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Instant Analysis: Packers to sign Cedric Benson

As I was walking down the hallway today, I heard this loud destructive sound from the distance. I flinched for a moment, then realized it was the dynasty value of James Starks crashing down as the Packers are reportedly poised to sign Cedric Benson tonight.

Dynasty owners were cautiously hoping Starks could develop into the lead back for Green Bay this season and be a nice RB3 or flex option for their team. After all, the Packers opted not to really address the position in the draft, nor did they sign a notable veteran this off-season. Starks has always looked fairly ordinary as a runner, but there was always an element of hope with him. After all, even a pedestrian runner can have value in an offense as dynamic as the Packers employ.

Reports started to surface a couple of weeks ago that Starks was struggling in camp and failing to develop the way Green Bay had hoped. He played in the first preseason game and struggled mightily, rushing for just 16 yards on five carries. He also muffed a handoff and dropped a pass. Apparently, the Packers have seen enough to panic.

Benson has never been the back he was expected to be after being drafted out of Texas, but he’s a veteran and he’s reliable with three straight 1,000 yard seasons on his resume. If he does indeed sign with Green Bay, he should immediately be inserted as the starter and get a healthy dose of carries. The Packers offense will always run through Aaron Rodgers, but Benson could carve out another 1,000 yard season and provide a handful of touchdowns to merit value of a RB3 or even a low-end RB2 with any luck. If this signing happens, Benson is the perfect player to have if you’re a competing team as he could provide some bye week insurance or be a spot play if needed – he’s certainly not going to carry your team, however.

For Starks, this would be a death blow to his dynasty value. The Packers obviously don’t have enough faith in his ability to hand him the keys to the castle and he’s going to be no better than a change of pace back with Benson in the fold. After Benson departs, you can surely bet the Packers would look elsewhere for their running back of the future. Simply put, he’s had his chance and squandered it.

As for the other Green Bay running backs, Benson’s impending addition wouldn’t bode well for them, either. Alex Green was a sleeper for many coaches out there who believed Starks wouldn’t be able to perform well enough to keep the job. Unfortunately, Benson’s addition throws some cold water on his short term value. Perhaps he can spend the year developing and be in the mix to be the back of the future in Green Bay, but the odds of him doing that have decreased. Regardless, if the Packers believed Green was all the way back from injury and ready to carry the load any time soon, they’d have no interest in Benson right now. Brandon Saine and Marc Tyler also take a hit in value.

The apparent signing of Benson will surely make Starks’ ranking tumble in virtually every format.  He was our #35 running back in our recent rankings, but that won’t last long now. As for Benson, he’ll get an apparent second lease on life and finds himself in a nice situation. The signing also doesn’t do much for the value of Ryan Grant. What does it say about what the Packers feel about Grant since they chose Benson over him even though he knows the offense inside and out?

Things are happening quickly – keep it here at DLF to stay up to date all year long.

Ken Kelly
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alden bietz
9 years ago

I was looking into drafting RB Green in upcoming drafts, because of what I heard about Starks preseason. Green is still more of a development than I thought, if they brought in Benson who is a plodder. Green can catch the ball thow, I will watch and see.

GoPackGo
9 years ago

Still trying to figure out how Benson fits in. He is a respectable pass blocker and runner but is terrible when catching passes. Shouldn’t that be a huge priority for GB?

Ken Dogson
Reply to  GoPackGo
9 years ago

Green and Saine both have very good hands.

What they need is someone who can run between the tackles and has some cutback vision.

Dave
9 years ago

I’m beyond desperate at rb. Just snagged him with my last pick in the rookie/fa draft. Here’s hoping. Thanks for the article.

Eric MacKenzie
9 years ago

Benson is terrible. 3.8 career ypc, was just replaced by Law Firm in Cin, and his best aspect is he’s durable. I think another 1,000 season is a pipe dream. This guy is in to fill the Ryan Grant role.

I agree this impacts Starks because best case scenario for him is 3rd down role. I don’t see any impact for Green though outside of his positioning in case of another Starks injury. Leaping Starks for third down should be a slam dunk now, and he can use that to wrest carries away from Benson just like we expected him to do with Starks.

Coach
9 years ago

I am thrilled with this. I had Starks last year but needed a QB badly and shipped him off for Carson Palmer. Looks like i sold high on him.

Vendetta .
9 years ago

Is there any cause for concern that this signing hasn’t happened yet? I have a RB needy team in one of my leagues and also had Starks. Played a calculated risk last night by submitting a large blind bid on Benson and dropping Starks. I assumed the rest of my league would bid highly to try and acquire a starting RB. Turns out, only one other team placed a bid and it was way less than mine. Not too concerned with dropping Starks, but if this doesn’t become official I will have wasted a bunch of free agent money.

Eric Kriwer
9 years ago

yawn……

justin sword
9 years ago

Yeah but 2 games vs Chicago … He still has an ax to grind there … Could see a few big games for him IMO… Rember he had a rookie qb at the helm last year too

david collins
9 years ago

So Benson comes to town and all GB RB’s take a hit? I think it’s possible this is simply about getting some insurance due to green not being healthy. It wasn’t THAT long ago that we were getting great camp reports out of GB on Starks.

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