Since Panther WR Brandon LaFell’s rookie season, WR Steve Smith has been pushing the former third-round draft choice in an attempt to groom LaFell into a No. 1 wide receiver. And LaFell has been pushing himself while also knowing that, for now, the Panthers need him to be the complement to Smith.
“I see it as another year to go out here and prove to everybody that I can really do this,” LaFell said. “A lot of people say I’m not a good No. 2 receiver, but I’m learning from one of the best guys in the game who’s the No. 1, which I’m trying to be.”
The fourth-year receiver from Louisiana State has shown improvement during each of his first three years. He tallied 468 yards in his rookie year, following that with 613 in 2011 before catching a career-high 44 balls last season for 677 yards and four touchdowns.
His yardage total likely would have been more had he not missed two games with a foot injury. But despite the improvement, he knows this has to be his year.
We rank LaFell just 55th but admit he should see WR2 targets. Still, he's not getting drafted according to ADPs and free agent signing Domenik Hixon could be a little bit of a concern. LaFell seems better suited for deep leagues. We expect him to stay on par with his numbers from last year for 2013: 48-680-4