Rotoprofessor’s Fantasy Football Profile: Chad Ochocinco
Chad Ochocinco is a character, if nothing else, which brings him into the limelight. That exposure helps to bring him to the forefront of fantasy owners’ minds, but does he still have the talent to justify selecting him?
Remember, this is the same player who posted six consecutive seasons of 1,100 yards or more from 2002-2007, and five straight of 7 TD or more. Of course, he had also played in 16 games in each of those seasons, something he was not able to accomplish in 2008.
Injuries helped to limit to him to just 13 games (10 starts), missing the final two games of the season and not starting the two he did play in during December. It’s easy to point to that for his significant falloff, but he did not manage a single 100-yard receiving game during the season.
His longest catch of the year was just 26-yards, with only three of his receptions going for 20+ yards and none for over forty. This is the same player who had at least 16 catches of over 20 yards from 2003 through 2007, so it is apparent that he has lost a step or two.
Of course, the absence of Carson Palmer likely contributed to his 53 reception, 540 yard season, but I would ask you to then explain for T.J. Houshmandzadeh (92 receptions for 904 yards), who didn’t seem to miss a beat? Obviously, a healthy Palmer in 2009 will likely mean at least a marginal improvement for Ochocinco, who has a rapport with his QB.
Is that rapport enough to think he’s going to fully rebound into the player he once was? Doubtful, to say the least.
With Houshmandzadeh now in Seattle, the Bengals brought in veteran Laverneous Coles to play opposite Ochocinco, forming a solid, though unspectacular veteran duo. With neither likely to have “breakout” potential, the defenses aren’t going to be forced to focus on one or the other. Basically, he’s not going to get the benefit of the defense focusing on the WR opposite him (like Lee Evans should in Buffalo, thanks to the signing of Terrell Owens).
With that said, let’s take a look at how I would project him for 2009:
Receiving: 72 catches, 950 yards, 7 TD
All of this is not to say that Ochocinco could be a solid play in all formats, but he’s clearly not a #1 WR anymore and maybe not even a #2. The statistics I’m expecting from him would place him as a solid #3 in all formats however, so consider drafting him to fill out your WR slots. He has the potential to have a huge rebound season, but given his performance last season and the uncertainty that Carson Palmer will be able to be the same QB he once was, there is a huge shadow of doubt hanging over him.
What do you think of Ochocinco? Will he rebound from 2008? How far?
Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.