After a very successful 2013-14 season, the Carolina Panthers figured to be looking to make the next step in the offseason by getting some more weapons for Cam Newton at wide receiver. Instead of adding, it was more of an overhaul at the position in the offseason. Longtime Panthers’ WR Steve Smith is now in Baltimore playing for the Baltimore Ravens, and to replace his production, free agent, Jerricho Cotchery was brought in from the Pittsburgh Steelers via free agency.
With a quiet few seasons in Pittsburgh, Cotchery broke out last year with one of his best seasons of his career, and certainly his best since he was wearing a New York Jets uniform. He caught 46 passes for 602 yards, with 10 touchdowns in 2013. The 10 touchdown receptions tied Cotchery for 10th in the entire NFL, as he has emerged as a great red zone option and was a great fantasy football WR in 2013.
In this offseason, Cotchery headed to Carolina, as the 32-year old WR, coming off his very good season, will now be asked to be a number one WR in all likelihood. He will be playing across from rookie Kelvin Benjamin out of Florida St, who has a lot of potential. Cotchery may find that there will be adjustments that he needs to make being guarded by better cornerbacks this season, but none the less should be targeted often by Newton, especially in the red zone, where the Panthers can be dynamic.
Fantasy football wise, Cotchery hasn’t been given much love even after his very good season, and in drafts, can be selected very late as a good sleeper. For a guy who had 10 touchdowns last season, and will be a main weapon in Carolina’s offense, to have rookies that are higher ranked than him is a bit ridiculous. The veteran is a very wise and safe choice for fantasy football owners this season.