The hits just keep coming for the Cincinnati Bengals. 2017 first-round pick John Ross finally broke out with A.J. Green sidelined, but now Ross suffered an injury of his own. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Ross is going to miss “a month or so” after suffering a shoulder injury late in Week 4’s Monday Night matchup. This move obviously hurts the Bengals, but somebody needs to catch those vacated targets. Auden Tate is going to be that guy, and fantasy football owners should leap at the chance to add Tate to their roster.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 1, 2019
Fantasy Football: Add Auden Tate Following John Ross Injury
After recording just four catches as a rookie, Auden Tate started to make a name for himself over the past two weeks. Since Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills, Tate’s managed to record 10 receptions for 138 yards and no touchdowns. These numbers aren’t eye-opening by any means, but he managed to do this despite being the third receiver on the depth chart.
Now that Ross is sidelined for the foreseeable future, Tate should be ready to take on a larger role in the offense. Most fans don’t imagine the Cincinnati Bengals to be a pass-happy unit, but they’ve lived and died by the right arm of Andy Dalton through the first four weeks. According to Team Rankings, the Bengals throw the ball on a staggering 72.3% of their dropbacks, second-highest in the league. That probably won’t change without Ross, which means that there’s going to be plenty of opportunity for Tate.
After two disappointing seasons, John Ross blossomed into one of the most valuable players on the Cincinnati Bengals offense. Through four weeks, Ross leads the team in yards and touchdowns and is second in targets and receptions behind Tyler Boyd. Additionally, Ross is seventh in air yards, which means Tate is inheriting a fantastic opportunity.
Auden Tate Week 5 Matchup
Cincinnati’s pass-happy tendency makes Tate a great addition, but he also has a fantastic matchup in Week 5. The Bengals have the privilege of facing off against an absolutely atrocious Arizona Cardinals squad. Patrick Peterson is going to miss this matchup, and the Cardinals are simply incapable of stopping anything through the air. Through four weeks of action, the Cardinals rank 22nd in pass defense DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. This defense is terrible, and the Bengals should have no trouble going up and down the field on this subpar unit.
Fortunately for Tate, the Bengals’ defense is also atrocious. Arizona boasts the fastest pace of play in the league and can move up and down the field in the right matchup. This game could easily turn into a shootout, which means that the Bengals are going to have to keep throwing the ball if they want to win. This means more opportunity for Tate, which should translate into fantasy success.
Basically, this combination of matchup and opportunity makes Tate one of the top options on the waiver wire. The Bengals love to throw the ball, and Tate should see a sizable portion of John Ross’ vacated targets. Additionally, the Cardinals aren’t capable of stopping anything through the air, and this game could turn into a shootout. Tate’s probably available in your league, so make sure to pick him up and throw him into your starting lineup. He should give you WR2 production with WR1 upside considering the matchup.
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