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On the Rise – Jerome is Burning


Don’t look now but Jerome Simpson is no longer just another disappointing receiver with so much promise and so little production – that is, along as you only look at the last two games of 2010.

A second round selection (46th overall) in 2008 by the Bengals, Simpson failed to compile any meaningful stats until week 16 of the 2010 season.  With the Cincinnati offense fully engaged in yet another death spiral, Simpson was given meaningful snaps in the final two games of the season, making the most of them by compiling 18 receptions for 247 yards and 3 TDs.  If not for the late season heroics, it is more than absolute that Simpson would be languishing in your free agent pool as yet another 3rd year receiver failure.  Regardless, your waiver wire deserves at least a cursory glance just in case.

Simpson, newly 25 years of age, has always had respectable size and speed.  What he hasn’t had is any level of consistent opportunity within an offense that has seen other such threats as Chad OchoCinco, Terrell Owens, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Jermain Gresham and even the late Chris Henry garner more attention.  There simply haven’t been enough balls to go around.  Fast forward to late 2010 and 2011 and the Cinci offense is in shambles, in great need of play-makers and surely soon to be overhauled altogether.  Gone is the enigmatic T.O.  Soon to be gone is the once-star tandem of Carson Palmer and OchoCinco.  It’s even possible, if not likely, that the aging and somewhat single-dimensional Cedric Benson will be departing in 2011 as well.

The Bengals are sure to be looking for multiple offensive play-makers this off-season and head coach Marvin Lewis has already mentioned Simpson as a player that will be expected to step up and receivers coach James Urban expects him to play a major role.  Whether these words are by design based on realistic expectations or simply to bolster the young receiver’s confidence, it’s clear that Simpson will be given every chance to remain a starter in the Bengal’s offense, at least heading into camp.

For fantasy leaguers, the question is whether Simpson deserves his status as a quickly rising prospect, or if he is simply the next in a series of late season risers, similar to Chicago’s Devon Aromashodu in 2009.

It’s difficult to get too excited about any receiver that leaps onto the scene after multiple years of non-existent production.  Even moreso when considering Simpson plays in an offense that simply doesn’t reward fantasy coaches with any level of consistency or hope for the near-term.  Lack of long term production aside, the Bengals are not a team that can be trusted in their current state.  But perhaps that current state is what also should provide the most appeal to Simpson owners.

Simpson now finds himself a veteran on a team needing veteran leadership.  While the near-certain departure of QB Carson Palmer looms large, with that eventuality comes a season of low expectation but great opportunity.  Simpson will certainly be looking to capitalize on that opportunity.   While the aforementioned Aromashodu quickly found himself out of a position in the newly installed Martz offense, new coordinator Gruden will likely tap Simpson as the veteran starter from week 1.

In a game where receivers arrive on the scene, only to be quickly ushered into anonymity, something tells me that Simpson is a receiver that is here to stay, at least for the next couple of years.  It’s hard to pin any level of seasonal expectation or production from a stat sheet spanning two games, but in dynasty, the opportunity must come before the production in most cases.  Simply put, Simpson’s opportunity looms large in 2011 and the uncertainty surrounding the Bengal offense would seemingly prolong that opportunity, a fact that only plays further to Simpson’s benefit.

Recently rising to #43 in our rankings, Simpson is on the move and also remains a good buy low candidate now.  It’s certain that some coaches will over-value him based on his final two games, but many more should be willing to part with him for a mid to late second round pick, or as a throw-in as part of a larger trade.  At that value, Simpson is well worth the addition.

Expectations must be tempered, but something tells me that Simpson is going to be a fine addition for those willing to take the risk.

Jeff Haverlack
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Eric Dickens
11 years ago

Very well written and informative article. I was expecting an article tilted more one way or another, but I thought this captured a realistic look at what Simpson could be expected to produce. I think he definitely has the talent and skill to produce at a high level; now the question is, will he?

Jim Halpert
11 years ago

In the event that Simpson is a free agent, where would should he be drafted in upcoming rookie/free agent drafts?

DLF_KenK
Reply to  Jim Halpert
11 years ago

In the event he’s a free agent in your league, you may have a group of owners asleep at the wheel!

He’s a first round prospect in a rookie draft, especially of Owens and Ocho go away, as expected.

Justin
Reply to  DLF_KenK
11 years ago

How early of a 1st round pick do you think he would be?

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Justin
11 years ago

If you’re looking for a receiver, I would consider Simpson as the 3rd receiver off the board and be able to support that rather well. Others would say Baldwin, Hankerson, etc. … but I’d rather have the experience of Simpson going into his 4th year and with blue sky as a starter in front of him.

That makes him probably a 8-10 pick.

JB
11 years ago

Interesting read. I’m kind of surprised there was no mention of the competition he will still face for snaps even without Ocho and TO. Andre Caldwell and Jordan Shipley are also guys who will be looking to step into that role, and Gresham certainly has room to grow in terms of usage and targets. Personally I prefer both Caldwell and Shipley over Simpson, and was hoping there would be some discussion of the other guys (and the possibility that they add another wide out in the draft).

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  JB
11 years ago

Caldwell isn’t going to offer much competition at this point but could as the year goes on if Simpson doesn’t perform. Shipley is purely a slot receiver and I don’t expect him to be ever more than that. Gresham is a good looking TE if he can stay healthy but I believe that’s a different discussion altogether as it relates to Simpson. He’ll compete for balls but CIN will have two starting WRs come opening day (hopefully 2011) and Simpson sure seems to be the WR if Chad departs.

JB
Reply to  DLF_Jeff
11 years ago

I’d really like to hear more on why you don’t think caldwell will have value. Like Simpson he played very little until the final three weeks. Caldwell put up 4-89, 4-87 and 7-94 in the last three weeks but gets completely written off?

Bill
11 years ago

Where would you rank the following WR’s in a free agent/rookie draft?:

Simpson
Nelson (GB)
Sanders (Pitt)

Thanks.

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Bill
11 years ago

Nelson
Sanders
Simpson

Based on our existing rankings. But those could be changing shortly. Nelson and Sanders have better QB options right now. With James Jones likely to be departing GB, Nelson gets a big bump in value. Sanders could be seeing a lot of the filed early next year and is said to have a major role waiting for him in 2011. Simpson looks to be the new #1 WR, even if they draft AJ Green or Julio Jones, but their QB play is problematic.

Misfit74
Reply to  DLF_Jeff
10 years ago

I’ll take Simpson over Sanders any day.

??droppedballs??
11 years ago

simpson is a fa in my league, we dont draft fa, but we have an auction on them 2 time, between our rookie draft and the start of the season, each team is given $100, per year, now last year naanee went for $67, during preseason, they are about 4 out of our 12 teams that are wr starving, including me, what would be a reasonable # to bid on him

Boobam
Reply to  Jeff Haverlack
11 years ago

I have a very similar question in my league regarding FA WR verses the rookie WRs coming into the league via the draft…I made a trade to get Simpson before the deadline so he isn’t included in the mix but I was just curious where you would rank these players and situations compared to these rookies…I know that it is tough not knowing where the rookies are just yet but give it the ole’ college try…

Availible FA that are in consideration, please let me know if my rankings or evaluations are off

T1 – second or third round selection
Brandon LeFell – someone has to catch the ball in Carolina
David Gettis – see above
Josh Morgan – like his upside if 49ers land a qb, but too many targets between Crabtree, Davis and Gore
DHB – He has to do something right?
Jason Hill – is my sleeper wr if MSW leaving town
Dorin Dickerson – Just have a feeling about this guy in that offense playing opposite of AJ

T2 – fourth or later round fliers
Derrick Mason – old and can be replaced by draft pick
Jerricho Cotchery – never a focus of the offense
Eric Weems – loosing vaule with less return yards
Deon Butler – Tate will emerge more in the offense
David Nelson/Roscoe Parish – if Evans is not back could benefit from Stevie Johnson
Andre Caldwell – mentioned in the article
Damian Williams – Gage is looking over his shoulder, great route runner, hands and good compliment to Britt

Please let me know if there is someone who I may want to keep on eye on either on this list or not.

Thanks much – love the site – visit it multi times a day – I am addicted – I am currently in therepy

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Boobam
11 years ago

I’d move Damian Williams way up … probably right around Gettis. I like Dickerson as well.

I think those first 3-4 guys (including Williams after you move him up) are all guys that you can take ahead of most of the rookies not named Green and Jones. They’re certainly on par with Smith, Hankerson and Baldwin, depending on their drafted situation.

Boobam
Reply to  Boobam
11 years ago

Soooooo let’s do this. Here is how I would draft them, let me know what you think – love to hear reasons why…

1.) LaFell in a TD league, Gettis in a PPR league
2.) Jason Hill
3.) DHB
4.) D Dickenson
5.) D Williams

Look about right?

Fly
11 years ago

You make a great point regarding “opportunity”. I agree that Simpson is the 3rd WR in Rookie/F-A drafts. Along that same line of thinking, I’m wondering how you would rank these F-A running backs. Parmele-Peerman-McKnight Who will get the most opportunity?

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Fly
11 years ago

McKnight
Parmele
Peerman

I think Parmele could be a sleeper but I’ve been saying that for some time with him. McKnight, however, is going to get a chance this year. I was hoping to see L.T. retire or not come back but it looks like he’s returning at this point. McKnight isn’t a sure bet to be great but he’ll eventually get a chance for a good number of touches. He’s probably a two year hold from here.

Parmele is like to have a minor role and I’m not that high on him, but he’s not in a bad position.

Peerman is probably best on your waiver wire but it’s borderline.

Boobam
Reply to  DLF_Jeff
11 years ago

Does the draft pick of AJ Green – help or hurt Simpsons chances of having a break out year?

I can see it going both ways – but wanted your thoughts

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Boobam
11 years ago

I love it for Simpson. True that he could get a few less targets but the production of the receptions he gets should be better. Most good WRs need a good 2nd option across from them to really open up space.

10 years ago

There are still some in fantasy football who cling to the belief that wide receivers experience a breakout in their 3rd season. Last year we showed how this trend no longer appears to be the case, this year we can lay the issue to rest. With the ridiculous rookie salaries and players becoming free agents sooner, the pressure is on players at all positions to start contributing as soon as possible. Add to this the fact that most wide receivers now come to the NFL ready to contribute immediately due to the college systems they played in.

Here’s a look at those WR’s who will be entering their 3rd season in 2011 and what their numbers were last year:

Danny Amendola

Danny Amendola – 85 rec, 689 yds, 3 TD’s

Hakeem Nicks – 79 rec, 1,052 yds, 11 TD’s

Percy Harvin – 71 rec, 868 yds, 5 TD’s

Jeremy Maclin – 70 rec, 964 yds, 10 TD’s

Mike Thomas – 66 rec, 820 yds, 4 TD’s

Mike Wallace – 60 rec, 1,257 yds, 10 TD’s

Austin Collie – 58 rec, 649 yds, 8 TD’s

Michael Crabtree – 55 rec, 741 yds, 6 TD’s

Brandon Gibson – 53 rec, 620 yds, 2 TD’s

Johnny Knox – 51 rec, 960 yds, 5 TD’s

Brian Hartline – 43 rec, 615 yds, 1 TD

Kenny Britt – 42 rec, 775 yds, 9 TD’s

Louis Murphy – 41 rec, 609 yds, 2 TD’s

Deon Butler – 36 rec, 385 yds, 4 TD’s

Mohamed Massaquoi – 36 rec, 483 yds, 2 TD’s

Brian Robiskie – 29 rec, 310 yds, 3 TD’s

Darrius Heyward-Bey – 26 rec, 366 yds, 1 TD

Sammie Stroughter – 24 rec, 239 yds, 0 TD

Brandon Tate – 24 rec, 432 yds, 3 TD’s

Harry Douglas – 22 rec, 294 yds, 1 TD

For comparison, here’s the numbers for WR’s who were in their 3rd season last year:

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson – 82 rec, 1,073 yds, 10 TD’s

Davone Bess – 79 rec, 820 yds, 5 TD’s

Pierre Garcon – 67 rec, 784 yds, 6 TD’s

Mario Manningham – 60 rec, 944 yds, 9 TD’s

Eddie Royal – 59 rec, 627 yds, 3 TD’s

DeSean Jackson – 47 yds, 1,056 yds, 6 TD’s

Earl Bennett – 46 rec, 561 yds, 3 TD’s

Jordy Nelson – 45 rec, 582 yds, 2 TD’s

Josh Morgan – 44 rec, 698 yds, 2 TD’s

Early Doucet – 26 rec, 291 yds, 1 TD’s

Andre Caldwell – 25 rec, 345 yds, 0 TD

Jerome Simpson – 20 rec, 277 yds, 3 TD’s

Micheal Spurlock – 17 rec, 250 yds, 2 TD’s

As the above numbers show, 2nd year WR’s outperformed their 3rd year brethren in the 2010 season. Here’s what the numbers show:

WR’s with 50+ receptions: 3rd year = 5 players; 2nd year = 10 players
WR’s with 600+ yards: 3rd year = 7 players; 2nd year = 13 players
WR’s with 5+ TD’s: 3rd year = 5 players; 2nd year = 7 players
WR’s with 15+ yds/carry: 3rd year = 5 players; 2nd year = 4 players

Keeping the above numbers in mind, fantasy footballers need to keep an eye on those WR’s entering their 2nd season in 2011. Here’s a look at their numbers last year in their rookie seasons:

Mike Williams

Mike Williams – 65 rec, 964 yds, 11 TD’s

Jordan Shipley – 52 rec, 600 yds, 3 TD’s

Dez Bryant – 45 rec, 561 yds, 6 TD’s

Brandon LaFell – 38 rec, 468 yds, 1 TD

David Gettis – 37 rec, 508 yds, 3 TD’s

Blair White – 36 rec, 355 yds, 5 TD’s

David Nelson – 31 rec, 353 yds, 3 TD’s

Emmanuel Sanders – 28 rec, 376 yds, 2 TD’s

Arrelious Benn – 25 rec, 395 yds, 2 TD’s

Jacoby Ford – 25 rec, 470 yds, 2 TD’s

Andre Roberts – 24 rec, 307 yds, 2 TD’s

Demaryius Thomas – 22 rec, 283 yds, 2 TD’s

Dexter McCluster – 21 rec, 209 yds, 1 TD

Golden Tate – 21 rec, 227 yds, 0 TD

Danario Alexander – 20 rec, 306 yds, 1 TD

Donald Jones – 18 rec, 213 yds, 1 TD

Antonio Brown – 16 rec, 167 yds, 0 TD

Damian Williams – 16 rec, 219 yds, 0 TD

Seyi Ajirotutu – 13 rec, 262 yds, 2 TD’s

Reply to  Beach Tactics
10 years ago

this article is at fantasyfootballoasis.com

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