Brandon LaFell Fantasy News

Cam Newton's foot surgery is successful
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 11:27am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton underwent surgery on Wednesday afternoon to repair ligament damage in his left ankle.

The full recovery process is four months, which would take Newton until the start of training camp. However, he could be freed to throw on a limited basis before then.

"Dr. (Robert) Anderson did not find anything unexpected in the procedure and the surgery went well," Carolina head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said in a statement.

Fantasy Impact:

This is the second red flag in Newton's offseason, the other being the Panthers' woeful WR situation. They cut Steve L Smith and let both Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn walk as well.

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Patriots still looking to upgrade at receiver
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 10:51am

Boston Globe - [Full Article]

Even by bringing Julian Edelman back and adding Brandon LaFell, the Patriots probably aren’t done adding bodies at receiver. They still brought in former Titan Kenny Britt for a visit on Monday, a source told the Globe, and have checked out names such as Jason Avant and Lance Moore in the past week.

Edelman is a roster lock, while Danny Amendola, who just had $2 million in base salary guaranteed last week, and Aaron Dobson, last year’s second-round pick, should be safe, while LaFell (6-2, 210) gives the Patriots a big presence in the slot.

Meanwhile, it looks like the Patriots want to hold a derby for the fifth receiver spot between fourth-round pick Josh Boyce, who was inactive for seven games and only caught nine passes last year, undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins, who did not catch a pass in the team’s final six games of the season, a veteran such as Britt, and perhaps a few rookies.

Fantasy Impact:

It's interesting that beat writer Ben Volin believes that LaFell will play in the slot, even with Edelman and Amendola in the fold. Dobson is coming off of foot surgery, but figures to start outside if he's healthy. It sounds as if Thompkins or Boyce may be on the chopping block if the team adds another receiver in free agency or the draft.

Brandon LaFell could start for Patriots
Monday, March 17, 2014, 9:43am

ESPN - [Full Article]

From a pure build standpoint, Brandon LaFell has some Aaron Dobson in him. But while Dobson holds the speed and upside edge, LaFell is more sturdily built and played a different role in Carolina. Given the presence of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and even Josh Boyce, LaFell may wind up playing more of a perimeter receiving role. His size, field awareness on the sideline, and ability to use his reach to out leverage defenders make him a possibility to start at the “X” or split end position.

Fantasy Impact:

We're expecting Dobson to start in that spot if healthy, but he's coming off foot surgery, which may have prompted this signing by the Patriots.

Patriots sign Brandon LaFell to a three-year deal
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 11:10pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Patriots have reached agreement on a three-year deal with former Panthers WR Brandon LaFell, per source.

Fantasy Impact:

LaFell produced in spots for the Panthers, but they elected not to re-sign him despite major holes at receiver. He'll compete with Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce for snaps outside, but we think Dobson will progress enough to win the job.

Steve Smith has a setback on Thursday
Thursday, January 9, 2014, 4:37pm

Jonathan Jones, Twitter - [Full Article]

Panthers WR Steve L Smith said he went from 71 percent yesterday to 57 percent today. Without a grading curve he said he had a setback.

Fantasy Impact:

It sounds like Smith intends to play, but he won't be at full strength. Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn are likely to see extra work/targets with Smith hobbled.

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Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart ruled out
Friday, December 27, 2013, 1:56pm

Steve Reed, Twitter - [Full Article]

Panthers WR Steve L Smith and RB Jonathan Stewart have been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Falcons.

Fantasy Impact:

DeAngelo Williams has been the #8 RB over the past two weeks with Stewart sidelined. With Smith out, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn are Sneaky Starts against a shaky Falcons pass defense.

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Steve Smith sprains PCL, out Week 17
Monday, December 23, 2013, 1:56pm

Steve Reed on Twitter - [Full Article]

Panthers HC Ron Rivera said WR Steve Smith sprained his PCL. Won't play against Falcons.

Fantasy Impact:

Ted Ginn will start opposite Brandon LaFell in Week 17 for the Panthers. Carolina needs to win this game to lock up the division, so Ginn could have some value if you're hurting. Overall, it's good news for Smith, who could be back for the playoffs.

Premium News Item:  Brandon LaFell
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Saturday, October 12, 2013, 9:09am

Sports Illustrated - [Full Article]

Panthers QB Cam Newton is certainly limited in his read progressions and has a tendency of locking onto one receiver, but his teammates have to help him out.

Carolina’s pass protection has bordered on awful—the Panthers are fifth-worst in our ratings—and dropped passes by receivers have been huge. Steve Smith (two) and Brandon LaFell had drops that would have been big plays or touchdowns against the Cardinals last weekend.

Fantasy Impact:

Newton hasn't lived up to draft-day expectations so far. This week, he ranks seventh among our QBs. The potential is always there for Cam thanks to his running ability, but so far he's been at least a little bit of a disappointment.

David Gettis in the mix for Panthers' WR3 job
Saturday, August 17, 2013, 1:30pm

Charlotte Observer - [Full Article]

Panthers WR Domenik Hixon, thought to be the leading candidate for the position when he signed as a free agent in March, is on the clock.

While Hixon and Armanti Edwards sat out Thursday’s game at Philadelphia with hamstring injuries, David Gettis turned in another strong performance with five catches for 82 yards in the Panthers’ 14-9 loss.

Coming off two injury-plagued seasons after a promising rookie year, Gettis is a factor again.

Fantasy Impact:

The job doesn't hold much fantasy value, but whoever wins the job could become relevant if something were to happen to Steve L Smith or Brandon LaFell.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 6:26pm

Charolette Observer - [Full Article]

Panthers WR Armanti Edwards had four years and three position coaches, but the former Appalachian State quarterback is finally looking like an NFL receiver. He could be the No. 3 wideout if he returns quickly from a hamstring injury.

Fantasy Impact:

Looks like Edwards has passed Domenik Hixon, who has hamstring issues of his own. Hixon was considered someone who could take some time away from Brandon LaFell if all went right, but that appears to be far from the case right now.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 9:01am

Charolette Observer - [Full Article]

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.

Fantasy Impact:

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 10:07am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Panthers WR Domenik Hixon's (brought in as a free agent) experience and ties to general manager Dave Gettleman could make Hixon the favorite to claim the No. 3 receiver spot.

Fantasy Impact:

Ted Ginn Jr. is probably the top competition for Hixon, but it looks like Hixon has the edge, according to the story. Whomever wins will be behind starters Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell.