Archive | September, 2010

Why you need Cedric Benson on your fantasy football team

6 Sep

It’s true. Cedric Benson has disappointed many of us over the years.

When a player is selected No.4 overall in the NFL draft, after all, people expect big things. I mean, Matt Leinart went No.10 and look at the pressure on that guy. Sheesh.

For the first three years of his career, Benson looked more like the TV butler than a top ten running back. I should know, I was forced to play the troublesome tailback after everyone else on my 2006 fantasy roster fizzled. (How did I end up with Samkon Gado anyway?)

What a season it turned out to be. Playing behind Thomas Jones, who chalked up 1,210 yards for the Bears that year, Benson hardly got a look in. And when he did, he simply lacked the expected spark. You know, the kind of electricity that makes a back the best in college football.

He averaged a mere three fantasy points per game that season. Oh, the humanity.

But things have changed since my seventh place fantasy finish of ’06, and I’m not just referring to the guy’s haircut. Benson ran like a man both possessed and distressed in 2009. In 13 games for the Cincinnati Bengals, he pounded out 1,251 yards, which was good for 13 fantasy points a game. That’s 166.65 fantasy points in total and enough to rank him in the top 10 for fantasy backs that season. It was, well, pleasantly surprising.

And so most pundits now have Benson amongst their top 10 backs for 2010. But should you have him even higher?

Yes, because he’ll get his touches

Benson should have in excess of 300 carries again, so there’s potential for him to trounce last season’s totals—especially if he plays 16 games. The addition of Chad Ochocinco should only help open up the field too, giving our man Benson a chance to score more than six touchdowns and boost his points per week even further.

Yes, because he’s a rebel with a cause

Remember, this is a guy who still has something to prove, and is young enough to make any lingering doubters pay. Again. Funny what a chip on the shoulder can do, eh? Benson hits the hole with rage. He breaks tackles violently. He makes his cut with authority. He grips the ball like Indiana Jones does that idol in the opening sequence of Raiders. Yeh, I’m saying not even a poison dart can bring him down.

Yes, because no defense can slow his charge

Now you might argue Benson’s best games in 2009 were against weak opponents such as Chicago, Detroit and Kansas City. Sure, he mauled some lesser clubs. But he also terrorized the best defenses in the league. For example, he slashed Baltimore for 120 yards in week 5, and destroyed the Jets for 169 yards in the AFC wild card game. He even silenced Rex Ryan, and for that deserves our respect.

The Bengals will face the Ravens and Jets again in 2010, but also some more porous defensive units like Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Atlanta, New Orleans and Carolina. There’s a slew of potential Benson fantasy points right there, folks. Couple that with the fact that he’s on a contract year and 2006 might feel like it never happened.

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