You’ve heard it by now, Chad Ochocino is a Patriot. The Patriots sent late round picks in the 2012 and 2013 NFL Draft and extended the 33-year-old receiver for three more years. There were rumors of a trade in the works between the Bengals and Patriots months back but they had cooled off substantially. Until today.
It will be very interesting to see Ochocinco paired with Tom Brady. Ochocinco is one of the better route runners in the NFL despite seeing one of his worst seasons as a pro last year. Obviously Tom Brady is a great quarterback so Ochcocinco’s fantasy value is going to go up.
Thats not to say that Ochocinco’s expectations were all that high before. So maybe we should stop and take a look at what the realistic numbers for Ochocinco really should be.
Ochocinco is one of the more inconsistent fantasy football wide receivers. When you look at his game by game statistics from 2010, and beyond, you will see that the majority of Ochocinco’s points are scored in just a few games. In fact over the last three seasons (43 games) Ochocinco has scored 33% of his fantasy points in six games.
Maybe a more telling stat is that in 41% of his games he was just about invisible in fantasy (5 pts or less). Let’s not even talk about his plummeted stock in PPR leagues either. In other words, it’s either sink or swim with Ochocinco in fantasy football. More often than not, you’re sinking.
I know what you are thinking though, that Tom Brady is great and he will surely make Ochocinco fantasy relevant again. I totally agree that Ochocinco’s stat line will go up in New England, but we aren’t buying the fantasy comparisons to Randy Moss’ first year as a Patriot.
Both Moss and Ochocinco are completely different receivers, anyway. Comparing the two really isn’t fair. Ochcocinco doesn’t have the same speed that made him ultra dangerous early on in his career but there are few that run better routes than Ochocinco. Finding space is going to be key for Ochocinco in this offense actually, as it can be very crowded at times.
Wes Welker is going to get the most catches again, as he always does. Assuming Ochocinco takes the place of the average #2 receiver to Welker, at best he can expect around 70 catches to go his way. Currently Ochocinco averages 64 catches per year, so we think it is likely he could go missing at times in New England too.
We don’t fault the Patriots for making this trade. They risk nothing, and if Ochocinco doesn’t live up to expectations they can let him sit. They did it with Torry Holt, who’s to say they won’t do it to Ochocinco.
Ochocinco’s stock doesn’t rise all that much on our big board, currently ranked at #44 we don’t see him jumping higher than #35.