Andrew Hawkins: Projecting Bengals WR's Output at Jacksonville
Here we are, approaching Week 4, and the Cincinnati Bengals boast one of the league's best passing offenses, a quarterback who is nowhere close to as incompetent as he seemed in Week 1 against the Ravens and a group of wide receivers who keep coming up big every week.
This season really is so unpredictable.
And among those emerging receivers is Andrew Hawkins, who could continue to be a nice surprise for fantasy owners who need a little extra production from an unexpected source.
Hawkins has a bit of an unorthodox story, outlined by CBSSports.com's Paul Dehner Jr.: He made the jump from the CFL to the Bengals' practice squad in 2011, and prior to that, he'd been cut by two pro teams and had worked as a college coach.
After the way he's started the 2012 season—and judging by how strong the Bengals' passing offense looks in general—it would be safe to say that he's in the league to stay.
The amount of production we can expect out of him in Week 4, though, is still up in the air.
It's hard to predict which receivers the Bengals are going to continue to utilize the most. After Week 3, the answer would seem to be A.J. Green, who has slowly but surely been getting more and more targets each week.
In Week 1, Hawkins led all receivers with eight receptions for 86 yards. In Week 2, Brandon Tate emerged as Andy Dalton's go-to guy, and Hawkins' production suffered as a result: He only got two receptions for 56 yards, but he did reel in a touchdown.
And as Week 3 rolled around, Green stole the show: nine catches, 183 yards, one touchdown. In a game that saw four different Bengals receivers reel in a touchdown catch, Hawkins was one of them—but yet again, he only made two grabs for 66 yards.
The one touchdown catch he made, though, was for an all-important insurance score with just over seven minutes remaining in the game.
So with someone new seemingly stepping up every week for the Bengals, what can we expect from Hawkins in Week 4 as the Bengals visit Jacksonville, owners of the No. 21 pass defense in the league?
More of the same: An attack that focuses heavily on the pass, and an attack that will aim to victimize the Jaguars' secondary. In Week 3, the Bengals got 478 total yards, and 385 of them came in the air. Now that Dalton seems to have worked out the kinks and is looking stronger with each week, it means good things for his favorite targets, and Hawkins is one of them.
In each of the Bengals' last two games—which they have won by a combined score of 72-58—they have clearly relied on the offense to keep them in the game. Against Jacksonville, losers of two of three, it should be even easier for Dalton and his crew to put up some serious points.
And that means good things for Hawkins. He may not be the most-targeted wideout—or he may be; we'll never know with this team—but he'll get a handful of targets. After the kind of week Green had, it wouldn't be crazy to assume he'll get the most, but Hawkins should be right behind him.
This matchup favors the Bengals, as long as Dalton can keep playing the way he's been playing for the last two weeks. As Dalton goes, the Bengals' receivers go, so all in all, this figures to be a good week for Hawkins to do some mild damage for your fantasy team.
Projection: 6 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD
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