The Lowdown: Kelvin Benjamin, LeSean McCoy, and Calvin Johnson

Kelvin Benjamin

Wednesday morning Kelvin Benjamin was carted off the practice field after experiencing a non-contact left knee injury. If the injury is serious, this could potentially lower the upside of Cam Newton. The Panthers WR corp would be in shambles in the absence of Benjamin. The 6 foot 5 inch, 245 pound behemoth of a receiver caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie season.

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The next man up would be rookie Devin Funchess, who has a similar build to Benjamin standing 6 foot 4 inches and weighing in at 225 pounds. Funchess would be a bargain at his current ADP, I’d start to grab any Funchess shares you can get while his ADP is this low because chances are it’s the last time you’ll be getting him this cheap if the Benjamin injury is serious.

While Benjamin was nursing his hamstring injury in June, Funchess was getting reps at X and Z reciever with the first team. Even if Benjamin will be OK, you’re still getting a No. 2 WR for a relatively low cost. Fantasy Douche has three reasons Funchess is the receiver to own in Carolina. Kevin Cole believes Devin Funchess is Dorial Green-Beckham without the baggage.

NAMETRGSTRGMSreEPreFPOEreFPOEPT
Kelvin Benjamin1620.266185.9933.610.21
Corey Brown470.10550.919.790.21
Brenton Bersin220.04625.624.680.21
Jerricho Cotchery890.15798.12-4.12-0.05
Jason Avant400.11443.66-7.06-0.18

Corey “Philly” Brown may also see an increased role in this offense pending the outcome of the KB injury. He played 27 percent of the snaps last season, which is the second-most of the receivers that are on this team. Michael Kershner digs farther into who Philly Brown is.

As I’m writing this we have an update on his injury:

LeSean McCoy

From Pro Football Talk:

Bills running back LeSean McCoy limped off the practice field on Tuesday. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the initial diagnosis is that McCoy has a strained hamstring.

The severity of the injury isn’t yet known.

Rex Ryan believes that LeSean McCoy will be ready for Week 1. This is bad news for the Bills offense that already has enough problems on offense when you look at their QB situation, unless you’re a believer in Tyrod Taylor becoming the next Colin Kaepernick. The hamstring issue will be something to monitor, but I won’t be investing in any McCoy shares this season. For starters, a lot of fantasy value comes from touchdowns and he’s a running back in a poor offense that ranked 23rd in points per drive in 2014 and they ranked 31st in red zone touchdowns sandwiched between the New York Jets and the Jaguars.

The Bills also still have Fred Jackson and rookie Karlos Williams on the roster. However, Williams went through an “unknown” procedure and will be out at least two weeks. Justin Winn wonders if we should bet on a McCoy rebound and Kevin Cole tries to project the usage for McCoy and other top-tier running backs. Cole also believes that Karlos Williams is the perfect late-round rookie pick.

Calvin Johnson

From Mlive.com:

Calvin Johnson is one of the favorites to lead the NFL in receiving yards this season, according to Bovada.lv.

Bovada put the odds of the Detroit Lions wide receiver leading the league at 9-1.

Antonio Brown of Pittsburgh is the favorite at 11-2 followed by Julio Jones of Atlanta at 13-2. Johnson, Odell Beckham of the Giants, Dez Bryant of Dallas and Demaryius Thomas of Denver are all 9-1.

Calvin Johnson was banged up during the 2014 season, but he only missed three games. But he also failed to eclipse the 1,200 receiving yard mark for the first time since 2010.

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Johnson currently has the lowest ADP of the other WRs that were listed in that article. Calvin could be somewhat of a bargain at his second-round ADP at this point. When Johnson was healthy, he accounted for 30 percent of Matthew Stafford’s targets and he was on pace for 181 targets, which would’ve been the third most in the league. If Calvin can stay healthy for a full season, it’ll be the first time he’s done it since 2012. The RotoViz staff projections have Johnson projected as WR6. Anthony Amico lets us know why we shouldn’t count Calvin Johnson out yet.

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