Ross was held to one catch for one yard on five targets in Sunday's loss to the Steelers. He finishes the season with 21 catches for 210 yards. albeit with seven touchdowns. Though he's dealing with the noodle arm of Jeff Driskel, Ross isn't blame-free for his poor catch ratio. In fact, Ross has the lowest catch percentage among qualified receivers for the season at 36.21 percent. Given how much time he's missed due to injury so far as a pro, some patience is warranted with Ross, but his Year 3 season in 2019 will be critical.
Ross only corralled one of his five targets during Sunday's 26-18 loss to Cleveland, but that reception went for a three-yard touchdown. He added seven rushing yards on one carry. The 2017 No. 9 overall pick has been entirely touchdown-dependent this season. But the thing is, he just keeps on scoring touchdowns. (A completely unsustainable 35 percent of his receptions, and 13.2 percent of his targets have gone for scores.) Ross has garnered a healthy 5.3 targets per game over his past seven outings, but has posted an incredibly inefficient catch rate of 35.1 percent during that span. He hasn't been the deep threat that he was during his collegiate career at Washington (15.2 yards per catch), averaging 10.8 YPC on the season, with eight performances of fewer than 17 receiving yards. Week 17 presents a challenging matchup for Ross, with the Bengals opposing a Ravens defense that's surrendered 10 touchdowns to WRs in 2018 (third fewest).
Ross (knee) practiced fully Friday and doesn't carry an injury designation into Sunday's game against the Browns. With fellow wideout Tyler Boyd (knee) having been ruled out and A.J. Green on injured reserve, Ross heads into the weekend as the Bengals' top option at his position. Given Jeff Driskel's underwhelming numbers as the Bengals' starting quarterback, however, it's expected that a heavy dose of running back Joe Mixon will be on tap Sunday. That context makes the speedy Ross a hit-or-miss, touchdown-dependent option in fantasy lineups. Through 11 games, the 2017 first-round pick has caught 19 of his 48 targets for 206 yards and six scores.
Ross (knee) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice, Jay Morrison of The Athletic reports. Meanwhile, top wideout Tyler Boyd (knee) was a non-participant in practice for the second straight day and appears to be trending toward an inactive status for Sunday's game against the Browns. In that scenario, Ross would profile as the receiver with the highest fantasy upside in the Cincinnati attack, but that hasn't meant much in an offense that has leaned heavily on the ground game since Jeff Driskel stepped in at quarterback for the injured Andy Dalton (thumb) in Week 13. Before Ross can be considered in lineups, he'll need to prove his knee isn't a concern, which he would be able to do by turning in a full practice Friday.
Ross was a limited practice participant Wednesday due to an ankle issue, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. With Tyler Boyd (knee) also sitting out practice and seemingly in danger of missing the rest of the season, Ross may be left as the Bengals' default No. 1 receiver for the final two games. The second-year pro is notorious for his lengthy medical history, but there's no indication the current ankle injury is serious. Assuming he's able to play, Ross will face a Cleveland defense that ranks sixth in yards allowed per pass attempt (7.0) and second in opponent passer rating (82.1). The Browns have given up plenty of receptions and yards to wide receivers, but only because they're tied for the league lead with 338 targets faced from the position.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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