"Hate" is an awfully strong word, kids. It's so much easier to love. Unless of course we're talking about this guy …
Cedric Benson(notes), part one – Last year, during Benson's alleged reemergence, he still managed just 3.5 yards per carry. He can't run through contact, nor can he avoid it. As a receiver, he's completely inept.
Here are seven additional players I hate more than you (and a couple more reasons to loathe Benson) …
LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) – If you've ever owned a car that was problem-free during the warranty period, but suddenly required a series of $800 repairs when it reached 36,000 miles, then you understand where LT2 is in his career arc. If the Chargers viewed Darren Sproles(notes) merely as a handcuff, they wouldn't have franchised him.
Brian Westbrook(notes) – Offseason knee and ankle surgeries would be an issue with any back. But in Westbrook's case, health issues are particularly troubling. He's never played 16 games in any of his seven NFL seasons, and he'll turn 30 before Week 1. Every day, LeSean McCoy(notes) inches a little further up my draft board.
Braylon Edwards(notes) – His '08 campaign was the most pathetic season by any receiver since Chris Chambers'(notes) disastrous effort in '06. The drops were maddening. No player routinely left fantasy points on the field quite like Edwards. I wouldn't draft him as a starter.
Terrell Owens(notes) – In '08, Owens didn't shed coverage the way he used to, and now he'll have to deal with a downgrade at QB. I expect nothing but positive reports throughout the summer, but I don't think T.O. can match last year's production in the regular season.
Cedric Benson, part two – Seriously, I can't get over his preseason rank – not just at Yahoo!, but elsewhere. Don't even talk to me about Benson's 2009 workload. That's irrelevant when you're talking about a player this unskilled. If you give him 250 carries, he'll give you 740 yards.
Julius Jones(notes) – No one really likes Julius, but I'm the only ranker who doesn't have him among the top 40 running backs. If you own just one Seattle back, get T.J. Duckett(notes). The end zone is just a rumor to Jones.
Brett Favre(notes) – He's well into the Larry Holmes phase of his career, with one important distinction: Holmes actually won a few fights when he was an old man. Favre was a clear liability in '08. The rest of the NFC North should encourage him to sign with the Vikes. They're a more dangerous team with Sage Rosenfels(notes).
Derrick Ward(notes) – By the time you're looking at Ward, you'll also be considering backs who are simply more talented, like Knowshon Moreno(notes) and Jonathan Stewart(notes). I don't really dislike Ward, but much of the credit for his '08 yards-per-carry has to go to the Giants' outstanding O-line. Earnest Graham(notes) will have a role for the Bucs, too.
Cedric Benson, part three – Look, the dude was playing for a contract in '08, and he attached himself to the only NFL team foolish enough to give him a two-year deal. Benson will be out of the league in 2011. He's a fraud. Don't do it.