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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 DeAndre Hopkins

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Outlook: Expectations were somewhat high for DeAndre Hopkins last year, even though it was his rookie season. The former Clemson Tigers standout was the second wide receiver selected in the 2013 draft, behind only Tavon Austin. Hopkins season wasn't a disappointment though, as he did manage 52 receptions for 802 yards, which is above average for a rookie receiver. His lack of touchdowns scored (2) is a concern, because his red zone play is supposed to be one of his strengths. Hopkins has the ability and pedigree to be molded into a WR1 for Houston, but his full potential as a fantasy threat may not be fully unveiled until veteran receiver Andre Johnson parts ways with the team. Looking ahead to 2014, Hopkins should again be a key contributor on offense but the iffy quarterback situation could stunt his development as a breakout receiver. If Johnson is traded, look for Hopkins to see an uptick in production and be the team's primary receiving option.


RB Tavon Austin

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Projections

David Dodds's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Tavon Austin0.00.000.00.010.01401.055.06224.0106.2
Mike Evans0.00.000.00.00.000.063.08636.0122.3
DeAndre Hopkins0.00.000.00.00.000.060.08525.0115.2
Kelvin Benjamin0.00.000.00.00.000.053.07166.0107.6
Dwayne Bowe0.00.000.00.00.000.059.07265.0102.6

Chris Smith's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT

Bob Henry's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Tavon Austin0.00.000.00.012.01201.046.04603.082.0
Mike Evans0.00.000.00.00.000.059.09356.0129.5
DeAndre Hopkins0.00.000.00.00.000.062.09005.0120.0
Kelvin Benjamin0.00.000.00.00.000.053.07607.0118.0
Dwayne Bowe0.00.000.00.00.000.062.07755.0107.5

Jason Wood's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Tavon Austin0.00.000.00.010.01001.055.06255.0108.5
DeAndre Hopkins0.00.000.00.00.000.060.08505.0115.0
Kelvin Benjamin0.00.000.00.00.000.058.06857.0110.5
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
Tavon Austin0.00.000.00.09.0540.061.07205.0107.4
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
DeAndre Hopkins0.00.000.00.00.000.066.09153.0109.5