Carolina Panthers Criminally Underrated Offense – Dalton Kates @daltonguruff
Heading into each fantasy season we always see teams and players hyped up to improve on the season before. While some of that may be true and well deserved, it’s sometimes the players and teams that aren’t talked about as much that we really need to focus on. This year that team is the Carolina Panthers. At a first glance, it may seem that in some re-draft ADP that most of the players on this team are undervalued. All of the information in this will be referencing 12 team PPR formats. Let’s dive into it.
Christian McCaffrey – RB
“Whoa, how can CMC be undervalued? He’s a top-five pick in fantasy drafts.” He is currently going as the fourth player off the board in PPR drafts and that is too late for a player who should be the 1.01. Last year McCaffrey finished as the RB1 overall and had the fourth-best fantasy season from a running back since 2006. He did this despite averaging less than 14 rushing attempts per game. McCaffrey had arguably the best receiving season from a RB of all time as he set an NFL record for most receptions from a RB in a season with 107. He was also extremely efficient as a receiver and if we compare him to all RBs since 2000 with over 100 targets we can see just how dominant he was.
(Data provided by Rotoviz)
McCaffrey leads the pace with an insane 86% catch rate which easily outpaces the second-best. We can see a one for one comparison with a guy going ahead of him in Saquon Barkley as CMC had 16 more receptions and 146 more yards through the air despite only seeing three more targets. CMC is historically great as a receiver and as we see in the chart below – a strong correlation between receptions and PPR scoring as a RB.
McCaffrey offers you a better floor than any other player this year in fantasy drafts and owners should pounce if he continues to fall outside the top three.
DJ Moore – WR
Moore was one of the best WR prospects to come out in recent memory and he didn’t disappoint his rookie season. He finished tied for 14th in the NFL with Michael Thomas and Deandre Hopkins last year in yards per target.
Moore finished top three amongs rookie WRs in receptions, yards, catch rate, YPT and PPR scoring. On top of this, we can see that WRs have a huge jump in production in year two. As a breakout candidate Moore checks all the boxes as he was a 21-year old-rookie and was efficient his year one with draft capital to back it up. Currently going at 6.02 in drafts, the upside is way too tantalizing to pass on him there.
Curtis Samuel – WR
Samuel is absolutely flying under the radar at this point. He’s currently going in the 12th round of drafts as the 55th WR off the board. Samuel enters this season healthy (knock on wood) for the first time in his career and is primed to be the unquestioned WR2 in this offense. It took Curtis Samuel a couple games to get going but from Week 9 on he was the WR19 in fantasy outscoring the likes of 2019 hyped up players in Godwin, Ridley, Golladay, Thielen and yes, even DJ Moore. During this stretch, he finished outside the top 36 WRs in just three of those nine games as he provided double-digit fantasy points in seven of them. The crazy part is that it took him until Week 12 to receive more than 50% of the snaps at WR and to run more than 12 routes in a game. Not to mention that the Panthers drafted Samuel very high in the NFL draft, as he was the 40th overall pick and believed in him and Moore enough to not add any serious competition in either free agency or in a deep draft for WRs. Clearly, the Panthers have high hopes for him and that in of itself should be enough to make us excited about his 2019 prospects. He’s still likely a guy who will be slept on come preseason, but Samuel seems primed to outperform his current ADP.
Cam Newton – QB
So Cam Newton who has finished as a top five QB in fantasy in five of the eight years in the league, had one of his best seasons as a passer last year under Norv Turner, and has arguably the best supporting cast around him since entering the league is currently going in the ninth round as QB12? That would make no sense on its face but there is concern regarding Cam Newton and his health entering the season. According to @ProFootballDoc who was a doctor in the NFL for the Chargers for 25 plus years, he says Cam should be 100% by the start of training camp. If there isn’t much to be concerned with his status for the season being healthy, then what is the holdup with Cam Newton? He’s a steal at this point and don’t fall for the same trap we did last year with Andrew Luck and his health concerns despite the Colts being adamant he was healthy. He will likely rise in ADP entering the season once the masses realize he is healthy and ready to go. If you’re in a dynasty league or have an early draft, now is the time to buy Cam Newton.
Bottom line – buy into the Carolina Panthers offense.