The Bengals' QB situation — and whether Chad Ochocinco is on their roster in 2011 — are primary factors in determining WR A.J. Green's fantasy value in his rookie season.
If QB Carson Palmer or a fairly comparable passer is under center for the Bengals this fall, Cincinnati could have the makings of an explosive passing game. Green and fourth-year WR Jerome Simpson — who could be the starters if Ochocinco isn't back — both have field-stretching speed. In this scenario, Green could be drafted as a No. 3 wideout in most formats, and he would have a shot at being the Bengals' top receiver in his first NFL season.
If the Bengals have a stable QB situation and Ochocinco returns to Cincinnati, Green's stock falls slightly, but not much. Green would figure to have the edge to start over Simpson and Andre Caldwell.
However, if the Bengals lack quality QB play — and if Ochocinco is in the lineup and a key part of the offense — Green's value could decrease materially. That said, he is still talented enough to draft. Green could be an impact player in Year One even if the circumstances aren't ideal, but fantasy owners need to keep a close eye on who is getting him the ball — and whom he will be contending with for targets.