Cleveland wide receiver Travis Benjamin has quietly been one of the most productive receivers in the AFC this season. He has 22 catches for 411 yards and four touchdowns and has one touchdown or at least 79 receiving yards in all five games this season.
And yet, fantasy experts are advising folks to sit Benjamin this weekend against Aqib Talib and the Denver Broncos.
Benjamin does not agree with that advice.
“If they planning on sitting me, that would be crazy,” Benjamin said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Even with a couple guys injured, we’re still going out there and compete at the highest level possible.”
That includes Josh McCown, who has 1,000+ yards and seven touchdowns (six pass, one rush) in his last thee games. Benjamin had more touchdowns with Johnny Manziel, but he has more catches and targets with McCown.
“It’s almost the same,” Benjamin said of playing with each quarterback. “The ball is still there. I just need to go out there and make that play. Josh and Johnny both are incredible quarterbacks, and Josh is on this run where he’s putting up these ridiculous numbers. But at the end of the day, each and every Sunday with Josh at quarterback, we feel comfortable that we can go out there and win.”
Of course, it helps having Gary Barnidge, who has been one of the best tight ends in football this season. He has 22 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns over the last three weeks, including a miraculous grab against Baltimore that he hauled in with his feet.
Benjamin was on the field when that play occurred.
“I actually saw him not let it touch the ground,” Benjamin said. “I was running over there to put my hands up to signal for the touchdown. Everybody was like, ‘No, he didn’t catch it.’ But he caught it. What a catch.”
Benjamin and Barnidge will need to be in top form Sunday against Talib, who will look to snag an interception or two – or what he refers to as “prime looks.”
“No, no, no, not at all,” Benjamin said. “Denver has a great defense with Talib and Chris Harris. He’s also good. But come Sunday, we’re looking forward to going out there to compete.”
Benjamin said that McCown, who has been hampered by a sore ankle this week, will be under center on Sunday.
“Oh, he’s going to play,” Benjamin said. “He’s going to play. He practiced every day this week, so he’s going to play. We’re ready to go.”