Hamstring issues followed by weight concerns are starting to irk those planning to draft Kelvin Benjamin in 2015 Fantasy Football leagues.
— SundayNight Football (@SNFonNBC) June 18, 2015
It’s still early in the offseason, however, and Benjamin should be able to shed the weight fairly quickly. It’s nicer when a player shows up in good shape, but there is still time for the 24-year old receiver lose a few pounds.
I started to ponder about the rest of the receivers on the Carolina Panthers after hearing about Benjamin. I don’t see Cam Newton turning more than two receivers into Fantasy-relevant options, but could there be another player who steps up and earns Newton’s attention?
Rookie Devin Funchess
He started off as a tight end in college but became a wide receiver before his final season at Michigan. Defenses will have a difficult time containing Benjamin, Funchess and Greg Olsen, and Newton’s mobility will further extend the troubles this offense will offer to opponents. I like him in an MFL10 (best ball scoring), but I have a hard time buying in for standard scoring leagues. Benjamin, Olsen and Funchess are all big targets. What that trio lacks, however, is jets. Funchess did have a decent 40-yard dash for his size (4.47 at Pro Day), but doesn’t have the burners to really add another dimension or set himself apart from Benjamin. Still, I’m definitely keeping my eye on Funchess. He’s available in Round 14 of standard scoring and PPR drafts on FantasyFootballCalculator.com, and that isn’t a bad spot to land the next best receiver behind Benjamin.
Veteran Jerricho Cotchery
The 33-year old receiver has not recorded more than 800 receiving yards since 2009. He did return to relevancy with 10 touchdowns in 2013, but he followed that with a disappointing performance in his first year with the Panthers. Not much to see here folks. Move along.
Fourth-Year Receiver Stephen Hill
Rivera says if he had to pick a standout from OTAs it would be WR Stephen Hill. Also likes what OL Jonathan Martin has done in practice. — Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) June 17, 2015
Do you want a very deep sleeper for 2015?
The former second-round pick for the New York Jets has faced a few issues in his NFL career: injuries, mental lapses and he had to work with the woes of Geno Smith‘s rookie season. Hill was a track start in college, and his athleticism was able to translate to the football field.
The Jets didn’t see enough out of Hill to keep him around, however, so the Panthers scooped him up and sent him to the practice squad. I like this move. It shows that the Panthers saw the potential, but the coaches did not want to place him in a position where he would fail. He may have been in over his head in New York, and sometimes it just takes a little bit of time for a player to develop.
At 6-foot-4, what makes Hill different than Benjamin or Funchess? Speed my friends. Speed.
He ran a crazy 4.36 40-yard dash, and the Panthers are missing an option who can burn defenders. Hill is also a huge target at 6-foot-4, so you can see why he appeared to be destined for greatness in the NFL. It looks like he is buried on the depth chart, but he has been impressing his coaches and teammates at OTAs.
Philly Brown and Tedd Ginn Jr. may have speed, but they lack the size to add an additional dimension to the passing attack. The Panthers have the ability to line Hill up in multiple spots, and if the young receiver could be dangerous if he earns a starting role.
He is still a very deep sleeper at best, but this is a guy you will want to watch over the next few months. I saw a video of Hill’s highlights in his rookie season, but this video shows off his athleticism better. It also shows his 2012 NFL Combine performances and has a Nelly song.
I initially thought the main targets in the passing attack would be straight forward in Carolina. Now, I’m not so sure.
Jack Delaney is the owner of Your Fantasy Football Coach. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook, and make sure to check out his new ebook The Smart Fantasy Football Investor: 2015 Edition to start preparing for your 2015 Fantasy Football draft.