Don’t Wait. Buy Low on Kelvin Benjamin.
I think it’s worth noting up front that from a fantasy standpoint…..it’s probably best to stay away from all players on the Buffalo Bills. So why am I writing this article? Because I can.
People quickly forget what Kelvin Benjamin was able to do in his rookie year. Over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns with the Panthers in 2014. Injuries and inconsistent play have kept him from reaching those numbers again, but I believe that he is still capable of being a legitimate number one/two fantasy receiver under the right conditions. What Benjamin lacks in top-end speed, he makes up for in size. At 6’5” 240 pounds, Benjamin is a physical mismatch against almost every defensive back in the league. This makes him an ideal red zone target.
Clearly, there are some injury concerns with Benjamin which I have mentioned. He missed the entire 2015 season with an ACL tear but was still able to come back in 2016 healthy. He put up similar numbers to 2014 but took a slight step backward. Last year was significantly worse. He was hampered by some injury concerns that kept him out of a couple games and he was traded from the Panthers to the Bills mid-season. For those reasons, I wouldn’t look too far into the numbers.
Kelvin Benjamin Stats & Measurables:
- Height: 6-5
- Weight: 245
- Age: 27
- College: Florida State
- 2014: Panthers – 145 Targets – 73 Receptions – 1,008 Yards – 9 Touchdowns
- 2015: Panthers – Injured – DNP
- 2016: Panthers – 118 Targets – 63 Recpetions – 941 Yards – 7 Touchdowns
- 2017: Panthers/Bills – 78 Targets – 48 Receptions – 692 Yards – 3 Touchdowns
Some knocks on Benjamin can be attributed to Josh Allen. A rookie QB that through the preseason and first couple of games has not looked quite ready for the starting job. Part of that falls on the offensive line, which has not given him ample time to find his receivers or to feel comfortable in the pocket. Most experts realize this and agree that the Bills offense is going to flow through McCoy and the running game. But even McCoy hasn’t been able to get much going. Quite frankly, their entire team is a complete mess. Through two games so far, the Bills have given up 78 points and have only scored 23 points. Seeing as how they are likely to be playing from behind most of the season, this will hopefully mean that they will find some sort of an air attack. And Benjamin is easily their number one receiving threat.
I thought for volume purposes, this would mean that he would at least be serviceable. Not quite the case so far. Benjamin has had only three receptions for a total of 29 yards thus far. And if not for a three-yard touchdown with 38 seconds remaining in the game this past week against the Chargers, his stat lines would look even grimmer. But the Bills offense should improve as the year goes on, and Allen becomes more comfortable. With a season under his belt and a chance for the front office to make some changes to the offensive line, the Bills may be significantly better than they look right now. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
So, in a dynasty format, seeing as how Benjamin is only 27, I still believe that he could be an asset down the road, even if he is not currently worth starting. And right now, I don’t think that his value could be any lower unless he were to injure himself again. Also worth noting that he is playing in his last year of a rookie contract. That should provide him with some extra motivation to put up the kind of numbers that we know he is capable of. For those reasons, in my dynasty leagues, I’m trying to get him on all of my teams by giving up very little, or even better, picking him up in free agency. He may be on a terrible team…..but he’s the number one receiver on that terrible team. Don’t wait for him to start taking advantage of that.
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