Monday, June 29, 2015, 5:10pm
The Carolina Panthers' revamped receiving corps has been one of the most-discussed units in the NFL this offseason, with praise emanating from nearly every corner of the franchise.
"We're going to be a dynamic duo, two 6-5 guys out there on the outside just making damage and causing havoc on the field," Funchess told the Detroit News last week. "You never see that type of duo in the league, two 6-5 guys on the outside that are athletic and that can run and go up and get the ball. Nobody has that wingspan in the league like us, so it's going to be fun during the season."
The story went on to stay the duo doesn't possess much speed, but the Benjamin-Funchess combo should aid quarterback Cam Newton, who has a tendency to spray high on passes. We have Benjamin ranked 17th among our WRs with an ADP of the fourth round. Funchess isn't getting a lot of draft love so far and we have him ranked 61st. However both should make Newton a more desirable fantasy QB. We list Newon eighth among our QBs so far this season.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera was non-committal as to how many times he'd like Jonathan Stewart to carry the football during a game, adding that he's encouraged by what he's seen in OTAs from young backs Fozzy Whittaker and Cam Artis-Payne.
"Honestly it's going to come down to how you are doing," Rivera said. "If you are running the ball well, obviously you are going to feed him. We would like to be able to run the ball when we have to and run the ball when we want to."
Stewart was tremendous down the stretch, averaging 105 total yards (97.0 rushing) in the final seven games, including two playoff games. He averaged 5.30 YPC in that span, including 5.13 YPC versus Arizona and 5.38 YPC against Seattle in the playoffs. Over the final five games of the regular season, he was the #10 fantasy running back. He turns 28 in March, so there is definitely some tread left on his tires. Even though he has missed 20 percent of his team's games due to injury throughout the career, he’ll be a high-upside pick in the middle rounds. The Panthers are committed to running the ball and Stewart has talent. They originally said they planned to limit him to 15 carries per game, but these comments indicate they will continue to give him the ball if he's running well.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 8:48pm
Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams is considered a bridge back until LeVeon Bell returns from suspension, but he shouldn't be alone on that bridge. The Steelers will need just as much from Dri Archer as from Williams, who signed a two-year, $4 million deal worth $1.13 million in signing bonus money but no incentives in 2015.
Williams is exactly what the money suggests he is -- a veteran who can get you 10-12 carries at a respectable clip and nothing more.
There's not much to love about the idea of starting Williams against the Patriots, 49ers and Rams during Bell's three-game suspension, but we believe that the team will try to get him closer to 15 carries per game. He should be healthy to start the season, and there are reasons why he only averaged 12.2 carries per game in his career -- he was splitting time with Jonathan Stewart and QB Cam Newton carried much of the rushing load for the Panthers. The biggest concern is Williams' 3.5 YPC last season, but he battled injuries the whole way. We think he'll provide low-end RB2 numbers while Bell is sidelined, provided he's healthy.
Seattle has held Cam Newton to one touchdown in three games since 2012. What has been the key to that?
Seahawks beat writer Terry Blount: Newton shouldn't feel too bad. The Seahawks have made a lot of very good QBs look bad the past couple of years -- Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl and Aaron Rodgers this year in the season opener, to name two. But the biggest thing is they've done what I'm sure the Panthers want to do to Russell Wilson -- cut off his running lanes and force Newton to beat them throwing. Newton had 12 carries for only 24 yards in the game at Charlotte earlier this season. Forcing any QB to beat them just by passing is a chore against the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL, which has three Pro Bowlers in Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.
Newton has averaged 146 passing yards and 35 rushing yards in his last three games against Seattle. He has thrown one touchdown pass and one interception (total) in those three games. Daily fantasy players should look elsewhere for a strong quarterback play.
Just two weeks after walking away from a massive car accident in Charlotte and sustaining a pair of transverse process fractures in his back, the Pro Bowl quarterback will return to the field against the Browns in a make-or-break game at Bank of America Stadium, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, per team sources.
The fourth-year signal-caller cleared the final medical hurdle on Saturday, per Rapoport. Newton is playing with an injury similar to that of Tony Romo, which means there will be some degree of pain management. Newton's mobility may be impacted a bit, especially if Mike Pettine loads the box and forces Newton to throw.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm
Panthers QB Cam Newton (back, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 16. Newton will return against the Browns, who are #3 in QB aFPA. He is currently our #14 QB for Week 16 due to the bad matchup and potential re-injury risk.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:14pm
Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) took full practice reps Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Newton is on track to return against the Browns, who are #3 in QB aFPA. He is currently our #14 QB for Week 16.
Panthers beat writer Steve Reed: Cam Newton getting the bulk of first-team reps today at practice during the session that was open to the media... Looking more and more like Cam Newton will start against the Browns based off what I saw at practice today.
It appears that Newton is on track to face the Browns, who are #3 in QB aFPA.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm
Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Newton might be able to play against Cleveland this week if his back responds well to practice.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera indicated to reporters Monday that Carolina is still feeling the situation out after Newton sustained two fractures in his lower back in a car accident last week. Rivera said the decision will come down to a coaching decision on whether Newton puts himself at risk of a setback by taking the field against the Browns in Week 16.
"I don't want to put a guy out there that can't protect himself," Rivera said Monday, according to The Charlotte Observer. "By that it's being able to run out of the way, scramble out of the way, stay alive, keep the play alive by being able to get away. That's all part of it. That's all part of the decision that went into the first Tampa Bay game."
As the story points out, Rivera is referring to Week 1, when the Panthers kept Newton on the sidelines with a cracked rib. Derek Anderson started and won that game, then beat the Bucs a second time on Sunday. The win moved the 5-8-1 Panthers into first place in the NFC South with two games to play. Anderson would play again in Week 16 if Newton can't go.
Friday, December 12, 2014, 6:26pm
Panthers QB Cam Newton (back, out) has been ruled out for Week 15. Newton has been released from the hospital, but he’s not going to play in Week 15. Derek Anderson will draw the start and is probably the better pocket passer. This means we don’t see this situation as a downgrade for Kelvin Benjamin or Greg Olsen. They both produced big fantasy lines in Week 1 when Anderson started against the Bucs.
Thursday, December 11, 2014, 6:32pm
Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) missed practice again Thursday. Newton has been released from the hospital, and he’s not going to play in Week 15. Derek Anderson will draw the start and is probably the better pocket passer. This means that we don’t see this situation as a downgrade for Kelvin Benjamin or Greg Olsen. They both produced big fantasy lines in Week 1 when Anderson started against the Bucs.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 6:25pm
Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) did not practice Wednesday. Newton has been released from the hospital after a car accident, but it’s highly doubtful that he’ll play in Week 15. Derek Anderson will draw the start and is probably the better pocket passer. This means that we don’t see this situation as a downgrade for Kelvin Benjamin or Greg Olsen. They both produced big fantasy lines in Week 1 when Anderson started against the Bucs.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered two fractures in his back when he was involved in a car crash near the team’s stadium today. Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton said today that Newton is in fair condition and will remain hospitalized overnight.
“Cam does have two transverse process fractures in his lower back but no other internal injuries,” he said. “He’ll stay overnight but there are no more tests scheduled, and that’s it.”
PFT went on to say that two transverse process fractures is the same injury suffered by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo this season. Romo missed one game. The transverse process is a small bone that sticks out from either side of the vertebrae. According to the story, the Panthers say they are only thinking about Newton’s well-being and have not begun thinking about when he will be able to return to the field. Derek Anderson is the team's backup and in Week 15 the Panthers will face the Bucs.
From a fantasy standpoint, Anderson is a better pocket passer so he probably represents a small upgrade to Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen. Anderson started in the team's previous game against the Buccaneers (in Week 1) and threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns (one to Olsen and the other to Benjamin).
- Page 1