2018 Fantasy Football - Carolina Panthers - Team Moves





By Chet Gresham - @ChetGresham
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Each offseason brings change to NFL rosters, and those changes often have fantasy implications. Below, I lay out the changes at the skill positions and how those moves impact the fantasy status of the new roster.


2017
    QB: Cam Newton, Garrett Gilbert
    RB: Christian McCaffrey, Jonathan Stewart, Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittaker
    WR: Devin Funchess, Kelvin Benjamin, Russell Shephard, Curtis Samuel
    TE: Greg Olsen, Ed Dickson


2018
    QB: Cam Newton, Garrett Gilbert
    RB: Christian McCaffrey, Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittaker
    WR: Devin Funchess, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, Torrey Smith, Jarius Wright
    TE: Greg Olsen, Ian Thomas, Chris Manhertz




Pre-Draft Offseason:

Cam Newton isn't going anywhere, and despite his accuracy issues, he still helps his team win games with his arm and his legs. He does need help on offense, however, especially at wide receiver.

The Panthers traded away Kelvin Benjamin during the '17 season to lop off half of their slow starting wide receivers who need accuracy rather than using their speed to help Newton throw them open. After Benjamin left, we did see an improved offense, but Greg Olsen was out much of the season and Devin Funchess and Christian McCaffrey were the only two reliable receivers. Olsen will be back, but he is no spring chicken, and like I said, Newton needs more speed in this offense.

The Panthers did acquire Torrey Smith, which is someone who is a deep threat and has speed, but who is also not really that good. If he's lining up as the WR2 this season, I don't like their chances.

Carolina let Jonathan Stewart walk in free agency, which was a no-brainer move, as Stewart had slowed down the last couple years and Christian McCaffrey proved that he could handle a decent number of touches - 197 to be exact. That does set McCaffrey up for more work this season, as whoever else they bring in won't be a veteran who is entrenched in the offense like Stewart was.



Post-Draft Update

The Panthers took D.J. Moore with their first pick, which also happened to be the first wide receiver off the board. Moore is likely the best receiver drafted and should move into the WR1 spot at some point, but this season might be too early to expect such a move. This year, he will start off behind Devin Funchess, Greg Olsen and Christian McCaffrey, making Moore the No. 4 target, at best. And when you take into account that the Panthers finished 25th in pass attempts last season, that makes Moore a tough sell in his rookie year, but he's still a no-doubt great dynasty pick.

The only other skill position the Panthers drafted was tight end, picking Ian Thomas at No. 101 overall. Greg Olsen just signed a 2-year deal, so quick fantasy value isn't likely in the cards, but that's the usual with tight ends anyway. Thomas is set up to be the starter after Olsen is put out to pasture so we can watch as he gallops over the hills with his blonde mane undulating into the sunset.

I was surprised when the Panthers didn't draft a running back. They still could add a veteran, but right now, Christian McCaffery is sitting in the catbird's seat. I still don't expect him to be thrown into the guts of the defense over and over again, but he will get more touches than last season. As long as he stays healthy, he could have a huge year in PPR.



2018 Fantasy Outlook:

Stud: Christian McCaffrey, Cam Newton

Solid: Greg Olsen

Sleeper: Cameron Artis-Payne



For more recommendations, check out WalterFootball.com's Fantasy Football Rankings.




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