Benson and Bengals Rewarding Fantasy Owners

By: Raymond Ayala

Cedric Benson is a name that college football fans are familiar with, but now NFL fans will start to follow him the same way. Benson was a two way star in high school, and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Benson turned down a pro-baseball contract, in order to play football. After accepting a scholarship to the University of Texas, Benson became a star. In 2005, the Chicago Bears with the 5th overall pick drafted Benson. The Bears were a playoff caliber team, and Benson was expected to be the final piece of the puzzle. After a lengthy holdout, Benson got a cold reception from his Bears’ teammates, mostly due to his cocky attitude. After a couple of big games, his attitude and immaturity eventually sent him packing out of Chicago. But now Benson has reemerged with the Cincinnati Bengals. His emergence has convinced me that Cedric Benson should be the comeback player of the year thus far.

On top of the drama with the Chicago Bears, Benson also battled alcoholism. The Bengals decided to give Benson another chance, and so far he was rewarded all those that took a chance on him. Benson has been humble ever since his time with the Bengals. A man who once thought alcohol had ended his playing career, has now resurrected it in the most unlikely of places. Everyone expected Benson to be the Bears golden ticket to the Super Bowl. Now he is the Bengals biggest secret weapon.

Coach Marvin Lewis has been rewarded with a quality running back that is capable of handling a big load. Even though Carson Palmer will always be the feature in the Cincinnati offense, Benson has quickly emerged as a great second option.

He has also rewarded fantasy football fans, with a great and late football pick. Benson was not even ranked in the top 20 by most fantasy experts and now he is a top five-fantasy football running back. Benson has already accumulated 531 rushing yards and four Touchdowns in only six games.

Will he continue at this pace? I think it will, because the Bengals are a legitimate playoff team, who will use Benson to sneak in with a Wild Card berth. While their division also has the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens vying for a playoff spot, but I expect the Steelers to fall in the end and not make the playoffs. The Ravens win the division and the Bengals win a Wild Card spot.

Right now there is a big group of Bengals that should already be taken in most fantasy leagues. Chad Ochocinco is letting his play do the talking this year and Carson Palmer has had his fair share of solid games. The Cincinnati defense has also collected points for fantasy owners thanks to the great play of Antwan Odom. Right now I would sit most Bengals, with the tough schedule they have coming up, except Ochocinco and Palmer. But keep an eye out during Weeks 11-13, when the Bengals face a slew of low-quality opponent.