Fantasy

Palmer-to-Ochocinco relevant again?

Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco could still be a solid passing combination.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - A few years ago, Carson Palmer to Chad Johnson was one of the most feared passing combinations in the NFL and one of the most coveted hookups in fantasy football leagues.

But through injury and the complete failure of the Cincinnati Bengals offense in 2008 both in the air and on the ground, the pair became useless to fantasy owners.

Now comes 2009 and a big question for fantasy players is whether the Palmer-to- Ochocinco combination can become a viable fantasy option again.

Just this past week, Ochocinco said that he was going to spend time with Palmer in July in hopes of recovering what they once had. And what they had was pretty good. From 2004 through 2007 the pair hooked up for 31 touchdown passes or almost eight per season in addition to the receiver averaging 1,379 yards per year. That's the definition of a lethal combination.

Last year, Johnson played in just 13 games and Palmer's elbow only allowed him to play four games total. With two of their biggest stars missing, the Bengals scored just 204 points - lowest in the NFL. They ranked 30th in passing yards (150.4 ypg) and 29th in rushing offense (95.0 ypg).

It's obviously early, training camp is still a month away, but Palmer is reporting that his elbow is 100% healthy. If the two can return to form, they could still be a solid passing combination, particularly with T.J. Houshmandzadeh in Seattle.

So it's no surprise that the early Average Draft Position (ADP) results for the two have been solid. Despite both being "unplayable" in 2008, Ochocinco is being selected in the late fifth/early sixth round. His "RapidDraft ADP" of 52.4 makes him the 18th wide receiver selected - a solid No.2. Considering he was just 54th in fantasy points a year ago, that's a lot of respect.

Palmer's "RapidDraft ADP" is 92.8 and he has been the 12th quarterback selected, meaning in a basic 12-man league despite a completely lost season in 2008, he's still a starting quarterback in most fantasy owner's minds.

Palmer to Ochocinco Statistics
Year Player Gm PaYds PaTDs RecYds RecTDs
2004 Palmer 13 2,897 18 --- ---
2004 Ochocinco 16 --- --- 1,274 9
2005 Palmer 16 3,836 32 --- ---
2005 Ochocinco 16 --- --- 1,432 9
2006 Palmer 16 4,036 28 --- ---
2006 Ochocinco 16 --- --- 1,370 7
2007 Palmer 16 4,131 26 --- ---
2007 Ochocinco 16 --- --- 1,440 8
2008 Palmer 4 731 3 --- ---
2008 Ochocinco 13 --- --- 540 4

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.