Fantasy Football 2011: Do You Trust Bengals RB Cedric Benson?
Cedric Benson is going to jail for assault. Sure, it won’t cost him any game time, but that is not exactly the way you want your running back spending his time before the season opens.
So can you trust Benson on your fantasy team?
I probably shouldn’t give him credit for having the common sense to keep his nose clean now once the season starts, but I’m going to anyway.
He has had some off-the-field issues in the past, but they have typically been when he had the free time that the NFL schedule simply doesn’t provide.
I’m more concerned with his performance on the field.
Benson is coming off consecutive 300-plus carry seasons. His yards per carry dropped from a solid 4.2 in 2009 to 3.5 last year. Benson will turn 29 later this year, making that a discouraging statistic.
Benson also had serious ball control issues. He put seven balls on the carpet last year, which matches the amount he had during his first five seasons.
He lost five of the fumbles, which is one more lost fumble than he had entering the season. In 321 carries, he had as many fumbles and more lost fumbles than the first 935 carries of his career.
He also has to deal with a rookie quarterback. Without Carson Palmer keeping defenses honest, look for teams to stack the box on Benson.
Until Andy Dalton can prove himself, running lanes could be hard to get.
Fortunately for Benson owners, you shouldn’t have to count on him as your RB2. While he’s not an ideal RB3, given his shortcomings, he isn’t a terrible option either.
He should get back to the 1,000-yard mark with six-plus touchdowns. Just don’t expect many monster weeks from him.
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