The Duel

John Ross Fantasy Outlook Improves Ahead of Return From IR Against Browns in Week 14

Dan Israeli
John Ross hauls in a pass against the San Francisco 49ers.
John Ross hauls in a pass against the San Francisco 49ers. / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

John Ross III started the season in epic fashion, catching seven passes (on 12 targets) for 158 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks.

He followed that start with another strong outing (four catches, 112 yards and one TD) in Week 2, but he injured his shoulder against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4, leading to a 10-week stint on the IR.

Ross is now expected to make his return to the field in Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns, and should immediately assume his spot on the outside across from fellow big-play wide receiver Auden Tate, with Tyler Boyd working out of the slot. Head coach Zac Taylor said Ross will have a role against the Browns, but it is unclear how many snaps Ross will see in his first game back off the IR.

The Bengals' offense received a much needed shot in the arm last week when Andy Dalton was reinserted as the starting quarterback, as they beat the New York Jets 22-6. Dalton passed for 243 yards and one TD, and he will likely welcome another big-play weapon in Ross to spread the Browns' defense and give them one more player to worry about.

Ross is not a recommended fantasy play, due to the uncertainty over his playing time and volume, making him much more of a boom-or-bust option. The Browns are allowing the 10th-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, but they have also given up seven plays of 40-plus yards this season.

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