Brandon LaFell was cut by the Patriots and signed with the Bengals, where he will try to help replace the departed Marvin Jones (Lions) and Mohamed Sanu (Falcons). He could earn the starting job opposite A.J. Green, but LaFell proved last season he's really not that good of a receiver with 37 catches for 515 yards and no touchdowns on 74 targets. He only played in 11 games because of a foot injury, which could have hindered his production, but aside from a quality year in 2014 with the Patriots when he had 74 catches for 953 yards and seven touchdowns, LaFell never had more than 49 catches, 677 yards and five touchdowns in any season. He'll be a late-round flier at best with the Bengals, but he could increase his value if he ends up starting in Week 1 ahead of rookie Tyler Boyd. And if he does come out playing well then add him off waivers in the majority of leagues.
LaFell secured three of eight targets for 39 yards in the Bengals' 24-16 loss to the Steelers in Week 2. His eight targets tied for second-most on the team, but he could have had a much bigger day had he caught more of them. Still, his involvement in the passing game nonetheless bodes well for his outlook moving forward.
LaFell was the Bengals' #2 receiver in Sunday's win over the Jets, catching four passes on four targets for 91 yards. LaFell was on the field for the majority of the team's offensive snaps, more so than touted rookie teammate Tyler Boyd. Boyd might ultimately surpass LaFell, but that clearly hasn't happened yet.
LaFell is listed as the No. 2 wide receiver on Cincinnati's first depth chart of the regular season, Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Despite suffering some ligament damage in his hand and failing to impress during the preseason, LaFell seems to have beat out Tyler Boyd for the starting job across from A.J. Green. The rookie still figures to have a spot in three-wide sets, and he could also replace LaFell in two-wide formations at times. There may be enough targets to keep all three wideouts happy early in the season, as TE Tyler Eifert (ankle) still figures to miss at least the first game or two.
LaFell (hand) caught his only target for an eight-yard gain in Sunday's preseason game against the Jaguars. According to Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer, LaFell and Tyler Boyd stayed in the game a bit longer than the rest of the Cincinnati starters, suggesting that head coach Marvin Lewis wanted to get an extended look at both plays. However, the Cincinnati running backs ended up stealing the show, accounting for nine of the team's 14 touches while Andy Dalton was still in the game. LaFell got most of the snaps alongside A.J. Green in two-wide sets early on, but both players received plenty of run after Green left the game with a minor knee injury. Boyd was unable to build on his strong showing in the last preseason game, catching his lone target for a nine-yard gain. Regardless of which wideout technically starts, both could be busy early in the season, as the Bengals may be missing TEs Tyler Eifert (ankle) and Tyler Kroft (knee).
LaFell (hand) is expected to get heavy work in Sunday's preseason game against Jacksonville. LaFell needs to develop a rapport with quarterback Andy Dalton, and merely needs to get more reps period after missing the first two preseason games. He has fallen behind rookie Tyler Boyd in the battle to be the #2 wide receiver on the Bengals.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|6||10/16||@New England Patriots||21||24.00|
|10||11/15||@New York Giants||9||18.00|
|3 Year Avg||93||53||698||4||34||13.17||94|