Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Recap: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) rushes the ball in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

  • 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.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2022.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns

  • 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.


Table Notes

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.

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