It’s hard to believe that last season was just the second in Joe Burrow’s career. He responded to a shortened rookie season due to an injury with an explosive performance a season ago with 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns that led the Cincinnati Bengals to a Super Bowl appearance. The Bengals overhauled their offensive line in the offseason to provide Burrow with more support and theoretically giving him a chance to get even better.
4,450.5 passing yards: Over (+100) or Under (-120)
Our pick: over 4,450.5 passing yards
Burrow did get his appendix removed in the preseason, so as long as that wasn’t his version of an Achillies heel, he should be in line for an improvement on passing numbers and not a regression. He has one of the most talented wide receiver trios at his disposal, a running back to take the pressure off and an upgraded offensive line. All signs point to Burrow taking another step forward, which would see him hitting the over for passing yards.
33.5 passing TDs: Over (-105) or Under (-115)
Our pick: over 33.5 touchdowns
The Bengals seem to have found a cheat code in Ja’Marr Chase. He is the reigning Rookie of the Year and is heading into his second season, where most wideouts take a step forward. The fact that he could possibly get better is scary. Don’t forget that Burrow will also have Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon and new tight end Hayden Hurst to throw to. Again, the upgraded line plays a factor here, and Burrow should tally more passing touchdowns than he had a year ago.
Fantasy football insight
Burrow finished last season as the overall QB8 in half-PPR fantasy scoring. He is being drafted as the QB6 this year. His rushing numbers were down as he took it easy on his knees last year. However, Burrow looks primed for an even better year, so his lack of dual-threat ability may not hurt him that much. I expect Burrow to be more confident in the pocket as he is getting hit less and able to tally more passing yards and touchdowns. Burrow should finish as a top-5 quarterback this season.
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