While in recent seasons the Bengals offense had an endless well of fantasy football potential, too many questions arose over training camp to mindlessly continue the trend. Both of our starting wide receivers are recovering from preseason injuries; Chad
Johnson Ocho Cinco with a partially torn labrum, T.J. Houshmandzadeh with a hamstring injury. Both are projected to start kickoff weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, but no one is confident enough to truly predict any successes. Not that any of that matters. When you think fantasy stud, and then quarterback, you think Carson Palmer. Really. Must I expand on that?
Originally, before the Bengals released Rudi Johnson, I had Chris Perry tagged, not as the team's sleeper, but the league's best fantasy sleeper pick. Too many people are frightened to take a flyer on the oft-injured running back, and with reason. However, from the offseason minicamps through the four preseason games, fans, teammates and coaches developed confidence that he'll stand up after each hit. And he has. The critical thing to note with Perry isn't just that he's the starting feature back with the Bengals, but he's given head coach Marvin Lewis confidence that he could also play the role of third-down back. This is hugely significant, and well practiced during the preseason when Palmer often looked at Perry standing five yards beyond the line of scrimmage, on third down. Provided the unanswered question of Perry's health doesn't end with curses, Perry's playing time will be huge, and his contributions will end with career-highs in nearly every offensive catagory.