Tyler Boyd is Steady as a Rock
The Cincinnati Bengals have a ton of fanfare coming into this season. The offense is completely revamped with Joe Burrow coming in as the number one pick. The Bengals drafted Tee Higgins, the electric wide receiver out of Clemson. Last year’s first-round pick, Jonah Williams, is returning from shoulder surgery with all signs in camp, signaling a strong start for him. The offense looks almost entirely different from last year’s squad.
But one of the few constants of last year’s offense, Tyler Boyd, will be the primary benefactor of the revamped Bengals offense. Boyd has shown that he can step into that alpha dog role in the wide receiver room. Even when A.J. Green was healthy (last time was 2018), Boyd was still fed the ball. The perfect example was Week 4 in 2018. That week, A.J. Green was targeted eight times to Tyler Boyd’s 15. The last full game they played together, Week 8 of 2018, Boyd had 10 targets to Green’s 7. Even Dalton knew that Green was not the same WR1 he was the previous four years.
Tyler Boyd is Now Number One in Cincy
Talking about Green, I don’t care if A.J. Green comes back this year. Even if he comes back healthy and starts the year, I don’t see a full 16 games out of him. With all those surgeries with his legs and feet, it will be a medical miracle to me if he’s the same player. He had that terrible toe injury and then suffered the ankle sprain. His body compensated, and he suffered for it. Even with his talent, there is WAY too much thread on those tires for me to comfortably draft Green.
I digress, but let’s get back to Boyd. With Joe Burrow coming in, predicting Boyd’s stat line doesn’t lie in more volume, but more completions. Last year, Andy Dalton had a forgettable year with a 59.5% completion percentage throwing the ball 528 times, ending in the bottom three finish of starting QB’s. For comparison’s sake, let’s use Kyler Murray’s completion percentage last year, 64.4%. If Joe Burrow completes 64.4% of 528 throws, there are 36 more touches to go around. If Boyd gets a third of those extra targets, he would be in line for a 100 receptions, 1100-1200 yard season!
Tyler Boyd is being taken in the fifth through the seventh round in mock drafts. To me, that is a value pick. If there is any improvement at Cincinnati’s quarterback position (geez, let’s hope), Boyd will benefit from it. Even with Dalton at the helm, Boyd gave great production for the worse team in the NFL.
With Burrow coming in and A.J. Green being such a question mark, Boyd is in line for WR1 fantasy numbers for the 2020 season. Boyd could have similar seasons to J’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson at LSU when Burrow led them to the Natty. That’s almost unrealistic, but I believe that Joe Burrow is the real deal, and it will be Boyd, not Green, who takes the number one role under this new era.