After scorching the New York Jets at home in Week 8, the Bengals simply couldn't get things together offensively against the Miami Dolphins in Week 9. Two players that actually did play well for the Bengals include star wide receiver A.J. Green and rookie running back Giovani Bernard. On the one hand, Green was able to catch 11 receptions in the game for 128 yards. The reception total was a season-high. After a slow start to the year, Green is now a must-start again in fantasy leagues every single week.
In terms of the ground game, Bernard finished with two touchdowns against the Dolphins, one of which came on a spectacular 35-yard run where he changed directions multiple times and broke multiple tackles. Fantasy owners who picked up Bernard under the assumption that he would eventually steal touches away from teammate BenJarvus Green-Ellis may be seeing their hopes and predictions come to pass. Bernard is a lock in leagues that reward receptions and should keep playing at a high level despite facing the Ravens defense.
The Ravens have struggled as a team of late, dropping three straight games. In each of those losses they have failed to score more than 18 points. Wide receiver Torrey Smith has not caught a touchdown pass in four weeks and only has one on the season. Any fantasy owner that drafted him in the hopes that he would elevate his game while being a go-to guy has to be disappointed with his output. On a team with an anemic offense, it seems that Smith's ceiling for the rest of the season is low.
The way that the quarterback and the team's top running back have been playing might have something to do with Smith's poor play. Ray Rice has a grand total of 96 yards rushing during the team's three-game skid. He doesn't appear to be the top running back that he used to be. That's tough to swallow for his fantasy owners, especially because teammate Bernard Pierce isn't really cutting into his touches that much. It remains to be seen whether Joe Flacco will ever be a top quarterback in the regular season in the way everyone's seen he can be in the playoffs.