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Fantasy spin: BenJarvus Green-Ellis

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Recent posts by William Del Pilar

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Posted March 21, 2012 @ 6:34 p.m. ET
By William Del Pilar

Bill Walsh created the West Coast offense, and a prerequisite was a dual-threat running back who could take a short pass — an extension of a handoff — and work his magic. Roger Craig was the first of many to help revolutionize the RB position. Why do I bring this up? BenJarvus Green-Ellis has hands of stone, if you look at his statistics, and is a one-dimensional back — a bad fit in this system, much as Cedric Benson was last year.

In four seasons with the Patriots, Green-Ellis amassed a grand total of 26 receptions, and some will say the Bengals signed a younger version of Benson. That doesn't mean Green-Ellis has no fantasy value, as the AFC North is a physical division with the Ravens and Steelers. Green-Ellis, at 5-11, 215 pounds, should be able to handle it, and he will share touches with Bernard Scott.

Last season Green-Ellis totaled 181-667-11 rushing and 9-159-0 receiving but dealt with a toe injury that hampered him in the second half of the season. He's a TD machine, with 24 the past two seasons combined, and will have a similar role with the Bengals. His career stat line in 53 games is 510-2,064-29 rushing and 26-292-0 receiving — a per-game average of 44.5 yards from scrimmage and 0.55 TDs. More impressive is that he's yet to fumble in the NFL and obviously protects the ball very well.

The team also wants to increase Scott's role, so he'll cut into Green-Ellis' touches, and it may still draft another back. Green-Ellis' value is unknown if that happens, but right now he's best-suited as a flex-position fantasy back on rosters based on his ability to score TDs. 

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