Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals are obviously a much better football team than they were just one year ago. Unfortunately, their record has not reflected that yet. Entering Week 3, the Bengals are 0-2, although they have been very competitive so far under the leadership of their rookie quarterback.
In Week 1, the Bengals put up a fight but came up just short against the Los Angeles Chargers by a final score of 16-13. They looked like they were going to pull off a win, but an offensive pass interference call against star wide receiver A.J. Green negated the game-winning touchdown. Last week, the Bengals couldn’t quite beat the Cleveland Browns and fell 35-30.
To say that Burrow is not loving the 0-2 start would be an understatement. He made it clear that losing isn’t fun:
“Losing isn’t very fun. This might be the only time in my sporting career that I have lost two games in a row. It doesn’t feel very good. I know that the guys in there are hurting. We are going to come back to work tomorrow and try to get this thing right. Losing is unacceptable to me, to everyone in there, to coach [Zac] Taylor and to everybody in this organization. We are just going to have to get it fixed.”
While the Bengals have lost both of their first two games, it has not been Burrow’s fault. He has completed 61.9 percent of his pass attempts for 509 yards, three touchdowns, and just one interception. Burrow has also scored a touchdown on the ground.
For Fantasy Football players, there is one major question that needs to be asked. Is Joe Burrow worthy of being a QB1 in lineups?
Burrow showed off QB1 potential against the Browns in Week 2. He racked up 316 passing yards on 61 passing attempts to go along with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Those numbers will tempt Fantasy Football owners to throw him into their starting lineups.
Is that a risk this early in the young quarterback’s career? Absolutely, but Burrow is well worth the risk. Not very often will anyone advise a Fantasy Football player to start a rookie, but Burrow is the real deal and should be started in most cases.
Looking at the Bengals’ upcoming schedule, Burrow has quite a few favorable matchups. Cincinnati will play the Eagles, Jaguars, Ravens, Colts, Browns, Titans, and Steelers in their next seven games. None of those games should scare off Fantasy Football players from starting Burrow.
Not only is Burrow the real deal himself, he has plenty of weapons around him. Green, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins are talented wideouts, while both C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample are capable tight ends. Joe Mixon is a good running back and will continue taking pressure off of Burrow and the passing game.
Granted, if you have a quarterback like Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, or Russell Wilson, Burrow should not be starting over them. But, he is a worthy mid-tier quarterback that should offer you between 20-30 points nearly every week.
Quite simply, to answer the question, Burrow is absolutely worthy of being played as a QB1. As long as you don’t start him over an obviously elite quarterback, there is nothing wrong with plugging the rookie into your lineup.
Burrow will only get better as the season moves forward and he gains more experience. For the first time in a long time, the Bengals’ offense is dangerous and no one should be scared to play any of the playmakers in Cincinnati.
Expect to see Joe Burrow continue building on his impressive first two starts in the NFL. He may not power you to a Fantasy Football championship by himself, but he is more than qualified to be a fantasy starter as a rookie.