Kelvin Benjamin might change the outlook on Cam Newton

Kelvin Benjamin looks the part of a No. 1 receiver for the Panthers. (USATSI)
Kelvin Benjamin looks the part of a No. 1 receiver for the Panthers. (USATSI)

I've been outspoken about my fears for Cam Newton this season: New receiving corps he hasn't meshed with, coming off of ankle surgery, offensive line issues and a track record of declining rushing numbers for Fantasy. But the addition of Kelvin Benjamin is forcing me to re-evaluate Newton. 

In the Panthers' preseason game vs. the Chiefs, Benjamin was routinely blowing past defensive backs and getting open deep. Newton targeted him on one such deep pass but overthrew him -- proof positive that their rhythm is a work in progress. He body-caught another target for a 24-yard gain that eventually led to a Panthers touchdown, but again he got open. It's his size-speed combination that had the Panthers drooling during the draft process and Benjamin has put it on display in the preseason. 

Newton, on the other hand, was clunky when (successfully) avoiding pressure in the pocket. Just didn't look healthy. As of now, Newton's ADP is at 84.49, the end of Round 7 in a 12-team league. I still wouldn't take him that high but I am warming up to the idea of pairing Newton with another quarterback you're not totally sold on and aiming for one of them to be your guy for most of the year. It's because of Benjamin, who looks the part of a deep threat receiver that opposing defenses have to account for. I have no problem taking Benjamin with a pick at his current ADP of 120.68 (Round 10 in a 12-team league). 

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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