For fantasy freaks like myself (I mean the football kind, not the bikini babe-tricycle-pinata kind), it’s never too early to start thinking about fantasy football. ESPN has helped us all out in that regard with some preseason rankings.
Here’s one from my favorite fantasy scribe, Matthew Berry. Berry has Ced Benson 12th overall, Chad Ochocinco 54th, and Antonio Bryant 126th, right behind Louis Murphy and Mario Manningham. Bryant has a chance to be a fantasy steal this year if he can approach T.J. Houshmanzadeh numbers, which I think he can.
In ESPN’s staff rankings, Cedric Benson is 16th, Ochocinco is 46th, Antonio Bryant is 90th, the Bengals defense is 137th one of the better ranked units), and Carson Palmer is 177th.
In light of Palmer’s negative perception in fantasy, Madden, and some other circles, I think it’s important to say this. I still believe. And certainly some others do too. Palmer is an absolute steal as a second fantasy quarterback – and a good risk-reward pick as a first QB. He finally has some decent weapons again, and may have to throw a lot to beat the likes of Indy, New Orleans and San Diego.