The Week 1 matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Jets features two teams who should be able to move the chains using the passing game. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.
After rushing for just over 5 yards per carry in his rookie season, Jeremy Hill regressed slightly in 2015, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry. Although he may have slipped up a little bit in his sophomore season, he is still the lead back for the Bengals going into Week 1. Teammate Giovani Bernard is still well-positioned to take away snaps on passing downs, but Hill did manage to find 11 touchdowns on the ground and chipped in one in the receiving game. His yardage totals may be limited against the Jets to start the season, but he should see plenty of touches and might find himself doing a touchdown dance once the Bengals get close to the goal line.
Should the running game fail to penetrate New York’s front line, quarterback Andy Dalton will look to the hands of Mr. Reliable A.J. Green. Green has managed to find the end zone at least 10 times in three of the last four seasons. He also managed a healthy 86 catches on the year and has been the team's most consistent pass catcher since the day he was drafted. The Jets certainly represent a tough task, but Green is an elite player and he gets opportunities to score every single week. He will be a must-start player to open the season, as usual.
New York Jets
For arguably the first time since the days of Curtis Martin, the Jets will possess a legitimate threat in the running game that can be counted on to produce on a consistent basis. The running back who will provide that is a slightly aged Matt Forte. Forte carved out quite a career for himself with the Chicago Bears, providing a unique combination of quickness and pass catching ability that few rushes in the NFL can match. Most expect him to regress now that he’s on the wrong side of 30. All of that being said, the slippery back still provides considerable value -- especially in PPR leagues -- and he should see lots of action against Cincinnati to start the season.
Whenever quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets need to move the ball down the field a little bit faster, wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on the receiving end of a lot of targets. Few players in the NFL put together one of their best seasons nine years into their career, but that’s exactly what Marshall did in 2015. He eclipsed 1,500 yards receiving for just the second time in his career and managed to catch 109 passes. Look for Marshall to be busy on Sunday.