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There is some speculation that Chad Ochocinco could land with the Patriots when the lockout comes to a close. The Patriots have had success taking talented players with less than perfect pasts. Does he make sense for New England though?
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At 33 he is no longer the threat that he once was. Ocho has just one 1000 yard season in the past three year, and at 1047 yards it was well off the 1374 he averaged from 2003-2007. 43 (8.6 TDs per season) of his 66 career touchdowns came from that stretch giving him an average of. The past three years he averaged 806  yards and 5.7 touchdowns. He averaged 92.4 receptions from 03-07 and just 64 over the past three years.
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Everything depends on Ochocinco’s mental state. If he commits himself to the game, like he did in 2009, Ocho can put up solid numbers once again. He would have to limit some of the sideshow activities and focus on football.
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The thing the Patriots have going for them is they are not afraid to step on toes. Randy Moss was abruptly shown the door when he started to create tension in New England’s locker room. When players’ worth on the field no longer justifies their paychecks, the Patriots aren’t afraid to move on. With a strong-minded coach and quarterback, the Patriots simply wouldn’t put up with Ocho’s ways.
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Most of the drama is usually occurs when his team isn’t winning. When things were going good in Cincinnati, Ocho’s antics were cute and funny. When they were losing it was looked at as a distraction. If the Patriots were to continue their success, which is a strong possibility, then it should be less of an issue for Ochocinco to walk the line.
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While he would’t replace Randy Moss as a deep threat, Ocho would help. Deion Branch did an admirable job for the Patriots following his trade from Seattle, but he would likely have a hard time holding off Ocho for snaps.
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Ocho’s days of being a WR1 are long over. Mostly he would be a WR3 that could potentially produce like a WR2. We’ll just have to stay tuned to see where he lands.
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While the AFC East running back landscape is a mess, the AFC North is a goldmine.
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Ray Rice is a force, both running and catching the football. He regressed some last year, but still managed 1776 total yards (1220 rushing, 556 receiving) and six touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving). Willis McGahee is up in the air, but it makes sense for him to return to Baltimore next year. Rice is a top five to eight fantasy running back depending on your format.
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Rashard Mendenhall followed up his 1108 yard, seven touchdown season with an even more impressive 1273 yard, 11 touchdown season. Mendy is a clear RB1 and a top eight to ten fantasy running back depending on your format. I actually like him a little better than Ray Rice in non-PPR leagues. He may make some bonehead comments, but he is a fantasy force with little competition for carries.
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Cedric Benson is a free agent, but is likely to return to Cincinnati. He is a workhorse back that should crack the 1000 yard mark again. Benson is a solid RB2 that also shouldn’t receive much competition for carries. If he does part via free agency, all bets are off in Cincinnati.
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Peyton Hillis‘ impressive season landed him on the cover of Madden 12. Obviously there is a curse that supposedly goes with it, but after the way he ran roughshod on the Ravens last year, he may be able to stand up to the curse. He slowed towards the end of the year, and the Browns have already stated that they want to reduce his carries. Montario Hardesty should be in the mix for carries, but Hillis has earned the feature role. Hillis is a low-end RB1 or high-end RB2.
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10.  Cincinnati Bengals
Palmer sounds pretty intent on sitting out the 2011 NFL season unless the Bengals trade him. Mike Brown isn’t likely to cave to his demands. Unless one of these proud gentlemen have a change of heart, he will not wear the orange and black stripes.
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9.  Oakland Raiders
Palmer would probably be an upgrade over Jason Campbell, but it’s not enough of an upgrade to part ways with the compensation that Cincinnati would be looking for.
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8.  Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings need to bring in a veteran so they don’t have to rush Christian Ponder into action. I don’t think the QB they bring in will be one that will demand to start for the whole year.
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7.  Arizona Cardinals
While the Cardinals will likely deal for a quarterback, it appears that Kevin Kolb is their target.
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6.  Buffalo Bills
The Bills seem content going with Ryan Fitzpatrick. They can’t afford to trade away their picks to go after a guy like Palmer anyway.
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5.  San Francisco 49ers
The Niners will likely bring Alex Smith back. They drafted Colin Kaepernick. While Palmer would be an upgrade, he doesn’t make sense.
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4.  Washington Redskins
It wouldn’t surprise me if the Redskins made a play. Rex Grossman isn’t gonna cut it, and John Beck is a long shot. The Skins feel compelled to give Beck a shot though.
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3.  Seattle Seahawks
Pete Carroll is familiar with Carson Palmer so this isn’t a reach. The Seahawks seem content to bring Matt Hasselbeck though.
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2.  Miami Dolphins
The fish need to upgrade their quarterback situation. Chad Henne isn’t cutting it. This could be the number one location for Palmer if he’s dealt.
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1.  His couch
Carson Palmer has made it clear that he is not playing for the money. He has invested wisely and will retire if he has to. Mike Brown doesn’t want to set a precedent so we have a true stalemate. The closest Palmer gets to football is watching it on HDTV in his man cave.
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Carson Palmer sold his house. A few years ago that may have caused quite a commotion in the Bengals’ locker room, but I wonder if there is even a ripple.
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First of all, there are bigger fish to fry. As the lockout drags on, players have to start worrying about themselves financially. While they were urged to save money last year, I’m sure not all of the players heeded that advice. As house and car payments continue to go out without money coming back in, Palmer’s situation is far from the minds of his “teammates”.
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The Bengals front office prepared themselves with life after Palmer by drafting Andy Dalton, who will coincidentally have to battle Palmer’s brother for the starting gig. They found their Ochocino replacement in A.J. Green and Dalton is their quarterback of the future.
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It’s not exactly like Carson Palmer was dominating statistically either. Sure he threw for nearly 4000 yard and 26 touchdowns last year, but he also tossed 20 picks. He only had 3094 yards and 21 TDs in 2009. Palmer was limited to four games in 2008. 2007 was much like last year. He had a nice yardage total (4131) with the same touchdown (26) and interception (20) totals. You have to go back to 2006 to get his elite production.
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It’s not exactly like they are winning either. They had a nice run in 2009, but that  was mainly due to a opportunistic defense and a strong rushing attack led by Cedric Benson, who recently spoke out against the Bengals holding onto Palmer.
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“Don’t lock a man down whom you know won’t be happy if he stays. He’s the quarterback. I looked up to him when he was there and I’m sure many of the other guys did. If he’s there and not happy he’s not going to give us his best, he’s not going to give us that extra time in the film room and weight room because he’s not happy. In a way we’ll all kind of suffer for that. … If he’s not happy in Cincinnati, he’s not going to have passion.”
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While Benson’s views don’t reflect all of the Bengals players, I’m sure there are plenty that agree with his statement. They’ve moved on. Mike Brown should do the same. Nobody wins if Palmer sits the season out. The same way nobody wins if the lockout washes away the season.
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Carson Palmer’s fantasy value is obviously on hold. Unless he has a complete change of heart, he has no value if Cincinnati doesn’t trade him. If he hooks up with Brandon Marshall in Miami, he could have a productive season, though I don’t know that he’ll ever have a year like 2005 or 2006 again.
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Big Ben
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Like the AFC East this division is split between teams that have established quarterbacks and teams that are hopeful that their young quarterbacks will deliver.
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Ben Roethlisberger may be better equipped to deal with the lockout than any quarterback in the league. After all he sat out the first four games last year and stepped in with a three-touchdown performance in his season debut. Despite playing in 12 games he finished with 3200 yards and 17 TDs (5 INTs). Big Ben knows the offense and knows his players. If the lockout drags on, the veteran Steelers could actually be at an advantage. Big Ben is a solid QB1 that you should to be get at a good value.
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Joe Flacco had a solid season throwing for 3622 yard and 25 TDs (10 INTs). Unfortunately his number seem to decline at the end of the year. Last year he averaged 169.7 passing yards in Weeks 14-16 and 249 yards in the first 12 games. In 2009 he averaged 210 yards in Weeks 14-16 and 240.1 in the first 12 games. In fantasy championship week, typically week 16, he has averaged 134 yards the past two years. The Ravens added speedster Torrey Smith to help stretch the defenses. He should be a nice compliment to Anquan Boldin. Flacco remains a borderline QB1 and should put up solid numbers once again.
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Colt McCoy is back with some experience under his belt. He didn’t light the world on fire, but he didn’t crash and burn either. He completed 60.8 percent of his passes, a number that should rise as he is well-suited for the West Coast Offense the Browns run. They could have added Julio Jones, but opted to trade out of the sixth pick in the draft. They did add Greg Little in the second round, who could end up being one of the best receivers in this class.
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Finally we have the Cincinnati Bengals. Carson Palmer is as good as gone. Whether he is traded, retires, or just sits out the year is the question. Andy Dalton was taken in the second round and he has a good chance to open the season as the starter. Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens are also likely to be gone, but Jerome Simpson came on at the end of the year and they added A.J. Green in the draft. With Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham, Dalton has a good chance to be a solid QB2 as a rookie.
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A popular pre-NFL Draft sleeper was Cincinnati wide receiver Jerome Simpson after he finished the 2010 season off with a bang. Simpson caught six passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns in Week 16 against the Chargers before finishing with 12 catches for 123 yards and a score against the Ravens.
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With Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens not likely to return, Simpson seemed like a lock to take over number one receiver duties. While he still may hold onto the number one role, and almost assuredly a starting WR gig, the selection of A.J. Green with the fourth overall pick certainly cramps Simpson’s style.
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Fortunately for Simpson, there should be enough receptions to go around to make both receivers solid fantasy options.  Ocho and T.O. combined for 264 targets last year, leaving plenty of room to accommodate Green’s looks and Simpson’s increase from 25 targets. With rookie Andy Dalton the likely starter, tight end Jermaine Gresham should see an increase in targets as well.
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Andre Caldwell is likely the odd-man-out as he will likely lose the starting job. With Jordan Shipley locked in at the slot position, Caldwell could be limited to four-receiver sets.
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With Green on board, Simpson likely goes from a player that would be overdrafted to a potential value pick.


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It’s Thanksgiving time, and what better way to thank my wonderful readers than to run a contest with a cool prize. The prize, is a sweet fantasy football shirt from SMW Clothing. Not only can you beat all of your friends in fantasy every week, but you can look good doing it.
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So how do you win the contest? Simple. Whoever guesses the combined yardage that Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco have against the Jets on Thanksgiving night without going over wins. No repeat answers.
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So leave a comment with your best guess and be sure to check out SMW Clothing.

A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.

 

Rookie Cincinnati Bengal TE Jermaine Gresham has an ADP of 206 according to Mock Draft Central. That makes him the the second pick of the 18th round or the 20th TE to come off the board. That is right about where I have Gresham ranked among TEs (click to see my 2010 fantasy TE rankings). While his ranking puts him in the TE2 category, he has the potential to bust out in a big way.

 

He has great size (6’5″, 260), soft hands, and the ability to pick up yards after the catch with both his toughness and his elusiveness. He gives Carson Palmer a safety valve over the middle when Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, and Antonio Bryant (assuming he’s healthy) stretch the field. He should also get plenty of targets in the red zone given his skill set.

 

He missed the 2009 college season with a knee injury, but was a real threat in 2007 (37 catches, 518 yards, 11 TDs) and 2009 (66, 950, 14). My modest prediction for Gresham in 2010 is 45 catches for 450 yards and 5 TDs, but I could easily see those numbers jump to 60-650-7.

 

In non-keeper leagues he’s worth taking a shot on with a late round pick. In deep keeper leagues though, he should be go much sooner as he has the potential to become one of the top TEs in the league in the next couple of seasons.

 

What are your thoughts on Jermaine Gresham?

 

 

Click here to enter the Best Fantasy Football Team Name Contest for a chance to win some fabulous prizes.


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Well, T.O. found a new home again. This time he won’t be the WR with the biggest mouth on his team. That honor belongs to new teammate Chad Ochocinco. The signing shouldn’t hurt Ocho’s fantasy numbers too severely. Antonio Bryant stands to lose a significant portion of his looks though. Rookie TE Jermaine Gresham could see fewer passes over the middle and in the red zone because of the signing. Carson Palmer’s fantasy value gets a little bump. The best thing to come of this will be the drama that ensues from having Ocho and T.O. paired up.

 

Cedric Benson is in trouble again. It’s been a fairly quiet offseason for the Cincinnati Bengals, but it’s not surprising that one of their players got in trouble.

 

It’s been a couple of years since Benson last got in trouble, which led to his dismissal in Chicago. Fortunately for Benson, Cincinnati almost welcomes this sort of behavior with open arms.

 

According to the Austin American Statesmen, Benson was arrested this morning and charged with assault after punching an employee of Annie’s West bar on May 30th. According to the report he struck the employee after being refused re-entry after he was thrown out of the bar. He also spit blood at an employee. Classy.

 

He almost certainly will see a suspension for this incident given his prior history. He was a good bet for RB1 status, but that is in question now. As Forrest Gump so eloquently said, “stupid is as stupid does”.

 

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