Benny Cunningham
Benny Cunningham
29-Year-Old Running BackRB
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The last two seasons in Chicago saw Cunningham used primarily as a special-teams contributor, as he played only 37 offensive snaps in 2018. The 28-year-old previously had been used as a third-down back -- he had 20 receptions for 240 yards and two touchdowns in 2017 -- and was hoping to fill a similar role for the Jaguars before they released him in early August. There isn't much time for Cunningham to prove himself with a new team before the start of the regular season. Read Past Outlooks
$Released by the Jaguars in August of 2019.
Working out for Lions
RBFree Agent
September 17, 2019
Cunningham worked out for the Lions on Tuesday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
Cunningham was originally released by the Jaguars on Aug. 11. Tuesday's workout is important for the 29-year-old because it means he's clear of the hamstring injury that plagued him early in training camp. Detroit already has four healthy running backs on its active roster, but Cunningham could find a spot on the practice squad if he impresses the team Tuesday.
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Benny Cunningham lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2019 Benny Cunningham Split Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Benny Cunningham
NFL Reactions: Preseason Week 1 Snap Analysis
101 days ago
Jerry Donabedian looks at snap counts from the first week of the preseason, explaining why O.J. Howard's every-down role with the starting offense is far more relevant than his lack of receiving production.
2019 Football Draft Kit: It All Falls on Fournette
148 days ago
Jerry Donabedian believes a lack of offensive talent in Jacksonville leaves an enormous burden on the unreliable Leonard Fournette.
NFL Reactions: Impressive Incompetence
November 11, 2018
Placing Russell Wilson on Timeout until the fourth quarter is a bold strategy. Let's see if it pays off for Brian Schottenheimer.
Team Previews: 2018 Chicago Bears
July 20, 2018
Jim Coventry touches on the impact coach Matt Nagy will have on a previously inept offense.
Weekly Rankings: Week 13 Value Meter
November 28, 2017
Alvin Kamara continues to tear it up each week - he's third in this week's Flex Rankings. Check out all of Jeff Erickson's rankings for Week 13.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Although Cunningham likely won't see much work with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen leading the backfield, he could have a path to playing time should the team suffer injuries at running back. However, even with Cohen being drastically underused by the former coaching staff last year, Cunningham gathered just nine rushing attempts and 20 receptions, so his opportunity for regular work may not be in the cards. With new coach Matt Nagy installing a fast-paced attacking offense, Cunningham could see sporadic work as a third-stringer, but if he gets a chance to see regular snaps, his ability as a receiver would likely be his best path to fantasy production, especially since he has a 45-catch season on his resume. Don't expect him to contribute much as a runner, since he's failed to top 3.8 yards per carry in three of the last four seasons. In addition, if the team chooses to use him as a returner, he'd have a little added value in leagues that reward return yardage, as he's averaged over 20 kickoff returns per season during his five years in the league, though he only had seven in his first campaign with the Bears.
The Bears were in clear need of a running back with receiving skills after Jeremy Langford struggled last year and Jordan Howard performed best as an early-down runner, precipitating Cunningham's signing to bolster the backfield. Although passing downs are his best chance to carve out a role, the team used a fourth-round draft choice on Tarik Cohen, and should the explosive rookie capitalize on his potential, Cunningham could end up seeing most of his time on kick returns.
A 2013 UDFA, the 26-year-old Cunningham has more receiving yards (661) than rushing yards (647) through the first three seasons of his career, having mostly served as the Rams' third-down back. He's likely slated for a similar role after re-signing on a one-year, $1.7 million contract, but it is quite possible the Rams will want Todd Gurley to assume more of the third-down work now that he isn't a rookie. In any case, Gurley will dominate the carries so long as he's healthy, and while Cunningham will likely take the No. 2 spot on the depth chart, this isn't a clear handcuff situation. Though his 5-10, 215-pound frame may seem sufficient for a lead-back job, Cunningham is neither particularly quick nor powerful, mostly offering value with his hands, pass-blocking and work on special teams.
Seemingly buried on the running back depth chart behind Zac Stacy and Tre Mason to begin the 2014 season, Cunningham ended up carving a little niche for himself as a third-down back to finish off the campaign. While he only had one game with more than 30 yards rushing, he did collect 45 catches for 352 yards and a touchdown by the end of the season. With Stacy gone and Todd Gurley in town, Cunningham's 2015 role is unlikely to change. He should still pick up three to five catches a game with an occasional rush attempt thrown in there, especially if Gurley is not ready for the beginning of the season.
An undrafted signee out of Middle Tennessee, Cunningham impressed in his limited opportunities last season, particularly when he saw heavier work in Weeks 10 and 12, turning a total of 20 carries into 181 yards and a touchdown in those two games. He was sparingly used otherwise and figures to again slot into a depth role this year, backing up Zac Stacy, with rookie Tre Mason also in the mix on that front. The explosive Cunningham will also serve as the Rams' primary kick returner.
More Fantasy News
Released by Jacksonville
RBFree Agent
Hamstring
August 11, 2019
Cunningham (hamstring) was released by the Jaguars with an injury settlement Sunday, Hays Carlyon of 1010 AM WJXL reports.
ANALYSIS
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Won't play Thursday
RBJacksonville Jaguars
August 8, 2019
Cunningham will not dress for Thursday's preseason game against the Bills, John Oehser of the team's official site reports.
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Looking good for roster spot
RBJacksonville Jaguars
June 20, 2019
Cunningham's pass-catching skill gives him a good chance to make the 53-man roster in Jacksonville, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports.
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Moves on to Jaguars
RBJacksonville Jaguars
April 2, 2019
The Jaguars signed Cunningham to a contract Tuesday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Checking out Jacksonville
RBFree Agent
April 1, 2019
Cunningham will visit the Jaguars this week, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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