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Cedric Benson will be carrying the entire Bengal's offense on his back in 2011.
We are going running-back crazy on the early going of this list, but for good reason. Just as Chris Johnson may be going too high in most fantasy drafts, Cedric Benson might be going too low.
He had a down year in 2010, as did most Bengals, but he still has all the ability in the world to become a fantasy stud this season.
Last year, Benson struggled in a Bengal's offense that had major identity issues, huge problems on the offensive line and fullback positions, and a major fixation on having a struggling Carson Palmer airing the ball out to loud-mouth receivers Ochocinco and T.O.
However, now Bob Bratkowski is gone and Jay Gruden has taken over in his place. Jay Gruden has installed the West Coast Offense and has vowed to run the ball with much more regularity, which has Benson salivating.
Also, Benson is coming off a year in which he has had yet another arrest, which hurt his free-agent value this summer, and thus he is looking to rebound on his short extension with the Bengals in hope of getting the big contract next year.
The Bengals offense couldn't be any more unstable right now with the rookie Andy Dalton taking over at QB, and a bunch of rookies and second-year players as the main aerial targets. With this instability and uncertainty comes the belief that Benson and his O-line are in for a huge role in 2011, and as he now returns as the Bengals' go-to offensive weapon, look for him to shine on what should be a pretty average offense.
Advice: Cedric Benson will be a great No. 2 starter on your team, but do not draft him too high as the Bengals' new offense might slow him down. As your No. 2 starter at running back, Cedric should flourish, but as your go-to bell cow, I would look in a different direction.