Bengals WR A.J. Green: Fantasy football is great for the NFL


Bengals WR A.J. Green: Fantasy football is great for the NFL

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green became $60 million richer when he signed a four-year extension with the Bengals just before the 2015 NFL season kicked off.

Is any of that money going to go towards fantasy football league dues?

[RELATED: Fantasy Football Podcast: Assessing the overreactions from Week 1]

Unlike many of his NFL fraternity brothers, Green told the CSN Fantasy crew he doesn't partake in fantasy sports, but he does think it's a great thing for the league.

"I don't play fantasy football, but I think it's great for the sport," Green said. "I think it brings a lot of recognition to the sport. I think it's great for the NFL though."

As a four-time Pro Bowl wideout who is counted on weekly by plenty of fantasy players throughout the world, Green does indeed monitor his social accounts to see what people are saying about him when it comes to fantasy football.

[MORE: Get more Fantasy Sports coverage here]

"I remember last year I had this older lady," Green said. "In her profile she looked like she was in her 60's or maybe a little older. She said 'I worked a nine-hour shift with a broken toe. Get your butt back out there I need my points.' So it's little things like that that people always say to me on Twitter or Instagram."

Check out what else Green had to see in the video above, including the emergence of his teammate Tyler Eifert and how he refuels after each game and practice with Rockin' Refuel Muscle Builder.

David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen dubbed shakiest backfield in NFL

David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen dubbed shakiest backfield in NFL

David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen are by no means the most exciting backfield in the NFL. At least, not yet. They still have much to prove in 2020 after their first year teaming up for the Bears in 2019.

Montgomery finished his rookie season with 889 yards and six touchdowns while Cohen managed just 669 total yards and three scores. With no other accomplished NFL running back on the roster, it's Montgomery and Cohen or bust.

According to ESPN, there's a really good chance they'll be a bust. They dubbed the Bears' backfield as the shakiest in the NFL.

"This is one of the situations where "it's all relative" really comes into play," ESPN's Mike Clay wrote. "Could David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen put together a solid or exceptional season? Absolutely. However, it's not hard to identify more proven and effective backs on the other 31 rosters. Montgomery underwhelmed on 267 touches as a third-round rookie last season, whereas Cohen posted atrocious yardage numbers on a per-carry (3.3) and per-target (4.4) basis. Furthermore, Chicago's depth is also arguably weakest in the league."

It's hard to argue with that assessment. Chicago's running game is in something of a prove-it season which extends beyond just the ball-carriers. Matt Nagy has to prove he can script a good game plan, the offensive line has to consistently open holes, and the running backs have to take advantage of their opportunities to make plays on a more efficient basis.

Until then, it's fair to call the Bears' backfield shaky.



Cody Whitehair cracks Pro Football Focus' top 25 interior offensive linemen

Cody Whitehair cracks Pro Football Focus' top 25 interior offensive linemen

The Chicago Bears offensive line, as a unit, wasn't great in 2019. The offense as a whole was pretty bad, and that's usually the result of an underwhelming O-line. The Bears were proof of that last year.

But that doesn't mean Chicago doesn't have promising talent upfront. Take starting center Cody Whitehair, for example. He cracked Pro Football Focus' list of the top 25 interior linemen in the NFL entering the 2020 season.

Split duties between left guard and center led to the lowest PFF grade of Whitehair’s career in 2019 (64.9), but he had shown himself to be more than capable of holding down the center position in three prior seasons. From 2016 to 2018, Whitehair’s 83.5 PFF grade when lined up at center ranked seventh among 42 players to play at least 1,000 snaps at the position. He’ll look to pick things up there in 2020.

Whitehair's PFF grade was a product of how the Bears used him. It's hard for any player to play at their highest level when their role on the team is unsettled. It's especially true for offensive linemen who are required to be in rhythm with their linemates on every single play. Flipping between guard and center makes it tough to build that cohesion, but it's something that is now in Whitehair's past.

Whitehair played 521 snaps at left guard and 576 snaps at center last season. It was nearly a 50/50 split.

The Bears have settled on James Daniels, the team's second-round pick in 2018, at left guard, and there's a training camp battle underway at right guard between Germain Ifedi and Rashaad Coward. Ifedi should get the nod, and the Bears will begin 2020 with a promising trio of interior offensive linemen who will be tasked with getting the running game back on track.