Trey Benson’s Dynasty Rookie Profile | Arizona Cardinals RB Fantasy Football Outlook

Projected to work alongside James Conner in his rookie year, what can dynasty managers expect from Arizona Cardinals RB Trey Benson in 2024?

The Arizona Cardinals managed to add a pair of explosive playmakers to the offense by selecting Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr. and FSU RB Trey Benson in the 2024 NFL Draft to help retool the offense around Kyler Murray.

After becoming the second running back taken in the draft, what can dynasty fantasy football managers expect from Benson during his rookie season?

Should You Draft Trey Benson in Dynasty Fantasy Football?

The debate of who should be the top running back prospect taken in dynasty rookie drafts had been a widely debated subject throughout the months leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft. The lack of a surefire top prospect at the position saw names like Benson, Jonathon Brooks, Blake Corum, and Jaylen Wright all mentioned as the potential RB1 in this class.

After Brooks became the first running back off the board in the second round, Benson was the next to hear his name called with the second pick of Round 3 by Arizona.

On the surface, this landing spot falls in the good but not great category from a long-term dynasty perspective, with James Conner still projected as the starter for 2024, but he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

From a sheer talent standpoint, Benson is a quality three-down prospect with ideal size (6’0”, 216 pounds) and speed (4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine) that fit the criteria from an athletic traits perspective to project as a featured NFL back.

MORE: Dynasty Rookie Rankings

The Cardinals have an improving offensive line, but it’s not elite. This could have an effect on Benson’s fantasy performance, as he may need to share the workload with Conner, who finished as the RB18 last year with 1,205 total yards and nine touchdowns. As a result, Benson may not see many touches early in his career, which could limit his fantasy football impact.

Benson’s explosive playmaking ability was littered all over his tape with numerous long runs where he topped out as one of the fastest ball carriers in college football on multiple reps. Additionally, his competent playmaking skills in the passing game give him an opportunity to be a great dynasty asset in 2025, which makes him well worth a second-round pick in your rookie draft.

Who Is Benson?

Background

Benson is a product of Greenville, Miss., and was regarded as a three-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals.com coming out of O’Bannon High School and St. Joseph Catholic School.

Over his final two years at the prep level, Benson produced 3,616 total yards and 48 touchdowns.

College Production

Benson’s collegiate career got off to a slow start, having suffered a major knee injury during his first year at Oregon in 2020. In 2021, he managed to get back on the field but had a limited role during his redshirt freshman campaign, finishing with just six carries for 22 yards and a score.

After transferring to Florida State ahead of the 2022 season, Benson exploded onto the scene with 1,134 total yards and nine scores in his breakout sophomore season. He mostly mirrored that production in 2023 with 1,133 total yards and 15 TDs, helping lead the Seminoles to an undefeated regular season.

Injury History

In 2020, Benson suffered tears in both his ACL and MCL and his lateral and medial meniscus when he was a member of the Ducks.

Benson’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Exceptional top speed; his top gear was among the elite speedsters in all of college football in 2023.
  • Sculpted like a three-down back with a compact frame; Benson’s power and leg strength have helped with broken tackle and yards-after-contact metrics throughout his years at FSU.
  • An effective and versatile runner who has a nice feel for both gap- and zone-based schemes; nice patience when operating behind pulling linemen in gap concepts (counter, power, duo); can read defenders’ leverage and set up his blockers.
  • A physical downhill runner who isn’t afraid to challenge a defender’s courage; will initiate contact when he is moving downhill with a head of steam.
  • Impressive ability on edge rushes to stick his foot in the ground and burst through small openings without losing speed; could thrive in the right outside-zone schemes.
  • Can get skinny when necessary to exploit small creases in opposing defenses.
  • Good leg churn to move engaged defenders for extra yardage.
  • Capable contributor as a pass catcher out of the backfield; reliable option on swing passes, check downs, screen game, and occasional vertical shots on wheel routes out the backfield.

Weaknesses

  • Pass-protection consistency is a concern; takes odd angles and gets himself in a bad position when trying to engage in his assignments.
  • Hip fluidity isn’t the most natural, causing some limitations to quickly sift through clogged rushing lanes.
  • Wouldn’t classify his lateral agility as anything much more than functional; not an overly elusive back.
  • Despite having great home-run speed, not sure Benson’s acceleration is enough to consistently take the edge away from leveraged defenders at the NFL level.
  • Despite some production in the passing game, Benson’s route tree wasn’t very diverse at FSU; there wasn’t any angle, option, or other complex routes on tape.

As we look ahead to the 2024 fantasy football season, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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