Could Cedric Benson Be a Top-10 Back?

Not too many people think it's possible, but after reading Michael Silver's article on Yahoo, it doesn't seem all that farfetched.

I'm not saying he will be, but that he *could* be for the following reasons: (1) The team likes him. The NFL, like any other workplace, has its own politics and being personally liked by coaches and teammates (and considered a hard worker) enhances job security; (2) He was never healthy, properly motivated and/or confident in Chicago, so his poor performance there might not be indicative; (3) He was the No. 4 overall pick in the draft for a reason, i.e., he has the pedigree from a scouting perspective; (4) He's only 26 years old and has very little mileage; (5) His team could field an above average offense, and the defense was actually good down the stretch last season.

Normally, I don't put much stake in human interest articles, but this one makes me want to take a flier on Benson in a draft or two. Given where he's been available so far, I think he's a worthwhile gamble.


By: Skinsnutt
On: 8/11/2009 4:28:00 PM
I will buy everything you say except that he wasn't "properly motivated." No team should have to motivate an NFL player. This dude, by all accounts, is just not a very good teammate. He isn't likely to change. I will stay clear even though he could be had pretty late.
By: Scott Pianowski
On: 8/11/2009 7:12:00 PM
I think Top 10 is a stretch but volume is so important to fantasy value. I like Benson as a No. 3 or No. 4 option on your bench that you might wind up plugging in a fair amount during the season, when the spot looks appropriate.
By: jtr5708
On: 8/11/2009 8:32:00 PM
SHHHHHHHH... I don't want the word to get out on Benson. He is my sleeper RB3 this season. Anyway, I agree tht professional athletes should always be motivated but I think Benson gets a bad rap.

Ever since his 36 day holdout to start his NFL career he carried a stigma in Chicago. There was animosity on both sides. Benson sure had plenty of blame on his shoulders but he really seems to have a new attitude. Marvin Lewis gushes about him to the point where it's nauseating. All things considered I could certainly see Benson having his first 1000 rushing yd. season in Cincy.

I think he is the perfect back to target if you decide to go WR heavy early on in the draft.
By: obzen
On: 8/11/2009 9:49:00 PM
I'm happy to go on record saying Benson is too slow to outrun tackles and too weak to avoid them.

The "low mileage" claim is a joke as well as he had over 1100 carries in college.

I know it's about time to search the draft board for sleepers, but if anyone is interested in a ced benson prop bet this season, I'll happily take the under. One of least effective top 5 RB's I've ever seen play.
By: Erik Siegrist
On: 8/11/2009 9:55:00 PM
Benson has been a head case since the day he was drafted -- his post-pick interview was basically a rant about how he wasn't Ricky Williams, dammmit. Maybe he's finally matured enough to start doing something worthwhile on the field, but I won't believe it until I see it.

I would take Derrick Ward 10 times out of 10 if I was picking a RB in that range.
By: schoenke
On: 8/11/2009 10:51:00 PM
I'm going the other way. Benard Scott!
By: Chris Liss
On: 8/11/2009 11:02:00 PM
From the feedback I'm hearing, it seems like I'll be able to roster him cheaply, a point at which he'll be a good risk. And Thomas Jones looked awfully sluggish in 2007, too before having a great 2008. I think our impressions of a player struggling are vastly overrated and dependent on a lot of factors that have little to do with him. He'll never be Adrian Peterson, but very few backs make their living being game-breakers. Most thrive when conditions permit. I think the conditions could be right in Cincinnati this year.
By: jtr5708
On: 8/12/2009 12:41:00 AM
I think you can get CedBen considerably cheaper than Derrick Ward. That's the whole basis for my strategy. Of course I'd take Ward over Benson 10 times out of 10. I'm talking about taking Benson long after Ward's been off the board.
By: gottselig2004
On: 8/12/2009 4:30:00 AM
in a 14 team draft..i have benson rated 31st for running backs (mid 7th round)
For a time share free back..this is a bargain as a RB3.
By: Erik Siegrist
On: 8/12/2009 7:01:00 AM
Benson's ADP is lower than I expected, jtr (and frankly, lower than it should be) so you're right that Ward isn't a good comp. If Benson's going off the board in the Donald Brown/Ray Rice/Rashard Mendenhall range he's good value... but I'd still take Julius Jones or Beanie Wells before I took Benson.
By: tumanic
On: 8/12/2009 11:01:00 PM
Benson is a headcase....but on the plus side I don't think he has had his career year yet....not that he ever will, but this is as good of an opportunity as he will ever get.....good value for a late rb if he gets the pt...
By: Chugg
On: 8/13/2009 10:02:00 AM
EL Ced got a raw deal in Chitown. He was thrown under the bus from the first day of camp during his holdout and it carried over during his tenure b/c the other guys there loved T. Jones.

Ced will be fine... do a little research and see what a historic HS career he had, and how productive he was at Texas. Anyone with that many State of Texas rushing/wins records can still find their place in the NFL.

By: kutu
On: 8/13/2009 9:53:00 PM
Benson was hated by virtually everyone in Chicago from the start. He never had respect or felt accepted and for a young man amongst men, in an new profession, new State, first job etc that's a hard pill to swallow. He feel apart and lacked the confidence in practice and in the game necessary to perform at his full potential. All that is behind him and with the right men behind him he is ready to prove the world, those bastard in Chi town and everyone watching TV that he IS THE MAN.

Draft Benson before anyone else does and you won't be kicking yourself later. I'm grabbing him just a little early to ensure I get this guaranteed money maker.

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