WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
HT: 6-3, WT: 211, Born: 7-31-1988, College: Georgia, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 4
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: M Lynch (10), D Bryant (11), A.J. Green (12), D Murray (13), M Ball (14)
Position: D Thomas (9-WR2), D Bryant (11-WR3), A.J. Green (12 - WR4), B Marshall (15-WR5), J Jones (18-WR6)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: D Bryant (9), P Manning (10), A.J. Green (11), D Murray (12), J Jones (13)
Position: D Thomas (7-WR2), D Bryant (9-WR3), A.J. Green (11 - WR4), J Jones (13-WR5), B Marshall (14-WR6)
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A.J. Green has emerged as an elite option at wide receiver. He has 195 catches, 1,350 yards, and 22 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Green is clearly this teamís go-to guy, and heís great enough to attract the defensive attention required to free up middling-talent players like Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to make big contributions to the offense. Greenís production could drop slightly due to the run-heavy focus of new Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson, but heíll still be utilized in red zone situations and be the teamís clear top option in the passing game. With the broken foot to Marvin Jones, Green could receive evern more red zone looks, as Jones was very efficient in that area last season. Jones could miss the first few weeks of the regular season.
|1||at Baltimore Ravens|
|5||at New England Patriots|
|7||at Indianapolis Colts|
|11||at New Orleans Saints|
|12||at Houston Texans|
|13||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|15||at Cleveland Browns|
|17||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|18||at Indianapolis Colts|
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - AJ had a very up-and-down day. Both intís were intended for him, and while the first INT was inconclusive, the second INT was clearly AJís fault. Tillman outhustled Green to the ball on the first INT. However, Green responded by showing his ability to get deep and make things happen. He outfought Tillman for a long 40+ yard reception down the right sideline. Then he just abused Jennings for a 45 yard touchdown in the second quarter. Greenís final big play was another deep ball in which he was mugged by Tillman, which drew a long PI penalty, culminating in a Cincy TD. So on the day, Green made the big plays in all three touchdowns for the Bengals. But he also had a big hand in 2 of the 3 crucial turnovers as well. That being said, Green and Dalton seem to be on the same page in the deep passing game. All three deep throws were right on the money. Green wasnít just a deep threat though. Dalton targeted him over and over, in slants, outs, sideline throws and Green responded with the usual combination of great route-running and great hands (aside from the one INT) that make him one of the most dangerous weapons in the game. Green is the weapon that opens up the entire offense.
Week 2 - The AJ Green and Andy Dalton train was not working well tonight. Despite 14 targets, the two had obvious communication problems, and that was compounded by an inaccurate first half from Andy Dalton. Ike Taylor has never been a good matchup for Green, and Taylor did a good job of covering Green in this one as well.
Early in the first half, Green broke open deep and went the wrong way on a deep pass from Dalton. It appears that the blame for the pass was on Green, if you read the body language of the coaching staff and listen to what the announcers were saying. On another occasion in the first half, Green ran a post pattern, and Dalton threw what appeared to be a flag route, which ended another drive. So the duo was just not in sync.
Not only was Ike Taylor blanketing Green, but the Steelers were using safeties over the top and refusing to give up the deep ball. While this strategy has worked in the past vs the Bengals, there are more weapons to worry about now, and those weapons ended up doing the Steelers in. The 14 targets Green still received is proof that Andy Dalton is going to try and get Green the ball, no matter what the situation is.
Week 3 - Green was visibly frustrated in the first half, as the Bengals continued to turn the ball over. The aborted drives kept Green from getting the ball. On one of the few times Dalton did look his way, the pass was thrown behind him and was intercepted.
In the second half, Dalton was able to get Green involved. He threw a sideline route for a first down on the first drive. Then on the second drive, Green made a double move that completely froze Shields, and he caught a beautifully thrown lob pass right into his arms for a 20 yard TD.
On the final TD drive, Green again made a big sideline catch for a TD. Of note in this game is that the Bengals did a great job of spreading the ball around. For some time now Dalton has been accused of focusing too heavily on Green, and that wasnít the case at any point today. It can only help AJ Green to see the other weapons on Cincy get the ball more. Bernard, Sanu and Marvin Jones all had big games, and anything that keeps double coverage off of Green will put him in line for big games down the road.
Week 4 - Just a miserable day all around for AJ Green. Haden man-handled Green and AJ looked visibly frustrated. Much of the frustration was AJ, and no doubt some of it was due to the poor passing of Dalton. AJ broke free for a potential long gain in the second half, and Dalton sailed it over his head. Even when Green beat Haden, as he did on an 11 yard slant, Haden usually was very physical and intimidating in his tackles, which no doubt affected Greenís psyche. In the second half, Green had a mis-communication with Dalton, who thought he was running a back shoulder route. Then Green ran a long in-route, and lazily went after the ball, which wasnít thrown perfectly. Haden was much more decisive in his route and easily batted the ball away. Green is a great deep threat, but is showing that he can be out-muscled. There is no reason to panic, though. Haden is a great cornerback, and again, a better pass by Dalton and Green perhaps gets a long gainer and maybe even a TD.
Week 5 - Green was in a dogfight with Aqib Talib for much of the game. The Bengals didnít force him the ball either, obviously showing a great deal of respect for Talib. As a result of this matchup, the Bengals ran more, threw to the tight ends, and got some of the other weapons involved. Green did make a few plays, but those plays likely are no consolation to his owners. In the 2nd quarter, Talib was covering Green tight, and Green made a great head-and-shoulders fake to the inside, then broke outside, caught the ball and got 18 yards. He then took a quick slant pass from Dalton for an 11 yard first down. In the second half, Dalton hit Green on an out pattern for another first down, as Green made another great move to separate himself. Then on the long TD drive, Dalton hit Green on a short pass, and Green faked Talib out, and went for 17 yards down to the 6 yard line. A telling sign of Talibís dominance is that all three of Greenís big gains all came on tremendous plays. It took everything Green had just to get open and make plays. Nothing came easy, and so in the long run, his 60+ yard performance was nothing to sneeze at. It was a great battle between two great players.
Week 6 - Green finally had a big game, and he looked fabulous doing it. Ironically it came on a day when Dalton did a fantastic job of spreading the ball around. In the first half, Dalton threw a jump ball to Green in the endzone, and Green timed it perfectly, caught the ball and made a tremendous effort to keep his feet in bounds. Then later on, Dalton hit Green on a screen pass, and Whitworth and half of the team got out in front to block, springing Green for an impressive 54 yard gain down the left sideline. It felt like he covered the 54 yards with about 7 or 8 steps, due to his long strides. This is a play the Bengals need to get into the playbook more often. Add in a couple slant passes, including a big 12 yard reception in overtime, and you have the makings for a big game. If Dalton can use all of his weapons like he did today, Green will be a far more explosive player. Late in the first half, Dalton locked onto Green, stared him down for a few seconds and then threw an int right into the hands of a LB who read the whole thing. Those are the types of plays Dalton needs to eliminate, and if he does, Greenís value will remain extremely high.
Week 7 - Aside from the 82 yard bomb, Green also got open deep twice, but was underthrown by Dalton. He was at the absolute peak of his game against Detroit, as he was practically uncoverable. When the Lions played off him, he ate them up on curls, slants and out patterns. Yet, despite the cushion, he still was able to blow by them and get into the open field. In the 2nd quarter, Dalton threw the ball high in the air down the middle of the field, and AJ jumped up and came down with a 27 yard gain.
Green was likely motivated by the big day that Calvin was having, and the two were feeding off of each other. However, Green almost made his amazing day legendary when he broke up downfield late in the fourth quarter. A double-move got him wide open, but Dalton couldnít hit him. Many AJ Green supporters likely wish that he had a QB with a rocket arm, ala Matt Stafford, but Green is still able to put up big stats with Dalton and is beginning to take off. The weapons that surround Green are going to make this offense very dangerous, as when Green draws double-teams, the other weapons find themselves in single coverage.
Week 8 - Green got open for three deep balls against the Jets. He caught two of them, and dropped the easiest of the three! Greenís first catch was in heavy traffic, but Green jumped in the air, and made a great play on the ball, as he usually does. In the 2nd half, Dalton threw two strikes and hit Green in stride. Dalton is now spreading the ball around, and this is greatly beneficial to Green. There are so many weapons on this team, that defenses just canít focus on Green like they did a few years ago. Even on a day when Green saw a very small number of targets, he still put up over 100 yards.
Week 9 - Green was all over the place, hauling in reception after reception against a defense that had no answers for him. Green caught sideline passes, he caught slant passes, screen passes, and kept the chains moving. He did have a huge drop in the first half that ended a drive, and he didnít quite fight hard enough for a ball at the end of the first half, as Dalton threw his first INT. However, Green played his heart out and made a huge play in overtime, leaping high in the air and coming down with a beautiful lob by Dalton to put the Bengals close to field goal range. Green and Dalton have struggled to consistently hook up downfield, and this game was no different. Dalton threw one out of bounds on a deep look, and on another play on the final drive, Green tripped on his feet and fell down.
Week 10 - Green earned his living on two long pass plays. In the second half, Dalton launched a ball high into the air into double coverage. Green jumped in the air, tipped the ball up and then grabbed it on the rebound for a long gain. Then of course there was the game-tying hail mary that Green hauled in for a 51 yard TD that took the game to overtime. As amazing as Green is, and as good as he is at fighting for the ball, this was about as lucky a TD as heís ever had. He was literally behind all of the action, and just caught a ball that was tipped in the air and had no force behind it. Green started to come alive in the second half, as Dalton and the Bengals did a better job of moving the ball. On the first TD drive, Dalton hit Green across the middle on back to back throws, one for 20 yards and the next for 18. On both plays, Green made nice cuts and found the middle of the zone, and somehow was wide open. Green ended up with great numbers, and really was the only spark in the passing game for the Bengals. He faced rough and physical cornerbacks, but was still able to overcome the tight coverage and have a great game.
Week 11 - Green was unable to get anything going in this game, having his worst day as a pro. Haden intercepted two passes intended for AJ in the first quarter. The first pass was so far behind AJ that you wonder if there was a mis-communication. On the 2nd pass, Dalton clearly mis-threw the ball and AJ had no prayer of catching it. After that, Dalton stayed away from Haden for the entire game, and thus Green couldn't get anything going. The Cincy offense is at it's best when AJ gets the ball. But the Joe Haden matchup is a tough one for Green, as he's been exposed twice this year. Green lacks the physicality of a Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones. He gets away with it against 99% of the cornerbacks out there. But Haden is currently kryptonite for AJ Green.
Week 13 - Greenís TD was perhaps the easiest TD heís ever had. He simply ran forward, slanted toward the endzone and caught the pass without a defender within ten yards. It was broken coverage and Green took advantage. In the first half, Green had an impressive run after a screen pass, using his speed to break away from the defender, and gaining 17 yards with impressive YAC ability. Then late in the game on the final drive, Green got things started with a 28 yard reception. He made an incredible double move and completely froze the defender. Dalton threw it on a rope and Green picked up 28. Overall a solid day for Green, despite the fact that the passing game had serious problems.
Week 14 - Green had a typical day of solid production. The offense as a whole seems to work better when Green isnít getting forced the ball. When Dalton spreads it around, Greenís production may level off, but he converts on most attempts thrown his way. Green did it all in this one. He started the game with a slant pass, drew a defensive holding on a long ball, caught a 22 yard catch streaking across the middle of the field and drew a pass interference penalty. Then towards the end of the game, Green made a nasty move at the goalline and hauled in a fade that Dalton hung perfectly in the air for a 9 yard TD. Dalton never forced the ball to AJ, but did a great job of spreading it to the open man, which made Green more deadly when he did look his way. If Dalton would play this way more often, Green would likely still put up 100 catches and 1300 yards. But when he forces it, the entire offense bogs down.
Week 15 - Green had a lot of catches, and was Daltonís only consistent receiver for the entire night. However, he never really threatened Pittsburgh. They let him run underneath routes, sideline routes, and quick comeback routes. But he never got open downfield, aside from one play late in the game. On 4th down on Cincyís last play of the game, Dalton finally threw a ball deep downfield. Green seemed to lose it in the lights and mis-timed his jump. A good jump possibly could have given the Bengals a slight chance, but the ball fell incomplete. A game like this is a gold mine for a receiver in a ppr format, as Green was able to haul in catch after catch. But despite all those catches, his impact on the game was quite small, as the Steelers were only concerned with giving up the big play, due to their big lead.
Week 16 - Green made his super bowl owners happy by putting together one of the best days of the season. Greenís first TD was a lob over his shoulder. He made a slight adjustment and easily hauled it in. On a different second half drive, Green was blanketed by the defender on a comeback route. Despite having the defender all over him, Green used his big hands to secure the 17 yard reception. Greenís second TD was a short back shoulder reception for two yards. Green was even interfered with on the play, and as a result he almost dropped it. But he stayed focused and held on for the TD. Then as the Bengals were driving in the fourth, Dalton hit Green 3 straight times, once on a short sideline route, another on playaction, and then a 17 yarder down the middle of the field for a first down. By the end of the game, Green had worn down the defenders and could get open anywhere he wanted. Green finishes week 16 with numbers that almost perfectly mirror his 2012 numbers. This despite the fact that Dalton has made a concerted effort in many games NOT to force him the ball. This has resulted in a much more explosive offense for Cincinnati, and it hasnít come at the expense of AJ Greenís fantasy numbers.
Week 17 - The highlight of the day for AJ Green was a 53 yard touchdown in the first half. Green took off running upfield, then cut toward the center of the field, completely smoking the safety who tried to pick him up. Green got behind the entire defense and hauled in the pass for one of the easiest long bombs youíll see. Aside from that play, Green didnít catch a lot of other passes. Dalton looked his way once on a short one yard lob at the goalline, but Green was outmuscled for the ball by Jimmy Smith. Green also lost a physical battle on another occasion, which resulted in an interception as well. If there is a weakness in Greenís game, itís his physicality. He seems to struggle more in the divisional games, as the AFC North opponents usually do a good job of keeping him under wraps.
Week 18 - Green had an extremely quiet game. On the final drive of the first half, Dalton threw to Green over the middle, and was high with his throw. Green made an excellent jump and grab of the ball. Green had a couple other receptions as well, but missed his chance to make a big impact late in the game. Down 20-10 with about 6 minutes left, Dalton threw a bomb down the right sideline to AJ. Green had two defenders on him, but the ball went over their heads and landed right in AJís arms. AJ dropped the ball and showed visible frustration afterwards. The Chargers did a great job of rushing the passer and keeping AJ covered at all times. He was unable to make much of an impact in the game, as Dalton swung the ball to Jones, who had more space and was open more often.