Like most good teams, the Bengals have a nice mix of veterans and rookies. Some players are in the twilight of their careers and others have long and prosperous careers ahead of them. The older guys are important because they give the younger guys direction and show them the ropes. The younger guys are important because they are the future of any team. Recently, Bleacher Report published an article about what Bengals player stock they feel is on the rise and who's stock is falling.
Players in their prime:
The only player that Bleacher Report says is in their prime on the entire Bengals roster is Chad Ochocinco. I completely agree that Ochocinco is in his prime but I completely disagree that he's the only Bengals player in his prime. I think Carson Palmer is in his prime even though he's had a couple rough years. I also think that Cedric Benson is getting to the point where he's in his prime and he showed us all why last season. I'm not exactly sure what the guys over at Bleacher Report are thinking but before I get too mad and start punching my screen, let me tell you what they said about Ochocinco.
At age 32, the prime years for Chad are starting to run out. He was completely shut down by Darrelle Revis in the last two games of the season, catching a total of two passes for just 28 yards. However, Ochocinco is best served with a speedy and reliable option next to him and he finally has that again with the addition of Antonio Bryant. He also won’t play every game out on Revis Island.
Players on the rise:
Bleacher Report thinks that Bernard Scott, Jermaine Gresham and Antonio Bryant are on the rise. I think it's funny that they completely forgot to mention the entire Bengals defense but I guess it's easy to forget that they finished the season as the fourth best defense in the NFL. Oh well. I do agree with the three guys they picked out even though it's hard for a rookie to be on the rise. Bernard Scott was impressive when Benson sat out a couple games last season and I have a feeling that Bryant will be impressive as hell since this will be the first time he's ever had a quarterback with any talent throwing him the ball. As for Gresham, two words: game changer. If that doesn't land you on the "players on the rise" list as a rookie then I don't know what does. About Scott:
Scott had a solid rookie campaign as a complement to Cedric Benson, posting 321 yards on 74 attempts. It doesn’t appear that Benson will be suspended for his recent incident at a bar, but it reminds all Scott owners that he’s just one Benson mistake away from fantasy prominence.
His college resume is outstanding. He produced 66 receptions, 950 yards, and 14 touchdowns in 2008, giving him 111 catches, 1,629 yards, and 26 touchdowns in his three years in Norman. Those are big time prospect numbers from a position the Bengals have been needing production from for a long time.
After stints in Dallas, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Tampa Bay, Bryant comes to Cincinnati with the coaches hoping he can replace the late Chris Henry as the deep threat to their offense. Bryant exploded in Tampa Bay for 1,248 yards and seven touchdowns in 2008, but a swollen left knee limited him to just 600 yards and four touchdowns.
Players with falling stock:
Before you read this, let me warn you, you're about to get mad. At least you should be mad about what you're going to read. It's the most ridiculous thing ever and I'm gritting my teeth to the point that they are starting to crack. Okay. I'm calm now and I'm going to try as hard as I can to be as subjective as possible. Here we go.
According to Bleacher Report, the Bengals players whose stocks are falling are Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, Matt Jones, Chase Coffman, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson. WHAT THE &@#%?!? Some of these I can sort of agree with but most I definitely don't. You already know what I think about Palmer and Benson but let's see what they have to say.
Palmer has seemingly lost some of his trademark zip and overall arm strength. When you watched him last season, it was obvious that something simply wasn’t right. His deep ball accuracy was suspect and he tended to float passes to open receivers in the middle of the field. While the team and Palmer himself insist nothing is wrong, it’s tough to watch tape and truly believe that.
While still just 27 years old, the risk with Benson is significant. He’s shown a history of off the field issues and poor judgment. While that seems to fit right in with the Bengals, he’s probably one strike away from a serious suspension. His latest incident in a bar likely won’t be that strike, but it’s a reminder that owning Benson can be uncomfortable at best.
I don't consider what Benson did in Chicago as a "history of off the field issues". I see it as a guy who made a couple mistakes but seems to have grown up. And as for Palmer, I agree that he had an off season last year. Who knows what the problem was. He was in a different system, he didn't have the talent at wide receiver that he had in the past, his thumb didn't allow him to utilize the play action. I don't know but what I do know is that Palmer's stock isn't on the decline. He's going to show a lot of fantasy owners why he's a top tier quarterback this season.... I hope.
On to the receivers:
Matt Jones: Unfortunately for Jones, he’s looked incredibly ordinary in practice so far. He’s sitting squarely on the roster bubble for the Bengals and should sit squarely on the waiver wire in your dynasty leagues.
Chase Coffman: Any chance he had for dynasty league value went out the window when Jermaine Gresham was drafted. Coffman has shown some ability, but he’s buried on the depth chart now.
Andre Caldwell: He looked to have a lock on the No. 3 receiver position, but he’s being pushed by a rookie from Texas who we’ll talk about later. Regardless, his ceiling is going to be as a situational slot receiver with the addition of Antonio Bryant to play opposite Ochocinco.
Jerome Simpson: He’s been a project for a while now and it’s just about time he shows some promise. He’ll likely beat out Matt Jones for a roster spot, but playing time isn’t in the cards any time soon. He’s only a stash in the deepest of dynasty leagues.
Andre Caldwell may have some competition at the receiver position but I haven't forgotten about the guy who caught two touchdown winning passes in the final seconds of close games. I don't think his stock is falling, it might not be shooting to the top right now, but it's not falling. Chase Coffman may have less of a chance now to wow people now that Jermaine Gresham is in stripes but I think the Bengals still have plans for the record breaking college tight end. As for Jerome Simpson, obviously the guys at Bleacher Report don't keep up with the Bengals. Simpson has been looking impressive so far this off season and a lot of writers believe that this is his year. Finally, when it comes to Matt Jones, I think if this is Simpson's year, it won't be the year for Matt Jones.
Well, I feel like Bleacher Report, just like everybody else, is drastically underestimating the Bengals even if it's for fantasy football. Now that I've almost broken my computer with my rage induced typing, why don't you tell me what you think.