Laveranues Coles Bengals
Image from ESPN Photos

As long as Carson Palmer is healthy, he’s likely the best QB Coles has ever played with (at the time, relax Favre fans).  Though he throws a good deep ball, he also made a living hitting Housh on shorter routes.  Now that Housh is gone, Coles can fill that role. Plus, if Chad Ochocinco is truly back to form, Coles should find plenty of opening to do his thing.  He’s a good route runner with terrific hands and toughness.  I don’t know if he can match the TD total (7) from last year simply because Chris Henry is Palmer’s weapon of choice in close, but Coles should be a good value, especially in PPR leagues.

Coles will likely be selected in the 7th or 8th round of your fantasy draft, and should be good for 85 receptions for 1000 yards and 5 TDs.  I wouldn’t be enamored with his as my WR2, but he’s a solid WR3.

Chad Ochocinco TD
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

Which Ochocinco will show up?  The one that averaged 1339 yards and 8 TDs from 2002-2007 or the one that phoned in the 2008 season?  He has said all the right things this offseason and has been relatively quiet considering who we’re dealing with.  He plans to tweet during games, but as long as it only costs him money and not playing time, I’m not too concerned.  He is going to draw attention to himself.  That’s what he does.  As long as he’s productive, I can care less.  Personally I don’t see what the big deal if players tweet during games.  I don’t know why the NFL would be opposed to something that would improve the communication with the fans.

Back to Ocho.  He admitted he didn’t work out last year, which rightfully upset Bengals fans and his fantasy owners.  He’s in much better shape and has been on the same page as Carson Palmer.  He is a slight risk as a WR2 simply because of his mindset, but he easily can put up WR1 numbers.  He is going in the 4th or 5th rounds in fantasy drafts, but he could easily put up 2nd round numbers.  I think the risk is worth it personally.  I think he’s good for 80 catches for 1100 yards and 7 TDs in 2009.

Written by
Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

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.

The Benglas are such a mess.  That’s what I said when I previewed them before last season, and nothing has changed.  Strike that, they are even more of a mess.  At least you figured they’d be fine on Offense last year.  Now they have a QB (Carson Palmer) coming off an injury, their rushing attack is a mess, and their WRs still don’t want to play for them.  Cedric Benson looked great down the stretch, but he’s an unrestricted free agent.  I’m not convinced he’s an RB you can depend on for a full season, especially in a losing environment.  Chris Perry is also a free agent, and he’s never really lived up to the hype.  I see little chance Houshmandzadeh sticks around.  Chad Ocho Cinco has been quiet (nice, huh?), but you know it’s only a mtatter of time before he gets his name in the papers.  Chris Henry has to avoid getting arrested in the offseason or he’ll sit out a whole year.  In case you’ve been under a rock, the Bungles are back.

John Thornton and Kyries Hebert are the biggest FA’s on D. 

The plan for the Bengals will be to figure out who’s running the ball and who’s catching the ball next year.  Good luck with that.

**UPDATE:  FB Daniel Coats re-signed.**
**UPDATE:  Shayne Graham was franchised**

KFFL Free Agent Tracker:

Pos Player Name FA Status Previous Team Current Team
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
RB Cedric Benson UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
RB DeDe Dorsey RFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
RB Chris Perry RFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
RB Quincy Wilson UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
FB Daniel Coats ERFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
PK Shayne Graham UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
DL John Thornton UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
DL Jimmy Verdon RFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
CB Brandon Williams UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
SS Kyries Hebert UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
SS Ethan Kilmer Signed Cincinnati Bengals Miami Dolphins

Yesterday I gave you the Sell High Candidates.  Today I flip it up and give you the Buy Low ones.  These are guys who have started off slow.  Now is the time to pluck them from your competition before their value increases.

Peyton Manning - How often is it that Peyton Manning has more INTs than TDs after three games?  How about only 3 TDs in three games?  There are about a dozen QBs who have had better starts than Peyton.  If you can somehow package a RB or a WR with little brother Eli and snag Peyton, why wouldn’t you?  How about Aaron Rodgers?  You have to be more confident in Peyton’s ability to score big throughout the year.  This could be a great year to own him since they aren’t running away with the division.  They likely won’t be closing shop in Week 16 this year.  He has the bye week to continue to get healthy and work out his kinks.  You need to strike now before he gets hot.

Joseph Addai - You probably should have tried to get him a week ago, but he’s has less than 200 total yards and 3 TDs right now.  If you can acquire him for Sell High candidate Michael Turner, I say do it now.    Once Saturday gets healthier Addai will be ripping it up again.

Laurence Maroney - He’s done absolutely nothing.  He is averaging 22.3 yards per game.  Why would yo even consider him?  He finishes stong.  Nine of his twelve career TDs have come in the second half, with six of them coming in December.  If you can get him for bargain bin value, why wouldn’t you?  Even if he doesn’t rebound, he likely won’t cost you much.  If you have guys on bye early at RB you can afford to stash him on your bench.

Braylon Edwards - He has 73 yards in three games.  That’s pathetic.  That’s slightly better than what Maroney produced.  His QB situation is a mess, but eventually they are going to have to get him involved if they want to turn this thing around. 

Chad Ocho Cinco - He’s also off to a slow start.  I’ve told you already not to trust Ocho.  However, if you can acquire him as your third WR, don’t you think he’s worth the risk?  He still has a great QB throwing to him with a great WR opposite of him.

Don’t Trust Ocho Cinco

21 September 2008

I heard Charch talking about how he was down on Ocho Cinco the other day so I decided to delve a little deeper into #85.

If you look at Chad Ocho Cinco’s numbers over the past couple of seasons you have no reason to be concerned about his slow start.  If I round up his 1274 yard 2004 season he has five straight 1300+ yard seasons with at least 7 TDs each year.  However, if you look a little deeper into his numbers you start looking for the panic button. 

In his last 16 games has just five TDs.  That’s not exactly what you would expect from an elite reason in a full season’s worth of games.  If you go back a little further you’ll see that he has just 8 TDs in his last 24 games.  What’s worse is the fact that those 8 TDs came in four games.  So Ocho has scored a TD in every six games the last year and a half.  Even more alarms go off when you look at his December production.  How does 2 100 yard games and 2 TDs in nine December games the past two years?  Yikes.  How about when fantasty footballers need him the most?  In Weeks 14-16 over the past two years he’s averaged 58.7 yards without a TD.  That’s not cutting it.

Now, does that mean I’d swear Ocho off for good?  Absolutely not.  I wouldn’t cut him obviously, and I wouldnt’ be big on trading him unless I was getting a good deal.  On the flip side though, if his owner is getting antsy with Ocho, you may be able to sneak in and buy low on him.

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties