Tonight’s game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos will have a huge impact on the AFC playoffs, regardless of who wins. In all likelihood, the winner of this week’s Monday Night Football match-up will go on to earn a bye in the first round of the postseason. It’s conceivable that a big win tonight could be just the boost of momentum either team needs to wind up in SuperBowl 50.
If your fantasy football team is still alive, however, some of the guys from the Bengals or Broncos may earn a spot in your league’s SuperBowl next week. If you or your opponent have starters from either of these two AFC heavyweights in your starting lineup this week, here is what you can expect, according to NFL.com’s official fantasy football site.
Quarterbacks — With both Peyton Manning (Denver) and Andy Dalton (Cincinnati) out this week, both teams will be starting a QB that began the season as a backup. This will be Brock Osweiler’s sixth start and A.J. McCarron’s second. If they score at or below their projected fantasy points, neither will break this week’s top 20 fantasy quarterbacks. How will these young quarterbacks hold up in a prime-time game with such significant playoff ramifications?
- Brock Osweiler (Denver) — 12.94
- A.J. McCarron (Cincinnati) — 10.46
Running Backs — While neither the Bengals nor the Broncos started the season with a run-heavy offense, the backup quarterbacks are forcing both teams to use a ground attack more than they did earlier this year. If both Bernard and Hillman managed to score exactly 13.70 fantasy points, they would tie for 20th best running back of Week 16. As SB Nation notes, none of the running backs from Cincinnati or Denver are anything to get excited about from a fantasy perspective.
- Giovanni Bernard (CIN) — 13.70
- Ronnie Hillman (DEN) — 13.70
- Jeremy Hill (CIN) — 9.20
- C.J. Anderson (DEN) — 4.30
- Juwan Thompson (DEN) — 0.60
Wide Receivers — Despite being on the receiving end of backup QB passes, Demaryius Thomas (Denver) and A.J. Green (Cincinnati) are projected to be the highest fantasy point scorers for their respective teams this week. With those outputs, both wide receivers would crack this week’s top 15 fantasy football receivers.
- Demaryius Thomas (DEN) — 16.80
- A.J. Green (CIN) — 14.10
- Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) — 9.50
- Mohamed Sanu (CIN) — 6.50
- Andre Caldwell (DEN) — 3.10
- Jordan Norwood (DEN) — 2.30
- Cody Latimer (DEN) — 0.90
Week 10! 7 Strikes vs Eyesa Reward, two top receivers go to war as AJ Green & Demaryius Thomas look for big games! pic.twitter.com/DlvX8nifRi— DaLeague (@DaLeagueFF) November 11, 2015
Tight Ends — With the Bengals’ Tyler Eifert out this week with an injury, the expectations from any tight end on Monday Night Football are very low. It’s so bad for the Bengals that no TE on the Cincinnati squad is projected to earn even one full fantasy point.
- Vernon Davis (DEN) — 3.60
- Owen Daniels (DEN) — 3.40
- Virgil Green (DEN) — 2.40
- Tyler Kroft (CIN) — 0.60
Kickers — Both the Bengals and the Broncos have had impressive defense this season. As Osweiler and McCarron try to take the ball down field, both kickers are likely to get more than one or two chances to score three points when their team has to settle for a field goal.
- Mike Nugent (CIN) — 11.00
- Brandon McManus (DEN) — 11.00
Defense — A big part of the reason the Cincinnati Bengals defense has been so good this year is because of Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. At the same time, the Denver Broncos have the top-rated defense in the NFL, due in large part to Von Miller and Demarcus Ware.
- Cincinnati Bengals Defense — 9.50
- Denver Broncos Defense — 5.00
Tonight’s match-up between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Denver Broncos begins at 8:30 p.m. EST. This week’s NFL Monday Night Football airs on ESPN.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/GEtty Images]