Naysayers Go That Way

By Zack Cimini

For a minute the football world looked like it would be TO free for 2010. The media was jumping on the fact that Terrell Owens had little interest for months. Teams would speculate at the possibility but ultimately say they were going to look in a different route. The Jets, Seahawks, etc. all decided that Terrell wasn’t worth a years deal. By looking at what happened last season it was not too hard to predict this was coming. Buffalo was pretty much the only team that had strong interest last off-season. Were pretty sure if Terrell had serious options he would have went elsewhere. Come on, who would sign on to play where they knew getting the football would be as hard as Jamarcus Russell throwing an accurate pass over five yards?

A team that is not afraid to be contrarian is the Cincinnati Bengals. They’ve brought in and resigned troubled players in the past like Chris Henry and Tank Johnson. They’ve been subjected to numerous internal issues with players getting in trouble off the field. As the business goes any signing is a risk. Faulting a team for making a mistake is the way things go. No one expected Cedric Benson to resurrect his career. Turning from a third or fourth running back on many fantasy teams to being the main running back. It paid off.

The signing of Terrell Owens is as sneaky as can be. He goes in without having to have the responsibilities of the sole main option at receiver. All the years Terrell Owens has been a number one receiver he played opposite second receivers that were more comparable to a third or fourth receiver. In San Francisco it was JJ Stokes, Philadelphia Reggie Brown, and in Buffalo Lee Evans followed by a bunch of no names. Call it a perfect link but teaming up with Chad Johnson and Antonio Bryant is Owens best fit maybe of his career. Balls are going to be a plenty as well. Definitely at a higher clip than was in Buffalo. Throw last year out, and Cincinnati had some formidable years with there receivers one through three putting up fantasy stats. Chad Johnson, TJ Housh, and Chris Henry were one of the best triple threats in the league.

A Hall of Fame player such as Owens may be putting on the Hollywood smile right now. Away from the camera he is on a mission to show that he still has it. He wants to prove to teams and owners throughout the league that not entertaining or submitting an offer to him was a big mistake. Sure he may have lost a step but he has the smarts, physical tools, and playmaking ability to be that additional threat that makes Cincinnati a scary team.

Compared to last season things look golden for TO. The Bills pathetic offense had a hard time mustering 100 yards a game through the air, and that was a losing team usually down early. Carson Palmer had his ups and downs last season but is now two full years from his 2008 season ending elbow injury. Besides that last year Palmer struggled to find other options besides Chad Johnson. Chris Henry was out with injury before his tragic death, and they had let Housh go. Guys that had been with Carson for years were gone and the high hopes for Lavernues Coles meeting expectations just didn’t happen.

The Bengals have upgraded their offense a few notches with TO and Antonio Bryant. We expect TO to be an above average second receiver. Lots of owners will probably be able to be lucky enough to have TO as their third fantasy wide receiver. Even as a second fantasy wideout on your teams we believe he will pay huge dividends. The yardage totals may not be as large as his prime years but hovering near double digit touchdowns should become an actuality. Last year we had TO on our list of top ten busts, this year we love him. What a difference a one year contract makes.


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