaming option, moving forward. They’ve put up at least 10 back-to-back weeks and get the Panthers and Falcons next two weeks.

Dalton hit Green for a first down but missed Boyd on a crossing route on a side-armed throw on a 3rd and 2 with no defender within 10 yards if he caught it.

Don’t look now, but we have a game with less than minutes on the game clock. Flacco marched the Ravens 87 yards downfield. Brown, who Flacco completed his first pass on the drive with, high pointed the football and stayed in bounds in the front of the end zone over Dre Kirkpatrick. 28-23 after a failed two-point conversion.

Credit Lazor for milking the clock with a 7:06 drive. Mixon, who needed surgery after the game, came back in to be the hammer with four carries, including a 21-yard run that put the Bengals in the red zone. The Bengals kicked a field goal to make it an eight-point game.

After two errant throws, Flacco was strip-sacked by Safety Shawn Williams on a play where he hawked Flacco after the QB rolled out of the pocket to his right.

The Bengals added another field goal after three straight runs by Mixon to make it 34-23, while the Ravens weren’t able to score the rest of the game with 2:25 left in play.

Joshua Kellem is a Slippery Rock University graduate with a BS in Journalism. In addition, he is the creator of fantasy football website fftalk.org

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