Patriots Acquire Ochocinco: Fantasy Implications

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Well if you haven’t found anything interesting in the past 48 hours, feast your eyes on this little fantasy football tidbit.

The New England Patriots not only scooped up Ochocinco from Cincinnati, they have locked him into a three-year deal, giving fantasy football owners another wrench in their rankings system to deal with.

Not to mention us writers!

Details set aside, this move basically rejuvenates Ochocinco’s initial projected fantasy football value as he now plays in one of the more proficient passing offense in the AFC, with one of the best fantasy football quarterbacks—Tom Brady, ranked 4th in our quarterback rankings—under center.

It is perceived that Ochocinco has lost a step as a downfield threat over the years, but that assumption is a bit difficult to buy into, given the tumultuous environment Cincinnati has been influenced by in recent years.

With that said, fantasy football owners can faithfully put Ochocinco back on the fantasy map as a potential Top 25 receiver (rankings will be updated this weekend to reflect all the changes when the market closes for business).

Even if he has lost a step as a downfield threat, New England’s pass-friendly and confusing approach will provide plenty of opportunities for those who take the leap of faith on Ocho, and draft him this year.

One new additive in New England will be the continuation of the utilization of double tight end sets (this is becoming the next fad, isn’t it?) which will allow for heavy play out of play-action, and specific play-oriented schemes to exploit the single deep safety coverage that is usually deployed against such an offensive set.

In other words, a perfect situation for a guy who is perceived as no longer being a downfield threat.

Ocho is bound to see a ton of looks, scoring opportunities and even has the chance to be the leading scoring threat in New England by year’s end.

Perfect for that savvy fantasy football manager on the hunt for a bounce-back player in 2011.

Check back this weekend for the updated WR rankings, QB rankings and an official early ADP analysis on Ochocinco (and others), once the dust settles.