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|Panthers hoping rookie WR will step up|
With Kelvin Benjamin gone for the year
By: John Canario | Fri Aug 21, 4:30 pm
|It wasn't the plan for Devin Funchess to become the Carolina Panthers' de facto No. 1 wide receiver out of the gate his rookie year. Alas, injures can ruin even the best-laid plans. With Kelvin Benjamin tearing his ACL, the expectations for Funchess will increase. While the rookie sat out practice nursing a hamstring injury, the Panthers talked up the high IQ of their second-round pick, who has learned the Z receiver spot, the slot and will now move to the X role (where Benjamin was anchored). "Absolutely, that should help a lot. He is really a solid young man," coach Ron Rivera said of the receiver's IQ, via the Charlotte Observer. "He knows two positions, and obviously he'll concentrate on Kelvin's and work to handle that spot for us." The Panthers had hoped to deploy a towering duo with the 6-foot-5 Benjamin and 6-foot-4 Funchess. Now at least they have one tall wideout target for Cam Newton to go along with tight end Greg Olsen. (NFL)|
FFToday's Take: Cam Newton and the Panthers' offense know a thing or two about bringing a rookie WR along rapidly. While Funchess doesn't have the same ability as Benjamin, he may be leaned on quite heavily this year, and he's worth a late round flier.
| WR Benjamin will miss entire 2015 season|
Torn ACL in left knee
By: Jake Gordon | Wed Aug 19, 7:39 pm
|SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin will miss the season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee on Wednesday. (ESPN.com)|
FFToday's Take: In the wake of Kelvin Benjamin's injury, the Panthers will need Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart more than ever. Wide receivers Devin Funchess and Philly Brown will see their roles expand but fantasy owners shouldn't go overboard here. Cam Newton and company already figured to finish with one of the league's worst passing offenses when Benjamin was healthy. Opposing defenses will also be better able to key in on the ground attack without a big-time threat on the outside. Carolina may also look to add another veteran free agent receiver.
| Kelvin Benjamin suffers knee injury, non-contact|
By: Jake Gordon | Wed Aug 19, 9:09 am
|Carolina #Panthers’ Kelvin Benjamin leaves practice after apparent knee injury. (Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: It was a non-contact injury and didn't look good. Benjamin was carted off to have further testing. The Panthers will update Benjamin's status after practice. Hopefully it's only a sprain.