Aug 5, 2007
I got a lot of calls on Friday night on the Sirius Radio show about drafting near the end of the first round. I’ve stated many times how I think in that situation you need to look at two RBs, since I think there are 12-14 backs worthy of such a high picks. Callers wanted me and my co-host, Adam Caplan, to give examples of players who would likely be available around that time and who we would target. We threw out Travis Henry a lot (I have something on him below), but one player we kept going back to is Bear RB Cedric Benson.
Sometimes, in fantasy, it’s wise to play it safe, but other times you need to go for the gusto. Especially if you’re in a competitive league, you need to play to win, and Benson is definitely a play-to-win pick. He won’t likely go in the top-15, yet Cedric Benson, if healthy all year, will likely be a top-5 pick overall next year. If you’re looking for this year’s version of Frank Gore, or a poor man’s Larry Johnson, Benson is it.
I think the consensus in Chicago from those close to the team is that Benson’s going to be fine this year. There’s not exactly a feeling that he’s going to explode, but a feeling that he’s going to be “okay.” If he is “okay” that means he’ll play most of their games, if not all of them. If he does, there is no doubt in my mind that he will put up very good numbers. On the low end, he’s a 1300-yard, 10 TD guy if he plays 14-16 games. On the high end, and he’s capable of doing this, he’s 1500+ rushing yards and 14-15 TDs.
That potential makes him a terrific #2 pick and #2 RB. Maybe he’s not a pick for the conservative fantasy owner, but if you want to form a devastating fantasy team, Benson is a great choice.
I mentioned Henry above. Friday night we had Greg Cosell on the show. Greg is the Senior Producer of the State Farm (formerly Edge and formerly EA Sports) Matchup show on ESPN. Greg is an extremely sharp guy, and he’s gained a lot of his knowledge working side-by-side with Ron Jaworski breaking down coach’s tape. I asked Greg if I was guilty of creating too much hype on Travis Henry in Denver, and he said no way. Greg feels even better about Henry in Denver than I do, and he even said 1500+ yards rushing would not surprise him at all. I agree, of course.
I also asked Greg if I was crazy for really “feeling” Rex Grossman this year. Again, Greg, who specializes in QBs, said no way. Greg felt a lot of Grossman’s problems last year were mechanical and correctable, and he also brought up a great point about how he will benefit greatly from working in the shotgun this year, since a lot of his problems stem from when he faces a strong pass rush and because he’s not tall enough to always see over the line.
I’ve analyze the situation and the player enough. Grossman may stumble again, but I think the likelihood that he shocks with a big year is much greater. Based on the value and the potential, I am officially begging readers to use a late pick on Grossman. And now I’ll go as far to say the following: if you wind up holding off on your QB or missing out on one of the top guys, then Grossman is a great option because he could easily be a very good (if not great) starter for you. If you do that, for good measure, I would make sure I got another quality lower-end guy, such as Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers.