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Buy or Sell: Cincinnati Bengals Defense

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The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off of a tremendous season but lost in the Superbowl. Their defense came up big when needed and will need to again with their first-place schedule. Who are the IDP Buy/Sell from their team defense?


Buy

Sam Hubbard, DE

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Sam Hubbard was drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft out of Ohio State by the Cincinnati  Bengals. This 6′ 5″ 265 lb defensive end hit the ground running. It usually takes a defensive line player two or more years to start making an impact. MFL has switched a lot of really good defensive ends to linebackers for 2022, so we need to find new good DEs for our rosters.

As a rookie, Hubbard played all 16 games but didn’t end up starting any. After Week 1, he played anywhere from 29% to 61% of the defensive snaps. Hubbard did not play less than 41% of the snaps from Week 8 on.

In that limited action, he produced 39 tackles (27 solo), 7 tackles for a loss, 6 sacks, 2 defended passes, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery for a TD. In his rookie year, Hubbard ranked 24th out of all DEs and was the top rookie DE scorer even though he was the fifth DE selected in the draft.

Hubbard becomes the every-game starter in year two.

His first year as the new DE starter gave him his best overall statistical year, although 2021 was close. Hubbard missed one game in 2019 due to a knee injury, and still delivered a great 76 tackles (46 solo), 10 tackles for a loss, 13 QB hits, 8.5 sacks, 3 defended passes, and a forced fumble. 2020 was his third year, and it was not a charm.

Hubbard hurt his left elbow in Week 5 and missed the next three games. in his 12+ games, he still produced 62 tackles (33 solos), 5 tackles for a loss, 11 QB hits, 2 sacks, 3 defended passes, and another forced fumble.

Super Bowl Guide?

In 2021, Hubbard played 16 games as he sat out Week 17 as a precaution with many other starters from the Bengals team. In those 16 games, he matched 2020 with 62 tackles (33 solos), and had 12 tackles for a loss, 17 QB hits, 7.5 sacks, 3 defended passes, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries.

For IDP at the DE position, you want big plays with sacks, but just as important, if not more, is tackles. Hubbard gives you sacks and tackles. He is a force in the passing game and the run game. Hubbard’s value is high but not as high as it should be for a top DE in a league where producing DEs are hard to come by.

Do yourself a favor and get Hubbard on your roster here soon. The hype will pick back up as they realize he has been a top-six DE in his healthy years, not including his rookie year. Hubbard will just be 27 years old this month.

Sell

Logan Wilson, LB

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Logan Wilson was the third-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft out of Wyoming. He started two of his 12 games as a rookie while missing four games due to injury. Wilson missed Week 4 with a concussion, and then Weeks 14-16 with an ankle injury. His 2021 year brought the same type of bad luck on the injury front. Wilson missed another three games with a shoulder separation. Those weeks were 14-16 again.

The best ability for any of your fantasy football players is availability. Wilson is a force and very fun to watch when he is on the field. He plays with a controlled reckless abandon, which might explain his injuries. As a rookie, in his 11+ games, Wilson produced 33 tackles (23 solo), 4 tackles for a loss, 2 QB hits, 1 sack, 3 defended passes, and 2 interceptions. His rookie year was the learning year.

2021 — The year Seahawks fans talked about Wilson’s talent

Wilson gained a starting position as one of the two LBs on the new defensive alignment of the Bengals. He let the opposing teams know he was on the field in the 12+ games he played. Wilson missed most of Week 13 on top of the other four games he did not play.

However, those games brought very impressive numbers for a first-year starter. He produced a whopping 100 tackles (57 solos), 5 tackles for a loss, 1 QB hit, 1 sack, 4 defended passes, 4 interceptions, and a forced fumble.

Why sell an up-and-coming LB that is hot on the buy lists of so many experts? Just look at the games missed. For two straight years, Wilson misses Weeks 14-16. Correct me if I am wrong, but those are the most important weeks to have your studs playing.

Your fantasy football playoffs are most likely during NFL Weeks 14-16. The hype is enormous on Wilson and the value is sky high. Sell him for a starting LB and a starting DE. Maybe get a rookie pick for 23′ also. Just sell him now.


Thank you for checking out the latest article in the Buy/Sell/Keep series! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

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