Shark Bites

Panthers WR Devin Funchess sat out Thursday's practice with a hamstring injury.  The team doesn't consider it serious, but it's not a good start as the rookie looks to help replace WR Kelvin Benjamin.  According to insider Steve Reed,  Philly Brown, Jerricho Cotchery and Ted Ginn are currently ahead of Funchess on the depth chart.  Funchess still has the most upside of the group, but we're not drafting him as more than a bench stash.

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5 months ago

The Panthers on Friday signed former Packers WR Jarrett Boykin to a 1-year deal. Boykin made a fantasy impact 2 years ago in Green Bay when injuries to Randall Cobb (10 games missed) and James Jones (2 games) created opportunity. Boykin managed 49 catches for 681 yards and 3 TDs. But he quickly fell out of use with Cobb back healthy and rookie Davante Adams on board last year. And then the Packers didn't even tender him as a restricted free agent. Carolina presents clear opportunity, with 32-year-old Jerricho Cotchery ranking 3rd on the team in targets last year. But Boykin will need the Panthers to avoid adding an early-round WR in the draft if he's to realize any real 2015 fantasy football value.

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Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin is in the concussion protocol, HC Ron Rivera revealed on Wednesday. It's the 1st we've heard of the head injury.  Benjamin took a few big shots in last week's tie but was still in there at the end of the game.  He's now iffy for this Sunday's game against the Packers, though.  We'll keep tabs on his progress over the next few days.  Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant would be Carolina's top 2 WRs if Benjamin is out.  It'd be a sizable hit to QB Cam Newton's Week 7 outlook.

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Panthers WRs Jerricho Cotchery (quad) put in a full week of practice and is probable for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. He should take back over as the #2 WR but isn’t a fantasy option.  He has just 8 catches for 78 scoreless yards in 2 games this season.

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11 months ago

Panthers WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) is inactive for tonight’s matchup with Pittsburgh. Jason Avant (thigh) is active, but Kelvin Benjamin remains the only WR worth playing in fantasy.

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Panthers WRs Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are both questionable for Sunday night's game against the Steelers with quad injuries.  Neither guy should be in your fantasy lineup.  Look for WR Kelvin Benjamin and TE Greg Olsen to continue to dominate targets.

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ESPN's John Clayton reports Jerricho Cotchery is expected to be the #1 WR in Carolina this season.  Fantasy owners are operating as if rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin will be the #1, taking him in the 11th round of drafts.  Cotchery, meanwhile, is going undrafted in most leagues.  Benjamin certainly presents more fantasy upside thanks to his combination of size and athleticism.  But it wouldn't be shocking if the 32-year-old Cotchery led Panthers WRs in catches this season.  He showed that he has gas left in the tank last year, averaging 13.1 yards per catch and scoring 10 TDs for the Steelers.  It's tough to get excited about Cotchery's upside, though, so consider him just a late-round option in deeper fantasy leagues.

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Panthers QB Cam Newton (ankle) shed his walking boot on Tuesday and declared himself "ready for rehab."  He underwent ankle surgery a little less than 2 months ago and was slapped with a 4-month timetable.  It sounds like he's avoided setbacks so far.  If all goes according to plan, Newton should be ready for the start of training camp.  He needs to be considering he'll be working with a brand new WR corps featuring Kelvin Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant.

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The Panthers have signed WR Jerricho Cotchery.  He immediately jumps to the top of the weakest WR depth chart in the league.  Cotchery flukily scored 10 TDs on just 46 catches last year.  He totaled just 7 scores in the previous 4 seasons.  Cotchery turns 32 in June and has the ability of a #3 WR at this point of his career.  Carolina isn't done at the WR position yet.  Even if Cotchery opens the season as a starter, he'll be no better than a WR4 in fantasy football.

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The Steelers have re-signed WR Jerricho Cotchery to a 2-year deal.  He appeared in 13 games for Pittsburgh last year, registering 30 targets, 16 catches, 237 yards, and 2 TDs.  With WR Hines Ward's departure, Cotchery figures to move up to #4 on the depth chart this season.  He still won't be a fantasy factor though.

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Steelers OC Bruce Arians doesn't expect to have WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee) available for Thursday night's game against the Browns.  He's managed just 3 catches for 31 yards over the last 2 weeks.  His absence will mean a few extra snaps for WRs Hines Ward and Jerricho Cotchery, but neither guy is a fantasy option.  WRs Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown will continue to dominate targets.

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The Steelers have signed WR Jerricho Cotchery to a 1-year deal.  Coming off back surgery, Cotchery didn't draw much interest on the open market after being released by the Jets.  In Pittsburgh, he'll likely slot in as the 4th WR behind Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, and Emmanuel Sanders.  Antonio Brown could even push Cotchery down to #5 on the depth chart.  He's unlikely to be a fantasy factor.

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