Four Downs: How 'bout those ... Bengals? 

November, 25, 2012
When most fantasy football owners think of the Cincinnati Bengals, electric wide receiver A.J. Green comes to mind first. This is fine, of course, and though the best wide receiver in fantasy saw his touchdown streak of nine games snapped Sunday, he still helped fantasy owners with 13 points. Two other Bengals produced bigger numbers, and while both quarterback Andy Dalton and running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis are owned in all -- in Dalton's case, it's nearly all -- leagues, people rarely seem exciting about using them. Perhaps things have changed over the past few weeks.

Dalton tossed three touchdown passes Sunday, albeit against the brutal Oakland Raiders, but still, it was his third consecutive performance with 20 or more fantasy points. No other quarterback is on such a streak. Dalton also accomplished this in Weeks 2-4, as well. We shouldn't be too surprised by Dalton's success. After all, he was strong much of his rookie season, and he entered this weekend a cool (though perhaps surprising) 10th in season scoring among quarterbacks. Yet even in a tasty matchup against a terrible team, he could attract only modest interest (35.4 percent) as a fantasy starter in standard leagues.

[+] EnlargeMohamed Sanu
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesNeed receiver help? You might want to pick up Mohamed Sanu, if he's still available, this week.
This should change the next three weeks, as the Bengals face middling opposition (San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles), and Dalton is obviously playing well. Including Sunday, Dalton has nine touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his past three games. No, he hasn't faced anything near a Chicago Bears-type defense in that span, and his arm has never been gushed over as particularly strong, but the numbers suggest he certainly has been a top-10 player this season. Dalton is hardly considered that. I admit I haven't ranked Dalton as a top-10 quarterback regularly, but the next three weeks he certainly warrants more consideration than normal, depending on the matchups, over Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning, all of whom were active in far more leagues in Week 12 (as they generally are in most weeks). Dalton does have the best wide receiver to throw to, plus ignored but emerging Mohamed Sanu, owned in 1.1 percent of leagues (that will change this week), scored two more touchdowns Sunday, and has four over the past three weeks.