The Cincinnati Bengals have announced they have signed free-agent running back Cedric Benson (Chicago Bears). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The move comes after the team placed running back DeDe Dorsey (hamstring) on injured reserve Tuesday, Sept. 30, ending his season. Depth was an issue for the Bengals as running back Kenny Watson (hamstring) has been bothered by a nagging hamstring injury.
Benson's troubles off the field have been well documented, but he failed to perform much on the field during his three years in Chicago. He played in 26 games for the Bears over the last two seasons, averaging 660.5 rushing yards, five touchdowns, 12.5 receptions and 88.5 receiving yards per year. The Bears released him this past offseason.
Owners might be tempted to look at the Benson signing as a statement against current starting back Chris Perry; the fifth-year back has run for just 208 yards on 72 carries (2.9 yards per carry). He has contributed 26 yards on nine catches in the receiving game. However, aside from Perry's four fumbles this year, the team has seemingly been happy with him. They have utilized Perry 85 times, good for 11th in the league amongst running backs. The Bengals' disappointment lies mainly with the offensive line.
Watson has played sporadically this year, receiving just 11 utilizations (one in the red zone). He has run for 32 yards while catching two passes for three yards. Last week, Watson failed to suit up because of a hamstring injury and might not be available this week.
Most fantasy owners should hold off on acquiring Benson at the moment. He is little more than a flier in deep leagues for those owners with depth problems. Those owners who have Perry could look to add Benson if they have the room as a handcuff.
Perry's value doesn't drop with this signing. As for Watson, his value as a handcuff to Perry takes a hit, and he should only be kept in extremely deep point-per-reception leagues.
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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