Aside from his finable wardrobe offenses, Don Flamingo ambitions and hilarious defy-the-NFL's-anti-Tweeting-policy-with-a-traveling-Mariachi-band scheme, professional football's favorite court jester, Chad Ochocinco(notes), is primed for a points and prank-filled fantasy season.
Last year, self-inflicted turmoil, a partially torn labrum and Ted Kaczynski twin Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes), were the primary culprits in No. 85's embarrassing campaign. In 13 games, the once worshipped consistency king totaled a humiliating 50 catches for 773 yards and three scores. His 6.0 fantasy points per game output ranked 44th among wideouts, one spot behind future Canton legend Devery Henderson(notes). For a receiver who averaged 160 targets, 92.4 receptions, 1,347 yards, 8.6 touchdowns and 11.8 ppg per season from '03-'07, it was a hard and ADP-crippling fall from fantasy grace.
"My checklist is going back up this year," Ochocinco says. "The bottom line is that football is fun. A lot of people, they forget about that. This is a business, a harsh business. We're all one play away from having our careers cut short. The one thing I do is, I play the game like a kid. Last year, I let the business side get the better of me. This year, I'm bringing the fun back... There's no doubt that I'll be back this season. It's common sense. When I'm running my mouth and I'm happy, good stuff happens.
"I didn't want to play last year; I didn't want to be there. I was forced to stay. That's behind me now. This will be a record-breaking year - I'm ready to rock and roll."
With his playful antics once again a top priority, Ochocinco is destined to greatly exceed his 47.93 ADP (WR15). According to Carson Palmer, he worked tirelessly this past offseason on the "little things and fundamentals of his game," honing his craft. This preseason, the on-the-field results have been spectacular. Running crisp, sharp routes, he's snagged six passes for 151 yards in three contests (Eye candy here).
Critics will point out the 31-year-old's polarizing attitude and Cincinnati's disheveled offensive line - buffet closer Andre Smith(notes) couldn't even last two days - are significant hindrances. But Palmer's resurrection combined with the sudden emergence of Chris Henry and expected impact of greaseman Laveranues Coles(notes) should free-up Ochocinco vertically. Plus, if the Bengals' 19th-ranked scoring defense from '08 doesn't rapidly improve, he could be thrust into several late-game points-racking opportunities.
The Noise's mantasy for Ochocinco may be a journey in "Strangelove," but based on the jokester's circumstances, renewed attitude and slim chances of kicker eligibility ("Esteban's" must see highlights here); it's difficult not to give in to sin
Fearless Forecast (16 games): 91 receptions, 1,392 yards, 8 touchdowns
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