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Player Spotlight: Kelvin Benjamin

Dave Larkin breaks down Kelvin Benjamin's fantasy prospects for 2017.

Pros

  • Nobody has skill set like him in Panthers offense: Over the two seasons Kelvin Benjamin has completed as a pro – 2015 and 2017 – he has comfortably led the Panthers wide receivers in targets and red zone targets, and it doesn’t take a genius to see why. His big-bodied frame can box out defensive backs easily, giving his quarterback a large margin of error. Even as Carolina’s offense shifts to more ‘small ball’ tactics, no passing game threat has the skills of Benjamin.
  • Newton’s cradle of trust: Benjamin and the entire offense suffered as Cam Newton struggled down the stretch last season, but there is no doubting the mind meld these two have. The scattershot accuracy that has become a pillar of Newton’s game is offset by the big receiver’s ability to corral wayward passes and make heaves downfield look like inspired plays.
  • Playing with point to prove: Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was unforgiving in his assessment of Benjamin’s weight this offseason, calling out the receiver for the extra pounds he was carrying. This criticism appears to have lit a fire under Benjamin, who has vowed to be in the best shape of his life. The Panthers may have picked up his 2018 fifth-year option, but make no mistake: Benjamin is playing for his future this year.

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