- The Cincinnati Bengals can’t replace Ja’Marr Chase: The Bengals used a rotation of wide receivers in Chase's place, but none of their receivers put up great numbers.
- The Cleveland Browns adjust their offense without David Njoku: The Browns relied on the run game, as usual, but also targeted their wide receivers more often in the passing game.
- Kareem Hunt puts up solid numbers despite trade rumors: Hunt garnered double-digit carries and was one of Cleveland’s top receivers in what could be his last game with the Browns.
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- Nick Chubb: 23 carries, 101 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 reception, 3 receiving yards
- Amari Cooper: 5 receptions, 131 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 pass attempt, 1 interception
Bengals attempt to replace Ja’Marr Chase: The LSU product missed this game and will likely miss a few more due to a hip injury. The Bengals used several players to try to replace Chase.
- Tee Higgins was supposed to be the Bengals' clear leading receiver. He posted a high target per route run, as usual, but nearly all of his fantasy production occurred in garbage time.
- Tyler Boyd played more offensive snaps, but that didn’t lead to more production outside of his too-little, too-late touchdown.
- Both Higgins and Boyd could be considered buy-low candidates due to their history.
- The Bengals have some good matchups in the next few weeks, but they have a particularly difficult schedule during the fantasy playoffs.
- Mike Thomas was the Bengals' primary receiver who garnered a significant increase in playing time in Chase’s absence, but both Trenton Irwin and Trent Taylor also received significant playing time.
- The three-man rotation for the third receiver spot means none should be waiver targets, even in deeper leagues.
The Browns replacing David Njoku: The tight end missed this game due to an ankle injury and will likely miss a few more.
- Harrison Bryant was expected to fill Njoku's role, but instead, the Browns altered their offense.
- Bryant was the team's primary tight end, but there were plenty of plays where the Browns didn’t have a tight end on the field.
- Offensive linemen Michael Dunn and James Hudson saw significant playing time as extra offensive linemen, and Cleveland wasn’t afraid to leave them in on pass plays.
- The Browns even ran a play with eight offensive linemen on the field — the first time a team has done so since 2020 and just the ninth time since 2006.
- Even when Bryant was on the field, he stayed in to pass protect on several plays, meaning he only ran a handful of routes all game.
- Cleveland has a bye next week followed by two games against teams with even better pass rushes than the Bengals. Bryant might be asked to pass block even more in those games.
- All of this is to say — leave Bryant on the waiver wire even in deeper leagues.
Kareem Hunt remained a part of the Browns' offense: Hunt has been one of the top running backs involved in trade rumors, but that didn’t impact how Cleveland used him against the Bengals.
- He was the clear passing down back, as usual.
- Hunt is typically more involved in the run game during wins than losses. He barely ran the last two weeks while Cleveland was losing but received double-digit carries in the Browns' win.
- If Hunt is traded, we should expect D’Ernest Johnson to play more often. Preseason sensation Jerome Ford is on injured reserve, but there is a chance he could return and also be a factor.
Chris Evans sees very limited playing time: The Bengals' second-year running back continues to be rarely involved in the offense but was the team’s top first-half performer.
- He played one snap in the first half. On that play, he caught a 26-yard pass. He was leading the team in receiving yards for the first 40 minutes of the game.
- He hasn’t played more than three offensive snaps in a game this season despite playing significantly as a rookie.
- His 2.22 yards per route run over the last two seasons are noticeably higher than Samaje Perine (1.27) and Joe Mixon (1.05).
- Ideally, the Bengals would give Evans more opportunities.
• Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
• Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
• Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.