Fantasy Watch: John Ross

After a seemingly average season at the University of Washington, wide receiver John Ross was selected ninth overall by the Cincinnati Bengals after setting an NFL Combine record 4.22 second 40-yard dash. His “average” season, coming a year after tearing his ACL, was hampered by a torn-labrum, finished with 76 receptions, 1,122 yards, and 17 touchdowns. The Huskies’ big year, in which they finished 12-2, put Ross on the radar of many NFL scouts.

Ross’s speed sets him up to be the perfect slot receiver to create mismatches in the secondary, if he can bulk up and get a little stronger to go up against the physical corners in the NFL. Ross will not be forced to shoulder the load as a rookie, as he will have superstar receiver A.J. Green, star tight end Tyler Eifert, veteran receiver Brandon LaFell, and rising second-year receiver Tyler Boyd to help him along. On top of him being the perfect slot receiver, the Bengals will also be able to stretch the field with him, using him out of the backfield to immediately give him open space to work with, as well as stretching the field by playing him out wide and hoping that he can fly right past whoever covers him.

Andy Dalton finished ranked 11th in passing yards, even after missing his top two targets for a full 18-games last year. With a healthy Green and Eifert in the line-up, Ross should be an immediate impact for the 2017 Fantasy Football Season strictly due to his speed. On top of his receiving ability, he should play an immediate impact in those leagues that count point towards special teams’ touchdowns and return yards.

Due to him being a rookie, while his promise looks greats, I would look at him as a number three receiver, or a flex option in Points Per Reception (PPR) leagues. The Bengals will try to get the ball in his hands any way that they can because of his speed, but Green and Eifert will take touches away from him when they are healthy. If Green were to go down with an injury again, Ross would be a must start. He should produce similar production as Boyd did last year as a rookie, even though that production was due to injuries. The major exception with Ross is, he is like a Swiss Army Knife. You can put him at just about any position on the field, from offense to special teams, and he is a homerun threat with the ball in his hands.

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