Which Bengals wide receiver will make the greatest fantasy impact?
There are a whole lot of options from which to choose among the wide receivers in Cincinnati.
There's Chad Ochocinco, the franchise's all-time leading pass catcher. There's Jordan Shipley, a third-round draft pick in 2010 who caught a reasonable 52 passes during his rookie year. There's Jerome Simpson, a second-round pick from 2008 who closed the 2010 season with a flourish. And there's rookie A.J. Green, a big playmaker who is likely a future star. (For the moment, too, there's even veteran Terrell Owens, although he almost certainly won't be back.)
And then there's none of the above.
As of this writing, Palmer is still officially with the Bengals, although he has insisted he will not return to the team. If he's not back, the starting quarterback job likely falls to rookie second-round draft pick Andy Dalton or a veteran brought in after a labor agreement is reached. Neither Dalton nor someone new will have a lot of time to learn the offense.
In addition to that huge red flag at quarterback, the wideouts come with their own question marks. Ochocinco may not be back, and even if he does return, he's no longer the same player he was. Simpson has the most momentum, but are you willing to risk a draft choice on two meaningless season-ending games after nearly three years of inaction? The Bengals say that Green is ready to step in right away, but we've heard that one before. Besides, rookie wideouts don't often make a big impact. By default, then, we're left with Shipley. He established himself as a reliable possession receiver last season and should help in PPR formats by working the slot.