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Fantasy checkdown: Dalton in '14

2/14/2014

Andy Dalton had an intriguing 2013 campaign in fantasy terms, ranking as the No. 6 quarterback in standard ESPN leagues. He posted career-high numbers in most categories, including 586 pass attempts, 4,296 yards, 7.3 yards per pass and a 55.8 QBR. Still, there is room for improvement after he tossed 20 interceptions (also a career-high mark).

The question at hand for 2014 is whether his production will improve or decrease under new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who has a preference for pounding the ball with a heavy rushing attack.

"Jackson sounds like he is out of the less is more school and he’s talking like he’s not going to put as much pressure on Dalton to win games with his arm," wrote Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. "Maybe the bigger question is what kind of throws Jackson is going to ask Dalton to make."

Hobson noted that former OC Jay Gruden liked to "work outside the numbers and down the sidelines," which creates longer throws, and suggested that perhaps Jackson will focus more on shorter routes to increase Dalton's accuracy and limit the pressure on the quarterback.

That could help improve his TD/INT ratio (1.65), which ranked 17th in the NFL. On the other hand, if Jackson focuses on the run, as expected, Dalton's volume of throws likely will recede. Odds are that Dalton will be a middle-of-the-pack fantasy QB in '14.

Here are some other fantasy-relevant notes from the past week: