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WR Kelvin Benjamin

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Outlook: Kelvin Benjamin was selected at 1.28 during the 2014 NFL draft. There is a wide range of opinions about Benjamin's readiness to be a pro receiver - some feel his size (6-5, 240 lbs), reach and leaping abilities will make him a favorite target of Cam Newton, while others fret about Benjamin's lack of polished route running and his tendency to juggle or drop catchable balls. He has the potential to be productive at the pro level, but there is a lot of work to be done on Benjamin's part - meanwhile, the Panthers' wide receiving corps needs help NOW. It remains to be seen how much chemistry Benjamin can create with Newton - we'll see how they look working together during preseason. There is definitely plenty of opportunity for Benjamin to shine in Carolina, but his ability to capitalize on the abundant opportunities there is open to question. Benjamin underwent a precautionary MRI on Monday, July 28 after bumping knees with a teammate on July 27. 'We want to be smart with it,' head coach Ron Rivera said. 'It could just be one of those things where if he had iced it right away and not finished (Sunday's) practice, maybe it would have been better... I'm optimistic that is what it's going to be.' The MRI revealed a bone bruise in his left knee - Benjamin is considered day-to-day due to the injury, but may miss a week or so.


WR Dwayne Bowe

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Outlook: Bowe failed to live up to expectations in 2013 for a variety of reasons. The only one of those reasons beyond his control was the performance of the Chiefs defense. Bowe saw a significant reduction in production for the first nine weeks due to the fact that the Chiefs were blowing out bad teams early and had no desire to force the ball into a receiver that doesn't specialize in getting wide open. Bowe's production saw a slight uptick in the second half and he was WR26 from week 11-16. He was even better in the team's playoff loss, putting up an 8-150-1. Historically Bowe has been about a 50/50 bet to hit 1000 yards and other than his anomalous 2010 (15 TD) he's averaged around 5 scores a year. He is good at using his body in traffic, but also has a maddening amount of silly drops. Bowe has struggled with a finger injury in camp and has been suspended for week one of the regular season due to a marijuana arrest in 2013.


WR Mike Evans

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Outlook: Tampa Bay selected Mike Evans with the seventh overall draft pick this offseason. As a prospect, Evans has hulking dimensions at 6'5", more than 230 pounds, and a tremendous wingspan. Evans will barely be 21 years old for his first NFL game and with only one productive season in college, he is more of a wildcard than most top-10 selections. Mike Evans joins Vincent Jackson as one of the biggest wide receiver tandems in NFL history. Evans excels down the field, winning jump balls and working his way back to a quarterback in distress. He was a perfect fit with Johnny Manziel during their time together at Texas A&M. With little competition on the wide receiver depth chart for playing time, Evans is slated to see significant opportunity in his rookie season. Refinement of his short and intermediate routes will be key to his immediate success. Evans will consistently see single coverage opposite Vincent Jackson and, at a minimum, will be a threat for a long touchdown or red zone opportunity any given week.


WR Riley Cooper

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Outlook: You couldn't have written Riley Cooper's story if you were a best-selling novelist. A year ago, Cooper seemed to be on the roster fringe and that was before racially offensive remarks surfaced on the internet. When the Eagles sent Cooper home on leave, it seemed a formality that he would be released. Yet, support from some of his teammates and a torn ACL to starter Jeremy Maclin gave Cooper another chance. Fast forward to a year later and Cooper not only made the most of his second chance, he's now a starter with a new 5-year, $23mm deal including $10mm guaranteed. Only in America. What fantasy owners need to decide is just how good Cooper can be, and if he's consistent enough to trust in weekly lineups. For all his accolades, Cooper only finished as WR24 last season and caught just 47 passes. Will he win as many jump balls as he did last year? If not, he may be overdrafted by fantasy owners hoping for another significant step forward.


WR Justin Hunter

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Outlook: It hasn't been a good offseason for you, previously suspended wide receivers. Both Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon will be fortunate to play this season, but there is no reason to overreact to the team suspension Hunter received last year. Hunter only had 18 receptions as a rookie, but the athleticism he showed off was incredible while he also proved to be a natural catcher of the football. His routes improved as the year went on, so he does have the potential to be a breakout player in 2014. Hunter's ability to make contested catches and get down the field quickly should allow him to rack up big yardage on fewer receptions while it will also help as he tries to get into the endzone.


Projections

David Dodds's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Mike Evans0.00.000.00.00.000.063.08636.0122.3
Kelvin Benjamin0.00.000.00.00.000.053.07166.0107.6
Riley Cooper0.00.000.00.01.040.051.07455.0104.9
Justin Hunter0.00.000.00.00.000.052.07385.0103.8
Dwayne Bowe0.00.000.00.00.000.059.07265.0102.6

Chris Smith's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT

Bob Henry's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Mike Evans0.00.000.00.00.000.059.09356.0129.5
Kelvin Benjamin0.00.000.00.00.000.053.07607.0118.0
Dwayne Bowe0.00.000.00.00.000.062.07755.0107.5
Justin Hunter0.00.000.00.00.000.046.07405.0104.0
Riley Cooper0.00.000.00.00.000.042.07155.0101.5

Jason Wood's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Riley Cooper0.00.000.00.00.000.052.08006.0116.0
Kelvin Benjamin0.00.000.00.00.000.058.06857.0110.5
Justin Hunter0.00.000.00.00.000.058.07456.0110.5
Mike Evans0.00.000.00.00.000.058.07505.0105.0
Dwayne Bowe0.00.000.00.00.000.062.07255.0102.5

Maurile Tremblay's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Mike Evans0.00.000.00.01.030.063.08565.0115.9
Dwayne Bowe0.00.000.00.00.000.069.08505.0115.0
Kelvin Benjamin0.00.000.00.00.000.063.08325.0113.2
Riley Cooper0.00.000.00.00.020.045.07396.0110.1
Justin Hunter0.00.000.00.00.000.052.07725.0107.2