Jerricho Cotchery was thought to be on his way down the depth receiving chart entering this season after the Panthers drafted Devin Funchess in the second round of the NFL Draft, but Kelvin Bejamin's knee injury has opened the door for Cotchery to remain in the rotation. He had 48 receptions last year for 580 yards and a touchdown and can still be a steady route runner when he gets snaps.
Cotchery didn’t score much last year, but he’s a savvy route runner who scored 10 touchdowns with the Steelers in 2013 and has the ability to help out the Panthers offense in the red zone. Additionally, the injury to Benjamin leaves him as the most accomplished receiver on the Carolina roster and at least gives him a chance to compete for a starting role on the outside.
There may not be much left in the tank for the 33-year-old, though he has never been the fastest receiver in the game anyway. The Panthers are also hoping their youngsters take over for Benjamin and will give them every opportunity to do so. Even if Cotchery wins a starting job, the Panthers offense and his lack of explosiveness limits his potential. It’s also possible the Panthers bring in another veteran before the season starts.
Cotchery gets a fantasy boost after the Benjamin injury, but he’s still not a great draft option for fantasy owners. He might be worth a bench spot in deeper leagues if he can secure a starting role on the Panthers depth chart, but Cotchery has just as good a chance of winding up as Carolina's fourth or fifth receiver.