Friday, August 27, 2010

8/27 Bust of the Day: Chad Ochocinco

I'm torn over everybody's favorite reality star. On one hand, it's almost hard to take him seriously as a football player because of all the Twittering and self-promoting off the field and silliness on it. He's also 32 years old and appears to be past his prime, when he was catching 90-plus passes a year with regularity.

On the other hand, Ocho did have 72 receptions, 1,047 yards and 9 TDs in 2009, numbers that are nothing to sniff at and which represented a bounce-back year for him. The flip side is that 2008 was a real clunker - 53 catches, 540 yards (10.2 yards a reception) and  just 4 TDs.

So what can we expect this year? Ocho's still the Bengals' No. 1 option, but his supporting cast is much improved with the additions of Terrell Owens, Antonio Bryant and rookie Jordan Shipley. Can QB Carson Palmer keep them all happy? Will Palmer's arm hold up all year? Or will Cincinnati lean on workhorse back Cedric Benson?

My gut tells me Ochocinco still has some life left in him, his rapport with Palmer will still be there, and the addition of T.O., while a potential headache-inducer, will also loosen up some coverages. I think he'll have fantasy value. But I believe people will overpay for him on draft day because of his name and past reputation alone. He's being selected, on average, as the 15th WR off the board in ESPN leagues right now, which sounds OK, but I wouldn't go any higher than that. I could see younger wideouts like Hakeem Nicks, Mike Wallace, Pierre Garcon or Michael Crabtree outperforming him, or at least equaling his best-case-scenario stats, while coming at a lower price.

Ochocinco's a low-end No. 2 for me, and a risky one at that.

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