I was one of those people who completely wrote off anything and anyone to do with the Panthers offense in fantasy leagues for this season. Yet, after the first two weeks, I’m starting to sing a different tune with Cam Newton’s newest toy, Rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin. While a lot of NFL scouts were skeptical of the Panthers using a 1st-round pick on Benjamin, the 6’5 – 243 lb has certainly proved those individuals, myself included, wrong so far.
Benjamin is looking every bit as legit of a redzone target that he appears to be in stature, as Newton continues to look his way on fade patterns. The former Seminole has already been credited with a few highlight reel catches through the first two weeks and is locked in for double digit targets with the depleted Panthers WR corps complementing him.
Owned in just 45% of ESPN leagues, Benjamin is every bit worth rostering in 10 + team leagues.
Throughout his career, Reggie Wayne has solidified himself as an iron-man at the Wide Receiver position. Sunday night’s win over the Broncos marked the 189th consecutive game Wayne has played in, trailing Tim Brown’s top mark of 199. Now the 13 year veteran’s streak will come to a halt as an MRI has confirmed an ACL tear in his left knee.
On a play late in the 4th quarter, Andrew Luck was under pressure in the pocket and rushed a throw that ended up low and behind Wayne. While Wayne attempted to reach back to make the grab, he tweaked his left knee. He needed medical assistance to get off the field and was visibly emotional on the sidelines before eventually heading the locker room. The Colts were weary of a torn ACL and a Monday MRI has confirmed their worst fears. The Colts will need more consistent production from the stone-handed Darrius Heyward-Bey and vertical receiver, T.Y. Hilton. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Colts pursuing a WR in advance of the October 29th trade deadline. Hakeem Nicks, Josh Gordon, and Kenny Britt are among the biggest names that could potentially be available via trade.
Kenny Britt is no stranger to fines. One of his most comical incidents was when he took to his Instagram to complain about a fine he received for missing a rehab session.
In Britt’s latest charade, he took to twitter to let people know how he felt about his benching in Sunday’s game vs. the Texans, a decision the coaching staff chalked up to his lazy route-running and blocking.
See the tweet below:
The twenty-four-year-old Wide Receiver has been nothing but headaches since the Titans selected him 30th overall in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL draft. Britt has undergone knee surgeries on both knees and has been disciplined by the Titans a whopping eight times in just five years of service.
So where does that leave the Titans troubled wideout?
Britt is in the final year of his contract, leaving no doubt that the Titans will let him walk in free agency. But, the team might not even wait that long to pursue avenues to get rid of him. On the heels of his twitter stunt, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Titans discipline him for next week’s game vs. the Chargers at home. Perhaps they bench him for some combination of the first series through the entire game.
Either way, the Rutgers product could be on the outs sooner, rather than later…
We’ve seen the struggles from the young, inexperienced receivers of the New England Patriots – and we’ve also seen the obsession with Rutgers University from Bill Belichick, as further exemplified by this year’s NFL draft.
Just as Britt is no stranger to fines, Belichick and the Patriots are no strangers to acquiring talented, but troubled players. Over the past decade, the Patriots have reached out to big-name players deemed to have “character issues.” While acquisitions like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss couldn’t have worked out any better, Albert Haynesworth and Chad Johnson couldn’t have gone any worse. Only providing late round draft picks for these “troubled” experiments, the Patriots consider it a low-risk, high-reward situation.
Obviously, I recognize the first refutation to the thought of a Britt-Patriots marriage is the off-season incident(s) regarding Aaron Hernandez. While this is a completely sensible defense, it is possible that the Patriots could at least kick the tires on a potential trade for Britt.
Lacking a Wide Receiver with Britt’s 6 foot 3 inch – 215 pound frame, the Patriots penchant for a successful passing game is dependent on inexperienced rookies in the likes of Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, who have yet to grasp the playbook.
If Belichick’s patience runs out on his rookie wideouts, the solution could be another dip into the Rutgers pool of talent.
Coming out of Sunday night’s win over the Giants, Dez Bryant was diagnosed with a sprained left foot. This provided fantasy owners with even more panic than his measley line of 4/22/0. Granted, Bryant was the victim of double-teams for a majority of the night.
Bryant’s MRI revealed a mild foot sprain and nothing more, a sigh of relief for owners who most likely acquired his services between picks 10 and 18 in this year’s draft. Despite a matchup with one of the NFL’s best secondaries next week in Kansas City, owners should feel comfortable deploying Dez. No stranger to warding off various injuries when taking the field, Dez will almost certainly improve upon a forgettable opener.
Julian Edelman – The harsh reality for us Patriots fans is that with Shane Vereen out for at least 4 weeks due to wrist surgery and Rob Gronkowski still not practicing in full, the Patriots receiving corps is leaning heavily on oft-injured Danny Amendola. Considering Edelman pushed the durable Wes Welker for playing time last year, until injuring his hand, Edelman has plenty of upside in a potent offense that has limited mouths to feed. Playing on a whopping 83 of 94 snaps on Sunday, Edelman finished with 7 receptions for 92 yards and 2 TDs. One of Tom Brady’s few familiar faces, Edelman should get plenty of targets moving forward. Still available in 24% of Yahoo leagues, Edelman is a must-add.
The Bottom Heist: Even if you’re in a 10-team league, you should be taking a look at Edleman. ESPECIALLY, if your league counts return yards. In standard return yards leagues of 20 yards per point, Edelman is a solid WR3 with back-end WR2 potential, if he can stay healthy.
Marlon Brown – Owned in 5% of Yahoo leagues and just 2% of ESPN leagues, Brown should be a popular add to owners’ WR charts in standard, deeper leagues. With Jacoby Jones sidelined from a sprained MCL, Brown will be the direct beneficiary in Jones’ absence. The undrafted free agent out of Georgia totaled 65 yards on 4 receptions and a TD in his NFL debut vs. the Broncos. Look for teams to lock-down Torrey Smith with double coverage moving forward, as Marlon Brown, not Dallas Clark (or Brandon Stokley) will get an influx of targets.
The Bottom Heist: Don’t worry about cast-offs like Brandon Lloyd coming in for work-outs and climbing ahead of Brown on the Ravens depth chart at WR.