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|The Panthers need somebody to emerge as a starter opposite Steve Smith at wide receiver and the smart money is on LaFell. The teamís 2010 3rd round pick out of Louisiana State has largely disappointed during his first two years in the league, failing to catch 50% of his targets as a rookie and falling behind the forgettable Legedu Naanee on the depth chart in 2011. The silver lining to LaFellís season was that he seemed to finally be putting it together near the end of the year. After being targeted less than three times per game over the first nine games of the season, LaFell was targeted 30 times over the final seven games of the year, catching 18 passes for 310 yards and a score. Sure, the one touchdown was a 91-yarder which obviously padded his production but it is worth noting that he averaged a nifty 17.0 yards per reception last season, showcasing the playmaking ability the Panthers hoped they were getting when they drafted him. LaFell has a nice blend of size and speed to go along with a solid opportunity. He is worth taking a flier on in the late rounds of most fantasy drafts.
|Tyler Boyd looks like a starter in Cincinnati -- Tue Aug 23 11:16 am --|
Rookie now "unquestioned leader" in battle for No. 2 WR
|On Monday, the Bengals lined up rookie wide receiver Tyler Boyd in a variety of ways during practice. With Marvin Jones (Lions) and Mohamed Sanu (Falcons) out of Cincinnati, Boyd could have an immediate fantasy impact. (Bengals.com)|
FF Today's Take: Seven-year veteran Brandon LaFell returns to practice this week with a damaged ligament in his hand after a 10-day absence, but Boyd is the unquestioned leader in the clubhouse as they get set to gauge LaFell in Sundayís dress rehearsal in Jacksonville. Boyd could make a very sneaky late-round WR pick with massive upside.
|Tyler Boyd impressive early in training camp -- Mon Aug 1 11:55 pm --|
Dalton: "He's taken a huge jump from OTAs"
|Andy Dalton on Tyler Boyd:
"He's taken a huge jump from OTAs to camp, he's made some tough catches and has been impressive." (Sirius XM NFL Radio)|
FF Today's Take: Yet the Bengals appear committed to starting Brandon LaFell and keeping Boyd in the slot, at least that has been the company line all summer. LaFell needs to have a strong camp and avoid the drops that have plagued him for most of his career, or else Cincinnati will have little choice but to start Boyd opposite A.J. Green. The rookie is a WR5 in 12-team leagues with substantial upside.
|More two-back sets in Bengals' future? -- Thu Jun 30 3:10 pm --|
Bernard and Hill could be used in tandem to cover for Eifert's absence
|Thereís a distinct possibility youíll see more of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill in the same backfield as they try to make up for the loss of Pro Bowl TE Tyler Eifert. But I donít think offensive coordinator Ken Zampese is going to tip his hand on that much during the preseason and I donít think backup Tyler Kroft should be underestimated as a solid down-field threat that can get them through a couple of games without Eifert. (Bengals.com)|
FF Today's Take: A lot of teams talk about using both of their running backs at the same time, but there's a strong case to be made for the Bengals to do so without Eifert. Cincinnati has to make up for the losses of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu somehow, and it may not be realistic to expect Brandon LaFell and rookie Tyler Boyd to be ready for that responsibility right away. Hill and Bernard both have early-sixth round ADPs in PPR, which sounds about right under a new play-caller like Zampese.