Panthers Fantasy News

Panthers TE Greg Olsen back at practice

Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 1:26pm - [Full Article]

Panthers TE Greg Olsen sat out the first two games of his rookie season with a knee injury but hasn't missed a regular season game since.

It doesn't look like the back injury that caused him to miss a preseason game will pose any threat to his streak.

"If it had been the regular season, I think I could have made it happen last weekend," Olsen said. "But there was no need to do that, and there's no real concern going forward."

Fantasy Impact:

Olsen spoke about the injury Tuesday, when he returned to limited participation in practice after missing more than a week with a back injury. There's no guarantee that Olsen will suit up when the Panthers host the New England Patriots on Friday in the all-important third preseason game, but there's no noteworthy concern, either. Looks like he'll be ready to go Week 1.

Pats QB Tom Brady back at practice

Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 9:12am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Quarterback Tom Brady hasn’t been at Patriots practice for the last two days after being excused from the team’s workouts for personal reasons.

Those absences continued a run of unexpected absences for Brady this summer that also include missing the first preseason game to attend a memorial service and missing the second game after he reportedly cut his thumb with scissors while working on his cleats. Coach Bill Belichick declined to elaborate on the reason for this absence and he shouldn’t have to answer any other questions about it on Tuesday.

Mike Reiss of reports that Brady is back with the team for one of their last practices before Thursday’s game against the Panthers.

Fantasy Impact:

Belichick said Monday that he doesn’t view that game as a dress rehearsal for the start of the regular season, so we’ll see how they handle things in terms of getting Brady playing time or if Jimmy Garoppolo continues to do all of the work with the starters ahead of his four-game stint as the team’s starter in the regular season, the story said.

Broncos to pick starting QB next week

Monday, August 22, 2016, 9:45pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

The Broncos still have 17 days until they open the season against the Panthers. Coach Gary Kubiak won’t wait quite that long to pick a starting quarterback, even if at times it seems that he will.

Kubiak’s decision is coming next week.

“We have three quarterbacks, two of which weren’t on this team last year and one that has one regular-season snap,” coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Monday. “I knew this was going to take some time. I think it’s a credit to them and how well they’ve pushed each other. It’s down to the nitty-gritty here. I’m going to make a decision next week and we’re going to go to work. They’ve all put themselves in position to go out there and compete.”

Fantasy Impact:

Although Trevor Siemian will start the third preseason game, that doesn’t mean he has the inside track to the job over Mark Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch. As the story pointed out, there's no guarantee whoever is named the starter will be a lock for the remainder of the season. This is shaping up to be a potential messy, yet interesting, fantasy situation.

Mariota: WR Tajae Sharpe 'makes it easy' on QBs

Monday, August 22, 2016, 10:36am - [Full Article]

The Tennessee Titans didn't have a single wideout catch more than 36 passes a year ago. We don't expect that to be the case in 2016.

Rookie receiver Tajae Sharpe put on another show in Saturday's 26-16 preseason loss to the Panthers, hauling in six passes for 68 yards as a consistent go-to target for quarterback Marcus Mariota. Sharpe now has a team-leading eight catches for 103 yards over two tilts.

"He makes it easy," Mariota said of Sharpe, per the team's official website. "He is a very versatile athlete, and he's done a lot for us already. He creates separation in and out of his routes and we are going to continue to expect these kinds of things out of him."

Fantasy Impact:

Sharpe has been all over our news feed throughout much of this camp. The fifth-rounder out of the University of Massachusetts has developed quickly enough to displace the streaky Justin Hunter and allow the Titans to deep-six the Dorial Green-Beckham experiment. Something to keep in mind, which the story also added, is teams aren't going out of there way to try and take Sharpe out of the game and he's no longer a secret. Still, he's projected to start on the outside opposite Rishard Matthews with Kendall Wright in the slot.

Panthers have 'no concerns' with TE Greg Olsen

Saturday, August 20, 2016, 9:45am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Panthers HC Ron Rivera says there are "no concerns" with Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, who hasn’t practiced since Sunday because of back spasms.

Fantasy Impact:

Backup Ed Dickson also was out Thursday with an injury, so the tight ends today could be Scott Simonson, Beau Sandland, and Braxton Deaver. The staff has been looking for a third tight end to step up as an all-around player as Olsen has been, so this could be the best opportunity for one to separate from the pack -- if Simonson hasn’t already done that, the story said.

Saturday, August 20, 2016, 9:42am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Coach Ron Rivera didn’t just say he wanted three series out of Panthers QB Cam Newton and the first-team offense. He said he wanted three "good" series. Whether that means Rivera is willing to risk the NFL MVP and other starters past that remains to be seen.

The starters typically don’t see extensive playing time until the third preseason game. Rivera didn’t expand on what he meant by "good," but you can bet he’ll want to see more out of the running game.

The Panthers rushed for only 81 yards in their preseason opener at Baltimore, and 39 of that total came from third-string quarterback Joe Webb (22) and starting wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. (17). Starting running back Jonathan Stewart didn’t play, so look for him to get a few carries. But most of the focus will be on second-year back Cameron Artis-Payne, who had only 10 yards on five carries against the Ravens.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen dealing with a 'big spasm' in his back

Thursday, August 18, 2016, 8:01pm

Joe Person - [Full Article]

Panthers coach Ron Rivera says MRI on TE Greg Olsen's back was negative. He just has a "big spasm."

Fantasy Impact:

Olsen has back-to-back top 5 finishes in both formats, and hasn’t missed a game in eight seasons, so he’s one of the safest options available at his position. The back spasm is worth monitoring, however.

Monday, August 15, 2016, 4:40pm - [Full Article]

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen had back spasms Sunday and was held out of practice Monday as a result.

Ravens targeting the TE

Monday, August 15, 2016, 4:28pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ever since the Ravens signed Benjamin Watson in the off-season and re-signed Dennis Pitta, the tight end position figured to be among the deepest on the team and the most utilized by the offense.

Training camp injuries to Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Daniel Brown and Pitta have left the Ravens with three healthy tight ends at times, including two, Darren Waller and Nick Boyle, who will miss the first four and 10 games, respectively, for violating the NFL drug policy.

It hasn't stopped offensive coordinator Marc Trestman from calling plays for his tight ends.

In Thursday's 22-19 preseason opening victory over the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium, tight ends were targeted for 16 of the 28 passes attempted by quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Josh Johnson.

Fantasy Impact:

The tight ends responded with 11 catches for 105 yards, including five for 48 yards by Waller, a converted wide receiver, the story said. Watson has been one of quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite targets throughout training camp. Watson will likely open the season as one of the starting tight ends, along with Gillmore, who returned to practice Monday after missing most of training camp with a hamstring injury. Pitta remains sidelined with a sprained finger, the story all said.

Jonathan Stewart feeling refreshed

Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 6:46pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart looks refreshed, revitalized and ready to go. He made a spin move the second day of camp that was as good as any in his career, one that should ease any worries about the foot injury he suffered in the Super Bowl.

"This is my ninth year. I feel like it's my fifth year," Stewart said Wednesday as the Panthers resumed practice after a day off.

Fantasy Impact:

Coach Ron Rivera wants to keep Stewart fresh during the season by reducing his carries. With the improvement of second-year running backs Cameron Artis-Payne and Brandon Wegher, and the growth of Fozzy Whittaker, Rivera believes that is possible, the story said. Stew rushed a career-high 242 times last year, but his carries in camp have been limited.

Rivera: Devin Funchess 'a good young pro'

Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 10:58am - [Full Article]

In June, Panthers coach Ron Rivera gushed over receiver Devin Funchess as being "light years ahead of where he was" as a rookie. The high praise out of Carolina just keeps coming.

"He's becoming such a good young pro and understanding what it takes to be successful," Rivera said at training camp this week, per The Charlotte Observer. "And when he's not doing things right, he really gets on himself, so I'm glad to see that maturation that he's going through."

Fantasy Impact:

As last year's second-round pick, Funchess was thrust into a starting role after wideout Kelvin Benjamin suffered a season-ending ACL injury before Week 1. That rookie-year transition included its share of bumps in the road, but the 6-foot-4, 228-pound Funchess bloomed to catch five touchdowns over Carolina's final nine regular-season games with a whopping 120 yards in the team's Week 17 win over the Buccaneers. Funchess is in the mix for targets but it's a bit of a crowded position, especially with the return of Benjamin and the play of Ted Ginn and Corey Brown. But, we have Funchess second among that group in our rankings.

Friday, July 29, 2016, 9:28am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Panthers WR Stephen Hill still has an uphill battle, not only from the mental aspect of coming off the injury, but because the Panthers are deeper than ever at receiver.

Last year Hill tore his ACL, PCL, LCL and hamstring -- an injury that ended his season and one that has ended the career of other NFL players.

“He’ll have to start in the middle of the pack and work his way up,’’ WR coach Ricky Proehl said.

Fantasy Impact:

That won’t be easy. Kelvin Benjamin, coming off an ACL tear that ended his 2015 season in training camp, clearly is the No. 1 receiver. Ted Ginn Jr., Devin Funchess and Philly Brown are all but locks to make the roster. That leaves only one or two spots for a receiver on the 53-man roster up for grabs.

Kelvin Benjamin looking good early

Friday, July 29, 2016, 9:24am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin only did individual work during OTAs, but made several catches during team drills on Thursday. While it’s early in the process and Benjamin has rust to knock off, Benjamin’s work made a good impression on head coach Ron Rivera.

“It could be a good harbinger in terms of seeing Kelvin — I don’t want to say in top form — but pretty doggone good form,” Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “He’s still got a ways to go in terms of getting in game shape. But it’s really good to see him moving around.”

Fantasy Impact:

While Benjamin's return to the team will provide them with a WR1 option, we did have a story this week about how the Panthers want to continue to spread the ball around and not just count on Benjamin. We think Benjamin is still a lower-end WR2 option this season.

Panthers still want to spread ball around

Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 9:13am

ESPN - [Full Article]

The question now is how the Carolina offense will look with the 6-foot-5 Kelvin Benjamin back in the mix with emerging star Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn Jr. and the rest of a group that overachieved in 2015.

There's no doubt that Benjamin will provide an upgrade. General manager Dave Gettleman said it’s like having an extra first-round draft pick.

Cam Newton grew as a quarterback when he was forced to spread the ball among a receiving corps that had no star. This camp could be about resisting the temptation to lean on Benjamin, which Newton often did in 2014, when the first-round pick out of Florida State had 73 catches for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns.

Fantasy Impact:

Banjamin is back in our rankings as a lower-end WR2. We still project a nice season for him with a 74-1,008-8.2 line. Based on ADP, it looks like Benjamin is going before he should in drafts, likely because owners speculate a little less spreading around of the ball. However, that doesn't appear to be the goal of the offense this season.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 10:35am - [Full Article]

By posting 1,104 receiving yards in 2015, Greg Olsen became just the seventh tight end in NFL history to record 1,000 yards in back-to-back years.

If he surpasses 1,000 in 2016, he’ll be the first tight end to ever do it three years in a row. It all goes to show just how good Olsen has been for Carolina. He never comes off the field and has a knack for coming through when quarterback Cam Newton needs him most.

Fantasy Impact:

Olsen certainly has a shot at 1,000 yard this year, and either way he's a top-three fantasy tight end in our rankings. The return of WR Kelvin Benjamin could certainly eat into Olsen's yardage totals this year.

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