Panthers Fantasy News

Fisher: Sam Bradford is 'way ahead of schedule'
Monday, April 21, 2014, 11:00am

STL Today - [Full Article]

With today’s start of the Rams’ offseason conditioning program, quarterback Sam Bradford will be limited along with a few other players coming off injuries.

“Sam’s in a very good place considering what happened last year,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “I thought he was off to a great start. Had he stayed healthy his projected numbers could’ve been quite impressive. He’s worked hard through the process, and I would expect him at some point to be throwing in OTAs.”

“You’re not gonna hear a head coach say he has a player on his team that’s not ahead of schedule coming off an ACL. Everybody says they’re all ahead of schedule. But he is realistically way ahead of schedule."

Fantasy Impact:

Through the first seven games of the season, Bradford averaged 16.9 FP and was the #11 QB before injuring his knee late in a game against the Panthers. Fantasy-wise, he may have turned a corner, but he's going to have to put together a full, productive season to get a sizable extension from the Rams. He'll be a QBBC type in 2014.

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Cam Newton still in walking boot
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 8:21pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

It’s been a month since the surprise announcement that Panthers quarterback Cam Newton needs ankle surgery. So how’s he doing four-plus weeks after having the procedure?

Darin Gantt of PFT, who covered the Panthers 14 years before joining this establishment nearly two years ago, reported during Friday night’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN that Newton remains in a boot — and that the team remains hopeful Newton will be back to 100 percent in time for training camp.

Fantasy Impact:

Newton's offseason has been worrisome. He lost all of his receivers in free agency and he'll miss OTAs due to the ankle injury, meaning he'll miss valuable reps with his new wideouts. Given these concerns and the excellent depth at QB, he's not currently worth an early round pick in fantasy drafts.

Thursday, April 10, 2014, 3:02pm

Joe Person, Twitter - [Full Article]

Panthers sign free agent tight end Ed Dickson to a one-year deal, per league source.

Fantasy Impact:

Dickson will back up Greg Olsen.

Lack of receiving threat could hinder Carolina rushing game
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 12:00pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

During a Thursday interview on NFL Network's "NFL AM," running back DeAngelo Williams sounded particularly exasperated that the Panthers lost "all" of their wide receivers this offseason.

When asked if the lack of receiving weapons puts more pressure on the running game, Williams pointed to general manager Dave Gettleman's office.

"It puts more pressure on the front office because you make these moves, getting rid of our four receivers, but you got to bring in guys," he said. "No slight to Cotchery and Avant that we just signed. I don't know many receivers on other teams, so I'm not saying they're no-name guys, but our guys made their names all by themselves ... I mean, I don't know where we go from there."

Williams also noted that Cam Newton's recent ankle surgery makes the turnover at receiver more troubling because the quarterback won't be able to get his timing down with the new pass-catchers.

"I don't have any concerns so to speak," he said about the offense in the regular season. "I just don't want to see eight, nine guys in the box week in and week out because we're working on our timing."

Fantasy Impact:

Newton's stock has taken a hit given the current state of the Carolina receiving corps. The team will need to find 1-2 talented rookies who are ready to contribute immediately.

Monday, April 7, 2014, 6:58pm

Jeff Skversky, Twitter - [Full Article]

Former Eagles receiver Jason Avant signs a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Fantasy Impact:

Avant has good hands but is merely a possession receiver who will serve as a third or fourth receiver, assuming the Panthers draft 1-2 WRs this offseason.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 8:44pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Guys like Curtis Painter, Charlie Whitehurst, Luke McCown and Derek Anderson found work, while free agent Josh Freeman is wondering what happened to his once-promising career.

The Oakland Raiders were Freeman's best bet before free agency, but they preferred Matt Schaub. Freeman might have to wait until after the draft to find a team.

Fantasy Impact:

Last year at this time Freeman was poised for a big year but it obviously never panned out.

Steelers sign Lance Moore to a two-year deal
Friday, March 21, 2014, 8:40pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Pittsburgh Steelers quickly filled the void left by Jerricho Cotchery's departure, signing former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore to a two-year contract Friday.

Moore visited the Steelers earlier this week, and signing him became a priority after the Carolina Panthers lured Cotchery away with a two-year, $5 million contract.

Fantasy Impact:

Along with Markus Wheaton, Moore will replace Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. He may be fantasy relevant, though he's not likely to see enough targets to be a full time fantasy starter.

Panthers sign Tiquan Underwood
Friday, March 21, 2014, 12:35pm

Aaron Wilson, Twitter - [Full Article]

Tiquan Underwood has agreed to terms with the Panthers, according to a league source.

Fantasy Impact:

Underwood did well with the limited number (46) of targets that he saw in 2013, posting the #10 FP/target in the league (1.48). He's a 4.31 speedster and a good athlete, but hasn't done much in his five seasons in the league. There should be plenty of opportunity in the Carolina offense due to the lack of playmakers in the receiving game. Underwood could be fantasy relevant in 2014 if he sees starter's snaps. At a minimum, Underwood should be this year's Ted Ginn, who was the #53 WR in standard formats.

Panthers sign Jerricho Cotchery
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 1:47pm

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

Jerricho Cotchery was choosing between the Steelers and Panthers, and he’s chosen Carolina. Final details being hammered out.

Fantasy Impact:

Ideally, the soon-to-be 32-year-old Cotchery would be the WR3, but the Panthers are in a tough spot and he may see WR2-type snaps and targets in 2014, likely making him fantasy relevant. Cotchery was the #31 WR in standard formats in 2013 thanks to a career-high 10 TDs. He's not likely to repeat that kind of scoring production, though he could see a bump in targets.

Beat: DeSean Jackson 'out' of Philly 'for sure'
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 11:37am

Allentown Morning Call - [Full Article]

Eagles beat writer Nick Fierro gives his take on the ongoing DeSean Jackson saga:

Various people close to Jackson and/or the Eagles' front office believe that there's at least a chance he's gone long before training camp.

"There is no way he's an Eagle this year," yet another person close to Jackson told The Morning Call. "However it leaked out, it leaked out, and now this is what you have."

In the meantime, for what it's worth, here's what my spidey senses tell me: Jackson is out of here for sure, and long before the NFL draft too.

Too bad, because his statistical contributions might be able to be replaced, but his overall impact on the offense might not be, at least right away.

More as this develops, and there's strong sense here that it will.

Fantasy Impact:

This is quite the turn of events, especially with Jackson coming off of his best receiving season as a pro (82-1332-9), which put him in the top 10 at his position for just the second time in his career. Perhaps the Panthers should give the Eagles a call. Jackson wants more money, but it's unlikely he'll get a new deal with the way he played in 2012. Plus, he's slated to make $10.5 million in 2014 and $9.75 million in 2015.

Cam Newton's foot surgery is successful
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 11:27am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton underwent surgery on Wednesday afternoon to repair ligament damage in his left ankle.

The full recovery process is four months, which would take Newton until the start of training camp. However, he could be freed to throw on a limited basis before then.

"Dr. (Robert) Anderson did not find anything unexpected in the procedure and the surgery went well," Carolina head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said in a statement.

Fantasy Impact:

This is the second red flag in Newton's offseason, the other being the Panthers' woeful WR situation. They cut Steve L Smith and let both Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn walk as well.

Cam Newton to have ankle surgery
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 3:41pm

Joseph Person, Twitter - [Full Article]

Panthers confirm Cam Newton having ankle surgery tomorrow in Charlotte.

Update: The Panthers' official Twitter reported that "The surgery will be done by Panthers team physician Robert Anderson and will require a recovery of approximately four months."

Fantasy Impact:

Newton was dealing with an ankle injury late last season but didn't miss any time. A four month timetable would put Newton's return in late July. Given the current state of the Carolina receiving corps, Newton will not have an ideal offseason heading into his fourth year in the league.

Patriots still looking to upgrade at receiver
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 10:51am

Boston Globe - [Full Article]

Even by bringing Julian Edelman back and adding Brandon LaFell, the Patriots probably aren’t done adding bodies at receiver. They still brought in former Titan Kenny Britt for a visit on Monday, a source told the Globe, and have checked out names such as Jason Avant and Lance Moore in the past week.

Edelman is a roster lock, while Danny Amendola, who just had $2 million in base salary guaranteed last week, and Aaron Dobson, last year’s second-round pick, should be safe, while LaFell (6-2, 210) gives the Patriots a big presence in the slot.

Meanwhile, it looks like the Patriots want to hold a derby for the fifth receiver spot between fourth-round pick Josh Boyce, who was inactive for seven games and only caught nine passes last year, undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins, who did not catch a pass in the team’s final six games of the season, a veteran such as Britt, and perhaps a few rookies.

Fantasy Impact:

It's interesting that beat writer Ben Volin believes that LaFell will play in the slot, even with Edelman and Amendola in the fold. Dobson is coming off of foot surgery, but figures to start outside if he's healthy. It sounds as if Thompkins or Boyce may be on the chopping block if the team adds another receiver in free agency or the draft.

Brandon LaFell could start for Patriots
Monday, March 17, 2014, 9:43am

ESPN - [Full Article]

From a pure build standpoint, Brandon LaFell has some Aaron Dobson in him. But while Dobson holds the speed and upside edge, LaFell is more sturdily built and played a different role in Carolina. Given the presence of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and even Josh Boyce, LaFell may wind up playing more of a perimeter receiving role. His size, field awareness on the sideline, and ability to use his reach to out leverage defenders make him a possibility to start at the “X” or split end position.

Fantasy Impact:

We're expecting Dobson to start in that spot if healthy, but he's coming off foot surgery, which may have prompted this signing by the Patriots.

Steve Smith sees himself as clear No. 2 receiver
Monday, March 17, 2014, 9:39am

Baltimore Ravens - [Full Article]

Going on 35 years old, Steve L Smith has no illusions of grandeur.

The five-time Pro Bowler knows he’s not a No. 1 wide receiver anymore.

Smith made that clear to reporters Friday after signing, relaying how he sees himself fitting into new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak’s system, and pulling back the curtain on what their conversations may have sounded like.

“I don’t see myself in Coach Kubiak’s system like [Texans wide receiver] Andre Johnson],” Smith said. “I see the complementary dude of [former Texans wide receiver] Kevin Walter.

“I see how he contributed and how he was instrumental in getting Andre the ball but also getting his own opportunities.”

Fantasy Impact:

Smith will likely see the third- or fourth-most targets behind Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta and perhaps Marlon Brown (or even Ray Rice). Anquan Boldin finished #34 and #30 as the Ravens' WR2 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, so that's probably near the high-end of projected production for Smith as he joins a new team.