It took Funchess a few years to get his NFL sea legs, but he came on strong in 2017, particularly after the Panthers traded away Kelvin Benjamin. In the eight games after the Benjamin trade, Funchess had 53 catches for 483 yards and five touchdowns, which projects to a full season of 106-966-10. Carolina added WRs Torrey Smith and Jarius Wright in the offseason, but neither is a threat to Funchess’ target load, which should be considerable. At 6-4 and 225 pounds, Funchess makes an inviting red-zone target. Funchess is only 24 and perhaps just scratching the surface of his abilities.
Funchess doesn’t have great speed -- he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds at the 2015 scouting combine -- and he’s had problems getting separation from cornerbacks in the past. Funchess will face some intramural target competition. The Panthers used their first-round pick on WR D.J. Moore. RB Christian McCaffrey tied Funchess with 113 targets last season, and Greg Olsen will claim a bigger share this year after missing ample time with a foot injury in 2017.
A receiver on the rise, Funchess made significant fantasy contributions last year after the Panthers traded away Kelvin Benjamin. Funchess is now the lead receiver in Carolina and has a good chance to put up the best numbers of his career.