SleepersOctober 30, 2009


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Sleeper Watch - 8 comments

By Jimmy Vanderpool

Anybody who witnessed Carson Palmer during the 2005 NFL regular season remembers how impressive he can be when he gets hot. Well, as of Week 7 in 2009, fantasy owners can now consider Palmer “hot”. On the first play of this game, Carson threw a play-action 20-yard “floater” pass, a trademark pass which he hasn’t flashed with ease since the 2005 season. For the remainder of this game, Palmer looked as proficient as ever, completing 20 of his 24 pass attempts for five TDs. As a mirror to his 2005 form, he had the Bengals in a pass-first mode, and the success opened up the run game, where Benson went for almost 200 yards rushing. Where should owners expect Palmer’s passes to land, other than Ochocinco? The answer to this question should unveil a fantasy sleeper.

A closer look for the season shows that FB Jeremi Johnson has only received 6 targets (3 catches), RB Cedric Benson only 14 targets (10 catches), TE Daniel Coats 23 targets (10 catches), and TE John Paul Foschi 11 targets (8 catches). Also note that although Coats received 16 looks through Weeks 4-7, he dropped three catch-able TD passes in that time frame and has since been demoted to backup. It is easy to see that the Bengals do not use the FB, the RB, or the TE much in the passing game, primarily because their options are all poor pass catchers. As a result, this search can be dwindled down to exclusively the WR options.

At the moment, there are three WR options who could possibly suddenly evolve, Laveranues Coles, Andre Caldwell, and Chris Henry. Each has their own distinctive role and strength, but each also tends to cancel the others out in terms of elite fantasy production.

Laveranues Coles

Coles could simply have been a product of needing time to develop chemistry with a new QB. To start out the season, Coles had experienced trouble catching the ball and thus lost Palmer’s trust. Over the last two weeks though, he has caught a TD in each game while also featuring his two highest yardage games. While his numbers are still relatively low, he is by far the most NFL-polished among the three WRs listed here, and his statistical increase could be a sign of chemistry starting to mesh with Carson Palmer.

Andre Caldwell

Andre Caldwell has become the most dependable WR for Carson. He has been the target of at least eight passes thrown in three of the seven games so far this season. In addition, he also has shown clutch tendencies by catching game-winning TDs against Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the closing minutes of those games. At this point, Caldwell should be considered the WR3 for Cincinnati in terms of the amount of plays that he will be on the field.

Chris Henry

Chris Henry has the most prolific intangibles and brings the most big-play ability. The problem though is that he hasn’t shown enough consistency yet to merit steady playing time. The result is that he only has one game where he received more than three looks from Palmer. The offset is that even with a low number of looks, Henry’s yards per catch is almost double that of Caldwell or Coles.

The end result could be that all three will have a rotation of big games, but fantasy owners should notice an increase in at least one of these WRs in fantasy production.


 
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8 Responses to “Cincinnati’s Chart-Climbing Catchers”

  1. Montana168 says:

    i take it we’re running out of sleepers? lol. this is the 2nd time andre caldwell has been mentioned as a sleeper, and also everyone knows about this situation, including all 3 of your guys mentioned. if your going to mention sleepers twice throughout the year, jamaal charles probably should have been brought up again because larry johnson can’t keep his trap shut. i enjoy reading sleeper articles, but seems like we’re now getting to the point of the year where there are going to be fewer impact waiver wire pickups.

    ReplyReply
  2. Robotboy says:

    I’m not laughing like Montana168. Cincy WRs 2,3,+4 have ’sleeper value’. Palmer is rated as the #8 QB for the rest of the season. They have more ‘week to week’ potential than a few #1s – (see Maasaquoi , Ginn, Owens, Avery, Gage )

    Sure, there are other ’sleeper’s with potential J Forsett J Snelling F Davis D Lee J Jones … even Ahman Green!

    It all boils down to who you want on your bench for situational starts and handcuffs

    ReplyReply
  3. 2centworth says:

    Here are my sleepers:

    Kolby Smith, was very good with the Chief in ‘07 and he will get a shot. Brandon Jackson, is an injury away from starting status on a good team.

    ReplyReply
  4. Gents, while I do appreciate and encourage constructive criticism, it should be understood that my articles are designed to be more of a focused nature than a general brush-over and thus the perspective will be limited in terms of complete NFL coverage. But I guarantee that I spend time studying in detail each player that I refer and I do not like to attach my referrals to anybody that I do not personally have a fantasy attraction towards (well except for the Stovall inclusion in the “WR Sleeper Hunt gets Tough” article, which I based off of situation rather than personal preference). For the record, Jamaal Charles is one of my biggest “avoid” players for the purpose of dislike of what he has shown me when watching film on him.

    Montana, I completely disagree. In my opinion this is the time of the year that starters will start to wear down and a new group of impact waiver wire pickups will emerge. The tricky key though is to always try and be a week ahead of the “blowup” opportunity for a player. Case in point would be Ryan Moats in Houston. Last week Moats’ value was worthless and this week he will be the hottest commodity in fantasy football. Salary auction leagues will cost a boatload to win Moats now and leagues with routine waivers will have Moats going to just the bad teams who have rights to the 1st pick priority.

    2centworth, the Packers are not a good fantasy RB team. I agree that when it comes to passing they are of top merit, but unfortunately it does not enhance thier RB production at all. I would also note that Brandon Jackson is another player on my “avoid” list because of how he looks from the past opportunites that I have watched on him.

    If most leagues out there have the 3 above mentioned Bengals WRs already on fantasy rosters, then I apologize for constructing a sleeper post on them. But from what I can gather by asking around, most leagues still offer one, two or even all three of these WRs still as free agents. These was the premise of my article, in forecasting that at least one of them should soon reach a status where they will NOT be on any waiver wire in any league.

    ReplyReply
  5. “posted under my wrong signin”

    Gents, while I do appreciate and encourage constructive criticism, it should be understood that my articles are designed to be more of a focused nature than a general brush-over and thus the perspective will be limited in terms of complete NFL coverage. But I guarantee that I spend time studying in detail each player that I refer and I do not like to attach my referrals to anybody that I do not personally have a fantasy attraction towards (well except for the Stovall inclusion in the “WR Sleeper Hunt gets Tough” article, which I based off of situation rather than personal preference). For the record, Jamaal Charles is one of my biggest “avoid” players for the purpose of dislike of what he has shown me when watching film on him.

    Montana, I completely disagree. In my opinion this is the time of the year that starters will start to wear down and a new group of impact waiver wire pickups will emerge. The tricky key though is to always try and be a week ahead of the “blowup” opportunity for a player. Case in point would be Ryan Moats in Houston. Last week Moats’ value was worthless and this week he will be the hottest commodity in fantasy football. Salary auction leagues will cost a boatload to win Moats now and leagues with routine waivers will have Moats going to just the bad teams who have rights to the 1st pick priority.

    2centworth, the Packers are not a good fantasy RB team. I agree that when it comes to passing they are of top merit, but unfortunately it does not enhance thier RB production at all. I would also note that Brandon Jackson is another player on my “avoid” list because of how he looks from the past opportunites that I have watched on him.

    If most leagues out there have the 3 above mentioned Bengals WRs already on fantasy rosters, then I apologize for constructing a sleeper post on them. But from what I can gather by asking around, most leagues still offer one, two or even all three of these WRs still as free agents. These was the premise of my article, in forecasting that at least one of them should soon reach a status where they will NOT be on any waiver wire in any league.

    ReplyReply
  6. 2centworth says:

    no disrespect intended. There is a reason I come every week and read the sleeper section, it’s good stuff.

    ReplyReply
  7. Montana168 says:

    goin along with 2centworth, there definately wasn’t any ill-will on my part towards the article, was just pointing out info/my opinion. great points you brought up about how the waiver wire could start booming in the next couple weeks, hadn’t thought of that. i guess it’s just frustrating bcuz there hasnt been many sleepers the past couples weeks (competitive deep leagues) guys that blew up like miles austin, shonn greene were already owned and being stashed. ryan moats won’t put up the same numbers again this season, slaton is still slated to start next week.

    ReplyReply
  8. User avatar DraftDodger says:

    The article is great for what it is, an analysis of the Bengals’ unsung receivers. Coles is turning into the real deal. The guy has never seemed to me like a mental preparation type. He gets psyched on game day, but during the week or off-season doesn’t seem big on preparing himself for the game. Now that he’s finding success in Cinci, it’s likely that he’ll quickly build on that momentum. If Pennington could make a star out of the guy, Palmer could make a superstar out of him.

    With Henry, I figured he’d snap back, but now I’m wondering if this just isn’t his year. There’s only room for so many superstars on a team, and Henry just hasn’t stepped up this season. If the Bengals needed him more, I think they could get the production out of him, but the truth is they just don’t need the guy, and if he isn’t going to make a place for himself, there isn’t going to be one.

    I haven’t followed Caldwell, but being #3 receiver on an offense with so many good options just isn’t all that comforting. I’d wouldn’t want to count on him; the week I did, he’d have one or two catches for 30 yards and no score. Another good game from Coles or a big outing from Henry and the coordinator could forget Caldwell’s name. I see him as the worst option of the 3 down the stretch; I’m sure he has some good games in him, but will they be against the strong opponents or the weak? I see him a guy that most people are going to start or sit on the wrong weeks.

    ReplyReply

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