Cedric Benson is being taken as the 25th back off the board in fantasy drafts but taking him as a borderline RB2/RB3 is a huge mistake.
Analysis: Cedric Benson fumbled the ball seven times last year, losing five of them- that’s not what you want from a “reliable” fantasy back. Benson also carried the ball 321 times last year yet his longest rush was only twenty-six yards. We also have to consider that in two of the last three years he’s avergaed just 3.5 yards per carry and he’s caught more than twenty balls just once in his career. At this point in his career it does not appear that Cedric Benson is improving in any facet of his game.
Rookie Andy Dalton will not keep that eighth man out of the box like Carson Palmer could and the slow Benson may have even more problems breaking off long runs. The problem with Benson is you do not want him as your RB2 but you’ll waste a pick drafting him early as your RB3. Consider BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Daniel Thomas at this point in your fantasy draft, certainly not Cedric Benson. Also, a back like CJ Spiller offers more upside fifty picks later.
Many experts are already tagging Miami’s new running back as a fantasy star, but is he?
Analysis: The Dolphins will not start the 2011 season with Daniel Thomas as their primary back so these “experts” will have to back off of their claims (eventually). The Dolphins will try to resign Ronnie Brown although it may be a lost cause. DeAngelo Williams remains on the market as well as guys like Cedric Benson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ahmad Bradshaw as well as RFA Mike Tolbert and Willis McGahee when he refuses to take a pay cut. In short, there are plenty of viable running backs on the market and the Dolphins must sign one of them. Miami ran the ball the eleventh most times last year but only managed a 3.7 yards per carry average, second worst in the NFL. The Dolphins turned Brandon Marshall from a 10 touchdown, 101 reception receiver into a 3 touchdown, 86 reception low end WR2. Do you really think Thomas will step in and become the best fantasy rookie? I thought not. “Experts” can say all they want about how Daniel Thomas will be the best rookie this year now but when the chips fall and he continues struggling with pass protection and blitz pick up and Miami sign a legit back they’ll have a new flavor of the week to drool over.
Projection: It doesn’t matter who the other running back will be for Miami, Daniel Thomas will not be their primary back this year. The fifth running back off the board in this year’s draft isn’t going to make a run first team who averaged the second worst yards per carry in the NFL last year any better. Expect 140 carries and nothing more.