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Bengals: Cedric Benson Returns to Fantasy Lineups | NFL Fantasy Football Rankings

Chicago Bears v Cincinnati Bengals

This up coming Sunday marks the final week of the regular season for many fantasy football leagues. For those of you that have Cedric Benson on your fantasy team it is time to get him in your starting roster.

For the past two weeks Benson has not played because of a hip problem that caused the team to sign Larry Johnson from free agency. Johnson, as we all know was shipped out of the Chiefs’ organization because of his disturbing comments on Twitter.

The Bengals gave Johnson a second chance and last week he ran for over 100 yards against the Browns. In that game Johnson didn’t start as Bernard Scott was Benson original backup and start both games in Benson’s absence.

During the game against the Browns, Scott suffered a turf toe injury and Johnson took over to finish the game.

Distribution of Carries

Head Coach Marvin Lewis made it known to everyone early this week that Benson would play this Sunday against the Lions and would start. Lewis and teammates cited that this team is Benson’s team and now that he is healthy it is his starting job to have back.

This only makes sense as Benson was having a Pro Bowl season before he was injured and has earned the job, without question.

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals

Backing up Coach Lewis’s words, Benson practiced in full for every day of practice this week. This was the first time he had done so since before his injury week ten against the Steelers.

Now the only questions that remain are how much work will Benson get, and how much work will Johnson receive in fill in time?

Fantasy Football Outlook

Assuming Benson doesn’t suffer a setback, he should get most of the touches until the game is well in hand. Since the Bengals are playing the Lions this week I would expect them to have the game put away early in the fourth quarter.

Look for Johnson to pound out the final series or two of the game when the team has the win well in hand. Other than that Johnson will probably give Benson a breather here and there during the game.

I would expect Benson to have no less than 85 yards rushing and one touchdown in this easy rushing contest. Johnson could put up similar numbers as he will face the Lions’ defense at the end of the game when they are tired.

Benson is a must start for fantasy owners and Johnson makes for a sneaky flex option as well.

After this game, I don’t see Johnson as much of a fantasy option until they face the Chiefs week 16. Johnson has that game penciled in as a pay back game, and I’m sure Coach Lewis will give him at least twelve touches and a touchdown opportunity for his hard work.

NFL Fantasy Football Player Rankings writer Sean E. Douglas:

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