Rookies to Know: Trey Benson

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, Adam Nardelli helps fantasy football managers catch up on the rookie class. Next in the series is Trey Benson, the big-play RB out of FSU.

The 2023 season was a great example of how rookies can have a significant impact in fantasy football.  If you just look at the teams that made it to the conference championships this past season, the likes of Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta, Zay Flowers, and Rashee Rice all played roles in helping their teams make deep playoff runs.  They also could have been key contributors to fantasy football managers who came away with championships of their own.  To prepare you for the 2024 NFL Draft and which players may help you find success in fantasy football, I’m starting a series on which rookies you should know well ahead of your fantasy football drafts.  Maybe you don’t follow college football as closely as you do the NFL, or the draft just isn’t your thing.

Don’t worry.  This series will help you get to know the skill position players that will likely be taken high in the upcoming NFL Draft, and as a result, will have some buzz heading into fantasy draft season.  I’ll also discuss their most likely landing spot in the draft based on betting lines and expert mock drafts, and how that will possibly help or hurt their fantasy prospects.


Trey Benson


You know we couldn’t do a Rookies to Know series for fantasy football and not bring up at least one running back.  Yes, this upcoming draft class doesn’t have a sure-first-round pick like Saquon Barkley or Bijan Robinson, but anyone that plays fantasy football knows that effective running backs can be found in any round in the NFL Draft.  2024 probably won’t be any different.

The top running back in this year’s class is up for debate, but we’ll dive into Florida State’s Trey Benson.  The Greenville, Mississippi native played his first two years of college ball at Oregon before transferring to Florida State for 2022 and 23.  In his last season at FSU, he was second-team All-ACC with 906 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

At 6’0 and 213 pounds, Benson has a nice combination of size and speed.  Having run a 4.39 second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, he has the speed to elude defenders, but also the frame to punish would-be tacklers.  He’s tough to bring down on first contact and put together back-to-back quality seasons in terms of production in his two years at FSU, despite just averaging 13.5 offensive touches per game in 2023.  He’s never had more than 20 carries in a game, so Benson likely won’t be drafted to be a workhorse back, but he also doesn’t have a lot of tread on his tires.

What he does have is big-play potential, which is exactly what we want in fantasy football.  Benson has upside as a pass catcher, as he was the first Florida State running back with a 100-yard receiving game since Dalvin Cook.  He was also the only player in FBS level college football with an 80-yard reception and an 80-yard run in 2023, according to Dane Brugler of The Athletic.  He only returned six kicks in his college career but averaged 32 yards per return, highlighted by a 93-yard return TD in 2022.  Explosive plays in the NFL were at a premium in 2023, and Benson has showed he can break off big plays at any time and in multiple ways.

He’s not a perfect prospect by any means and can specifically improve his decisiveness as a runner to avoid missing out on yards.  He also suffered a major knee injury in 2020, tearing his ACL, MCL, and meniscus during practice, so he does have some significant injury history.  He was clearly hamstrung from the injury in 2021, but by 2022 was completely recovered.  For a player likely to be taken in the second or third round in the upcoming draft, there’s more than enough to like about Benson to think he can be a productive running back in the NFL, and as a result, a valuable name to know in fantasy football.

It’s hard to pin down two or three teams where Benson may land, but as of this writing, he’s the favorite to be the first running back drafted at +160 ($10 bet to win $26 total), according to DraftKings Sportsbook.  His draft landing spot will clearly have an impact on his ADP (average draft position) in fantasy football based on who he’ll be competing with for touches, but currently lists Benson’s ADP as 102, a mid-9th-round pick

While the investment in Benson should be nothing close to other past rookie running backs, such as last year when Bijan Robinson was commanding a first-round pick, we’re not in the “shot in the dark” area of a draft yet in the 9th-round.  Trey Benson is just another example of the fantasy community giving no rookie discounts.


Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire | Feature Image by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.