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Kelvin Benjamin's Instant Fantasy Reaction After Preseason Performance vs. Bills

Carolina Panthers' Kelvin Benjamin runs after a catch during an NFL football practice at their training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press
Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2014

Kelvin Benjamin wasted little time announcing his presence at the NFL level.

He hauled in a 29-yard touchdown catch on a deep route for the Carolina Panthers in their preseason showdown with the Buffalo Bills. David Newton of ESPN NFL Nation pointed out that it was a spectacular play:

Benjamin, who caught the game-winning pass in the national championship contest last year for Florida State, has a flare for the dramatic in the passing game. This early touchdown and target downfield should be encouraging to those fantasy football players who plan on drafting him before the season.

Mike McCarn/Associated Press

Benjamin checks in at 6’5” and 241 pounds, so he figures to see plenty of lobs in the end zone this year. As any experienced fantasy player will tell you, touchdowns from skill positions are the key to the game, so it is worth keeping an eye on the rookie.

Coach Ron Rivera discussed Benjamin recently, via Newton:

He's a good target. He's the kind of target you need. ... He may not catch 20-30 balls a game. He may catch two or three because what may happen is people may have to take him out of the game. If that happens, other people have to make plays.

What’s more, the Panthers lost Steve Smith, which means Benjamin could play his way into the No. 1 wide receiver role with a solid preseason. Carolina may not be the Denver Broncos in the passing attack, but any wideout with the top designation in an offense figures to be on the receiving end of plenty of targets.

That was certainly the case early in the preseason against Buffalo when Benjamin finished with 29 receiving yards and the touchdown.

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