Jerricho Cotchery re-emerged on the fantasy football radar with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013, with more catches (46) and yards (602) than he had over the previous two seasons combined along with 10 touchdowns. He signed with the Carolina Panthers as a free agent this offseason, and with the team losing multiple wide receivers in free agency Cotchery now becomes one of the top wide receivers on his new team.
As mentioned, Cotchery is locked in as a starter and one of Carolina’s top wide receivers. He averaged 73 receptions, 942 yards and four touchdowns per season in a prominent role with the New York Jets from 2006-2009, and that could be a solid expectation for Cotchery this year in a similar circumstance.
All 10 of Cotchery’s touchdowns last season came from 20 or less yards out, including six from the 10-yard line in, and he was targeted 20 times (tied for sixth-most among wide receivers) in the red zone. Even with some expected drop-off, he should still see a fair amount of red zone targets from Cam Newton due at least partially to a lack of other options.
Cotchery simply can’t repeat last season’s scoring rate, with a touchdown for every 4.6 catches, and the Panthers have such a run-oriented offense that his opportunities in the red zone may dwindle significantly.
Cotchery missed nine games over the four seasons prior to 2013, and at age 32 entering his eleventh season durability is unlikely to become a strength.
Cotchery had more than 60 yards in just two games last year, with neither effort coming in the final eight games of the season. As could be expected, he only had five or more catches in a game three times in 2013 (exactly five twice).
Based on the opportunity in front of him, Cotchery is draftable as a WR4 or WR5 in 12 and 14-team leagues this year. He has a chance to be a solid asset in PPR leagues, and owners in that format that maintain reasonable expectations can draft him as a potential spot starter and bye week fill-in.
Bye Week: Week 12
Projected Round: 14th Round
Auction Value: $3 (Fantasy Pros.com)
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sport.com. Follow him on Twitter.