2022 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Week 3 Game Report: Bengals 16, Rams 7
The Rams use the preseason strictly for young players to ‘try out’ or improve their stock. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is a Sean McVay disciple, so he does the same thing…smartly so…these two teams were just in the Super Bowl, so doesn’t that mean everyone/team should copy everything they are doing?
Just younger players or roster-iffy ones, except for one notable/odd (kinda) player playing for Cincy. There were a couple terrific, emerging, lesser-discussed young players we ‘gotta’ talk about too.
Dynasty/Fantasy Player Notes…
-- A lot of to-be-released players worked in this game, on both sides…and then there was Cincy RB Chris Evans (5-10-0, 2-9-0/2). Could be ‘young player needs a little work’. Or it could be the Bengals don’t think as highly of him as I do. Or a mix of both?
Evans has played a little bit in every 2022 preseason game and has statistically had a terrible preseason…but he looked fine to my scouting eyes. Looked like a legit NFL starting RB talent. He didn’t do anything explosive, but he was a cut above all the others.
I’m a touch rattled here that Evans is having to work the preseason, but I could be too sensitive about it. The fact/case remains on Evans: only through a Mixon injury, one where he goes down and out, will it open the door for Evans to get his shot…and Samaje Perine would likely get the first chances until Evans forces a change. That seems daunting…but it’s the story of many an RB in the NFL.
-- The best-looking prospect, on offense, working this game…one of the best players of the 2022 preseason…Rams UDFA rookie WR Lance McCutcheon (5-76-0/9). He looks fantastic every time I watch him this preseason. Great get-off the snap. Smart routes. Great adjustments to the ball in-flight. Superior hands. He’s been a revelation, and I totally missed him pre-NFL Draft scouting. Didn’t have him on the radar/didn’t have his workout data and he just went by our radar. He was a UDFA for the NFL, so he went by a lot of radars.
I think, barring a trade for a #3 WR, that McCutcheon will go past Van Jefferson this season and become the #3 WR…and make the Rams passing game that much more lethal.
McCutcheon comp? Michael Thomas? Maybe some Davante Adams? A way better Gabriel Davis?
-- McCutcheon was the best offensive talent I saw in this game, and that’s been true every game he’s played this preseason. But the best defensive player was a first-time ‘it’ jumped out at me moment this preseason…
Bengals rookie DB Tycen Anderson (5 tackles) is REALLY good. He played a mix of SAF-CB-OLB and he was all over the place in this game. He’s super-quick, a 4.36 runner with a 6.64 three-cone but he’s tough/a nice tackler and he rushes into the fray and makes solo tackles with the best of them -- he’s 10x the safety/defensive prospect that the fraud Kyle Hamilton is.
Anderson is going to be a great additional asset for the Bengals defense for years to come. He is on IR to start the season, so he will be hidden from view for a while.
-- Other WRs in this game, to mention…
Rams 2nd-year receiver, Jacob Harris (1-4-0/1), the promising WR-to-TE convert of 2021, who tore his ACL bad in 2021 and was moved back to WR in 2022…he got beat out for a roster spot by McCutcheon and is now on the practice squad. Coming off a bad ACL tear…he doesn’t look like he did in 2021.
UDFA WR Kendric Pryor (5-65-0/6) was the star of the preseason for Cincy…and that got him cut, but then grabbed by the Jaguars. Slick move for JAX. Confusing for Cincy, who has Stanley Morgan (1-32-0/2) as their main backup at WR?
Cincy WR Trenton Irwin (9-93-0/10) looked like Wes Welker in this game…he caught everything thrown at him underneath and was terrific. That got him cut and put on the practice squad as well.
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