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Fantasy Football: Can the Cincinnati Bengals' offense support three 1,000-yard wide receivers in 2021?

NFL teams are throwing the ball like never before. With that being the case, fantasy football competitors theoretically expect more production from their respective quarterbacks and wide receivers. Yet, somehow, no offense since the 2008 Arizona Cardinals has had three wide receivers eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark in a season.

There may be a handful of teams with the potential to do so during the 2021 NFL campaign, but the Cincinnati Bengals should be considered among the favorites.

Identifying Key Players

The very first order of business is to identify the key players in this equation. Second-year quarterback Joe Burrow is recovering from a mid-season torn ACL, which causes some level of concern, but the early indication is that he should be fully recovered and prepared to play in all 17 games this season.

Burrow’s rookie campaign was off to a great start until the aforementioned injury in Week 11. He accumulated 2,688 total passing yards with 6.7 yards per pass attempt and an average depth of target of 8.9 yards. His 16-game pace when extrapolated would’ve totaled 4,300 passing yards.

His wide receiver room is unique, too. Long-time veteran Tyler Boyd has become one of the more underrated players at the position, and second-year player Tee Higgins, alongside rookie Ja’Marr Chase, helps complete one of the more exciting receiving trios in the league.

Boyd, the most established player at the position, has eclipsed 1,000 yards twice in his career (2018 and 2019) and nearly did it again this past season with his 841 receiving yards (missed one game). Higgins actually surpassed Boyd with his team-leading 908 receiving yards. Chase, drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, was college football’s fiercest playmaker in 2019.

Establishing Parameters

Going back in history to analyze the past teams that accomplish this feat will help us set the parameters. Five NFL teams have been able to create 1,000-yard receiving trios, but only three came from a trio of wide receivers — the remaining two included either a tight end or a running back.

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