Posted by Brandon Niles
Monday, August 18, 2014 - 11:42am
Greg Olsen is vanilla in a land of double mocha swirl ice cream, causing fantasy owners often to overlook the veteran each year. However, each year Olsen puts up solid numbers and provides a consistent option at the position that can be had in later rounds. He finished last season with over 800 yards for the second straight year and scored six touchdowns. He also set a career high mark with 73 receptions. With so much turnover at the WR position in Carolina, Olsen will be counted on to continue to provide a safety valve for quarterback Cam Newton.
Olsen is a 6’5 target who runs great routes and has been arguably Carolina’s most consistent target in the passing game over the past two years. Now entering his second season in Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula’s offensive scheme, and his fourth year with Newton behind center, Olsen is in a system familiar to him with a quarterback that already trusts him. He’s also durable. Olsen hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year with the Bears in 2007, and he plays.
Olsen’s strengths are also his weaknesses. With consistent output the past two years and the same system and quarterback in place, Olsen has less upside than some of his counterparts at the TE position around the league. Also, he may draw extra attention from opposing defenses as Carolina’s top receiving option if rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin takes some time to adapt to the NFL.
At 29 years old, Olsen is still in his prime and will start the season as the Panthers’ top receiving option in the passing game. He has a good quarterback and a track record of production and should be considered a very solid fantasy option at the TE position. While he’s unlikely to challenge players like Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas and Rob Gronkowski as a truly elite option at the position, Olsen is absolutely in the same category as a player like Jason Witten, a guy who quietly gets it done week in and week out. He’s our sixth ranked TE heading into the season, and is great value in that 8-10th round area, consistent with his ADP.