Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson will reportedly be headed for jail on Tuesday, as he will begin serving a 20-day sentence stemming from assault charges. Rather than serve the time during Cincinnati’s bye week as originally expected, Benson will try to get his time out of the way now, and then will hopefully make it back in time to start in Week One against the Cleveland Browns.
While that sounds fantastic, it has to be considered a situation to avoid. Even when you get past the fact that Benson will be playing with a rookie quarterback and defenses will be focused mainly on him, you still have to think about a possible suspension or him missing the first week of the season.
As we gear up for a great season of fantasy football, we’re taking a look at five fantasy players that you may want to avoid in fantasy football games in 2011. In the name of Cedric Benson, stay away from these guys:
Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Cassel made huge strides in 2010, passing for over 3,100 yards for the first time as a Chief, while throwing 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. Sounds like a guy on the rise, right? It may appear that way, but with the exit of quarterback/offensive guru Charlie Weis to Florida, things aren’t looking so hot for Cassel. He’s looked terrible in preseason action, and I don’t predict things getting much better when the real games start. There are literally 5-10 options better than Cassel this year, regardless of his 2010 numbers.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos
Lloyd is a bit different than the other guys on this list, because I still think he’s going to be a solid fantasy option. However, there’s absolutely no way he’ll come anywhere close to his sick 2010 production. Lloyd had over 1,400 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns last season, which was just a year from heaven. However, a closer look reveals that Lloyd benefited greatly from a pass-happy Josh McDaniels offense, as well as playing from behind in several games. But that offense is gone, and a run-first scheme is now in place with John Fox coming to town.
An even closer look shows Lloyd had never topped 48 receptions, 750 yards, or six touchdowns in any of his previous seven seasons. He might still be solid, but he won’t live up to your elite standards. Spend your top money/pick on someone else.
Sidney Rice, WR, Seattle Seahawks
I actually love Rice’s size, ball skills, and overall talent. But when you take a look at his history and current situation, he’s an extremely scary fantasy option. And not in a good way. Rice has just one elite season to his name, with the rest of his NFL seasons being drowned in injuries or inconsistency. And the present doesn’t look much better, as he’s paired with the inept Tarvaris Jackson. Rice has the talent to prove me wrong, but like Charles Barkley says, I doubt it.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers
Don’t get me wrong. Mathews is a heck of a talent and one day could be a pretty solid NFL back. However, right now doesn’t appear to be that time. Not only did he have his rookie season marred by injuries and inconsistency, but his 2010 time-share situation with teammate Mike Tolbert has seen no change. Considering his so-so role and inability to get/stay completely healthy, Mathews is a guy you may want to keep away from.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, New England Patriots
The Law Firm scored an impressive 13 touchdowns in 2010, but his role is fairly shaky going into 2011. He still figures to maintain goal-line duties, but it would be a shock if he didn’t lose more carries to Danny Woodhead and rookie back Stevan Ridley. Rookie Shane Vereen could even cut into the mix. Green-Ellis is a productive player, but he’s not an elite athlete, and he’s in a log-jam of solid talent in New England’s back-field. It’s really just not the best fantasy situation to deal with.
Keep coming back daily for more fantasy football advice to help you with both fantasy drafts and to prepare for our weekly fantasy football games, which will be coming soon!