If you want to compete consistently in fantasy football, you have to be willing to sift through the plethora of underrated and unknown names to find a unique talent. Of course, for every potential superstar that exists on the waiver wire, there are at least five others that are masquerading as breakout talents that are actually just one hit wonders. Often times it can be immensely difficult to tell the difference between the two and the only way to find out which side of the fence a particular player will be on is to keep a close eye on their production from week to week. Such is the case with current third string wideout Travis Benjamin.
Team: Los Angeles Chargers
Position: Wide Receiver
Percent Owned On Fantasy Teams: (Yahoo Fantasy): 6%
Fantasy Points Thru Week 1 (Half PPR): Projected: 5.68 Actual: 11.80
Despite being relegated to a meek spotlight in the Chargers receiving corps, Benjamin was a reliable deep threat last season, particularly in the absence of number one wide receiver Keenan Allen. Averaging 14.4 yards per reception in 2016, Benjamin was capable of pulling off big-plays in sporadic bursts and was quick enough to garner a few extra yards after a reception (averaged 5.3 yards after the catch in 2016). While not an elite talent, Benjamin’s work ethic and skill set proved to be vital to the Chargers last season, which ultimately earned him a place amongst a loaded receiving corps.
This season, Benjamin’s value will be fairly fluid from week to week and he will usually be considered a high-risk flex player with a high-ceiling depending on the match up. However, with highly-touted rookie wideout Mike Williams still at least a month away from being ready to play, Benjamin has a window albeit a shrinking one to prove that he can be clutch for the Chargers again in 2017.
While Benjamin may lack the target shares to be a true fantasy workhorse (just four targets and three receptions in week 1), the fact that he almost always positions himself downfield allows him to beat his projected point total with one catch and long run into the end zone. Against thin secondaries, Benjamin will be particularly valuable as quarterback Phillip is not afraid to go deep consistently if there is a miss match downfield.
In the end, Benjamin is currently nothing more than a weekly pick up and then drop prospect who flashes impressive upside at times but will ultimately fade into the background down the road. While the Chargers week 2 match up against the Dolphins could allow Benjamin to pull off another productive week, his role could be reduced quickly especially once Mike Williams returns to the Chargers.