Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:32pm
Panthers TE Greg Olsen (knee, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 15. Olsen should play in Week 15 against the G-Men. The Giants are #22 in TE aFPA, so Olsen only trails Rob Gronkowski in our tight end rankings.
Thursday, December 17, 2015, 6:06pm
Wednesday, December 16, 2015, 6:21pm
Tight end Greg Olsen had an MRI on his knee Monday and Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that he’s expected to play this week.
QB Cam Newton, tight end Greg Olsen and running back Jonathan Stewart — the Panthers three offensive stalwarts — all had injury scares. Olsen injured his left knee and Stewart his left ankle, prompting Rivera to sit both for the entire second half with the Panthers leading 28-0. They were set to undergo "precautionary MRIs" on Monday, but HC Ron Rivera said after the game both could have gone back in.
Newton banged his funny bone, causing his hand to go numb briefly, but returned after sitting out one play and later threw his third touchdown pass of the game.
The Panthers still need to clinch home field advantage and according to the article, the team plans to play their starters this week to try and wrap things up. It appears Olsen and Stewart will be good to go. But then, it will become a battle between going for a perfect season or resting players down the stretch.
Initial tests did not reveal damage to Olsen's ACL.
Stewart rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in the first half.
Reports on Olsen say he should be fine. Stewart was questionable to return but with a big lead there wasn't a good chance the Panthers were going to bring either player back. The Panthers have now clinched a first round bye which means there isn't a big need to rush guys like Olsen and Stewart back on the field over the next few weeks. It's a situation to monitor for fantasy owners as all that's left for the Panthers is clinching home field advantage.
Friday, December 11, 2015, 6:22pm
Thursday, December 10, 2015, 6:31pm
Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 6:33pm
A bigger loss would be TE Greg Olsen.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, receivers and tight ends made up 87 percent of Carolina’s total targets last season. That was the third-highest rate in the NFL even though the Panthers had only six games where individual receivers and tight ends were targeted 10 times in a game in 2014.
But if you take the tight ends out of the equation, specifically Olsen, the ranking falls to 17th.
In other words, Olsen is the most valuable piece of the Carolina passing game.
Olsen has been lining up all over the field for the Panthers in camp the story said. Since 2011, when Newton was the top pick of the draft, Olsen has been targeted 415 times. That’s the third-most of any tight end behind Jimmy Graham (548) and Jason Witten (457). Olsen has led Carolina in receptions the past two seasons, including a career-high 84 catches for 1,008 yards last season, the story added. We rank Olsen third among our TEs so we certainly see his value. And it could go up with the loss of Benjamin.
David Newton: It's not so much whether Newton is capable. He didn't win the Heisman Trophy at Auburn or win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at Carolina for a lack of talent. The question is this: Does Newton have the talent around him to become an MVP? Aaron Rodgers didn't win the award last season without having a solid offensive line, top receivers and a running game that takes the pressure off him. Newton needs the same.
The good news, the story points out, is Cam Newton seems to have a talent pool around him now. Wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Corey Brown and Ted Ginn Jr., along with tight end Greg Olsen, give him plenty of capable targets. Jonathan Stewart showed again at the end of last season that, when healthy, he's a top five back. Now, the offensive line is going to be the key. Newton will also have to become a more consistent passer. While the odds may be against him for MVP, he's capable of a solid fantasy season. Newton cracks our top-10 QBs heading into camps, coming in eighth with an ADP of about the seventh round. He's another of the long list of fantasy QBs who will be around during that stage of your draft if you're set on waiting on the position.
NFL.com writer Conor Orr:
Funchess, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound second-round pick, said as much last week during his NFL.com rookie confessional: "The goal that I've set for myself is to be Rookie of the Year."
Early reports out of camp suggest that the Michigan standout has already played at the X, Z and F slots and is learning all three at a brisk pace. He's giving himself more opportunities to stay on the field and make the plays Newton needs him to.
Funchess will be at best the third option in the passing game after Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen. The Panthers are run-oriented, so their WR2 isn’t typically much of a fantasy factor. If he plays starter’s snaps, he should be fantasy relevant, but we’re not expecting fantasy-starter numbers.
During organized team activities, the rookie has already displayed knowledge off all three wide receiver positions.
"It's huge," wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl said. "He can fill in for anybody. That helps us tremendously."
He's a big, fluid athlete. Proehl now has to polish his technique so those strengths can be maximized in Carolina's offense.
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.
Friday, December 12, 2014, 6:26pm
Panthers TE Greg Olsen (knee, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 15. Olsen played well through the injury and there’s no reason he can’t do so again in Week 15. And don’t worry about Derek Anderson starting at quarterback — Olsen posted an 8-83-1 line on 11 targets in Anderson’s only start this season (Week 1 vs. Tampa Bay).
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