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Cullen: Panthers' acquisition Murphy has deep speed

Scott Cullen

8/13/2012 5:19:48 PM

When the Carolina Panthers traded a seventh-round pick to the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Louis Murphy, the transaction justifiably didn't generate massive headlines the world over.

However, the 25-year-old burner is an intriguing sleeper candidate for fantasy football as he joins a team needing an upgrade at wideout.

Behind five-time Pro Bowler Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell (74 catches over two seasons) is the most proven receiver on the Carolina roster, so Murphy has an opportunity to not only earn playing time but, because of his deep speed, has a chance to make big significant plays in the offence.

That Murphy crossed paths with Panthers star QB Cam Newton at the University of Florida, where neither one played much in 2007 and 2008, shouldn't hurt matters either. Even that tiny bit of familiarity can help the connection between a quarterback and receiver.

Over the last three seasons, there have been 24 receivers to have at least 15.0 yards per catch (with at least 50 receptions) and Murphy fits into that group, averaging 15.2 yards per reception.

None of this is to suggest that Murphy is a surefire performer, as injuries wreak havoc with a wide receiver whose game is predicated on speed. He missed time with a groin injury last season and has nagging hamstring issues currently. If he's healthy, though, Murphy could be a player to keep an eye on.

If he earns playing time through training camp, Murphy could be decent secondary receiving option for the Panthers, which could be good enough for 600 yards and six touchdowns if he stays healthy.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.