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Instant Analysis: Chad Ochocinco traded to New England

In another semi-expected move, Chad Ochocinco was dealt to the New England Patriots today.  When you couple this with the retirement stalemate staged by Carson Palmer, it’s truly the end of an era for the Bengals.  The Patriots have a history of taking on veteran players with baggage and they’ll happily take a flyer that Chad can regain some of his old form and help them win another championship.  We take a look at the ramifications in the latest installment of “Instant Analysis.”

Chad Ochocinco, WR NE
Make no mistake, this is best case scenario for Chad.  He’d worn out his welcome in Cincinnati and needed a fresh start.  He’ll most certainly need to adapt to the professional culture in New England, but he’ll have a chance to contribute greatly.

Anyone who’s watched Chad the past few years knows he’s not the same player any longer.  His modest production of late can be partly attributed to the deterioration of Carson Palmer, but more towards his own lack of focus and age.  However, he still can run good routes and knows how to get open.

Chad will immediately step in and become a serious weapon for Tom Brady.  With unproven receivers like Taylor Price and Brandon Tate not ready for prime time, he’ll start opposite Deion Branch and enjoy catching passes from the best quarterback he’s ever played with, with no offense intended for Palmer.

Don’t kid yourself in a dynasty league, though.  Chad isn’t Randy Moss.  He’s not going to show up and catch 100 passes or 15 touchdowns.  While he’s the most likely candidate to lead the Pats in receiving, they spread the ball around a lot and that should continue.  His ceiling is likely a WR2 this season, and that’s even pushing it.  Remember, he’s going to be on Revis island twice a year now.

It’s bound to be entertaining, though.

Tom Brady, QB NE
It doesn’t seem to matter who he throws to.  You could say this helps his value, but were you expecting less than 3,800 yards and 35 touchdowns anyway?  He’s a monster.

Deion Branch, WR NE
Branch had a renaissance of his own last year after being traded from Seattle.  This isn’t the best news for his value as he’ll be the second option out wide.  There are more than enough passes to catch in New England, so don’t go too crazy here.  Branch should still be productive enough to flirt with WR3 or flex status.

Wes Welker, WR NE
Welker was already primed to be a bounceback candidate.  While his performance last year was admirable after coming back so soon from knee surgery, he still wasn’t 100%.  With Ochocinco in the fold, that gives New England a legitimate downfield threat that should leave Welker more room to roam.  We believe Welker could flirt with WR1 status again in PPR leagues. 

Brandon Tate, WR NE
Tate was one of our favorite sleepers going into the season.  This news doesn’t help his cause to be featured any time soon, especially with Ocho signing a three year extension.  He’s going to be relegated to special teams and the occasional deep route for now.  He’s still worth a stash in a deep league, but the luster is no longer there.

Taylor Price, WR NE
Price was another player primed for a breakout, but that’s likely not going to happen soon, either.  Much like Tate, he’s worth a spot in a deep league.  His immediate chance to produce has diminished, though.

Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, TEs NE
No real change in value here.  If anything, Chad may keep defenses more honest.

Randy Moss, WR FA
Any chance of a reunion tour just went out the window.

Andy Dalton, QB CIN
Dalton gets a clean slate without the distraction of Owens or Chad.  That’s a rookie year victory in itself.  He’ll struggle, but shouldn’t be thrown under the bus by anyone.

AJ Green, WR CIN
Congratulations!  You just became option one in Cincinnati.  Learn quickly!  Green is a top two rookie selection with elite talent.  He’ll get to show that sooner rather than later, but his production is tied directly to Dalton.  He still has eventual WR1 potential.

Jerome Simpson, WR CIN

Much like Green, Simpson needed Owens and Ochocinco to be gone in order to make an impact.  With both of them out of the way, it looks like the Bengals will be deploying a young offense featuring Dalton, Green, Simpson and Jermaine Gresham.  It may not win them many games, but you get the feeling that getting rid of all that baggage is just as important.  Simpson can be taken as a low-end WR3 with upside in deep leagues.

Ken Kelly
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