Andy Dalton has been throwing a football since recovering from his thumb injury that ended his 2015 season. He is now 100% healthy from the thumb injury. I am downgrading Dalton in my 2016 rankings for several reasons. Dalton has a new offensive coordinator this season (Ken Zampese), so there will be some growing pains here. Dalton lost Wide Receiver Marvin Jones to the Detroit Lions, but Cincinnati was able to sign Wide Receiver Brandon LaFell. Dalton could be a nice fill in for suspended Tom Brady.
While never sexy, Dalton is always a reliable performer and you won't be hurting if he is your backup quarterback. With that being said, he has finished 17th and 18th in quarterback scoring over the last two seasons and with the way the Bengals plan on running the ball, Dalton's ceiling is not far beyond those figures. If you are in a two-QB league, Dalton is a fine play, but in standard leagues, we recommend taking more of a gamble at the backup QB position.
Dalton was the 18th ranked fantasy quarterback last year, but he was in the Top-5 for most of the season until he suffered a season-ending thumb injury in Week 14. He could compete for a QB1 ranking again this year, his 15th ranking shows the depth of the fantasy quarterback field. The addition of WR Tyler Boyd could also help ease the losses of WR Marvin Jones and WR Mohamed Sanu.
Dalton was on pace for a career year when he was hurt with four games left in the season. With a balanced team and his star offensive players healthy, he is a fantasy asset, but he can't carry a team on his back. I believe last season was his pinnacle and with Mohammed Sanu, Marvin Jones and Hue Jackson gone, I believe we'll see some regression this year.