Hey guys, here is my take on the Carolina Panthers additions and subtractions over the off-season. Once again, I'm going to keep my introduction in here so if anybody is new to my content they can get familiar with what I'm trying to do here. If you are already familiar with what's going on, skip the introduction, but if you are new, keep reading and welcome!
Introduction - Bringing the Fantasy Football Discussion to Steemit
I've been a diehard fantasy football player for nearly a decade now, and I am extremely active in my research all year around. I plan on sharing my thoughts by blogging on Steemit for the upcoming season, so if you like to play fantasy football, you should definitely follow me. I am active on Sleeperbot, which is a fantasy football app that sends updates in real time, but there is also a community there that is very knowledgeable. You can find me on there @USER00100000.
Before the season starts, I will be breaking down key moves around the league as they happen, I will share my draft plans and key targets for the upcoming season, break down key statistics, and anything else that I can think of. During the season, I plan on breaking down key statistics each week, look at trade values around the league, player matchups, start/sit, and again, anything else I can think of to help you win a fantasy championship this season.
So far, we've seen a lot of movement this off-season. I'm going to start off by highlighting some key additions and subtractions by each team. I'm not going to spend time on players that I don't think are worth discussing, so keep in mind these are not intended to be complete lists, just important players (and possibly coaches) that moved and may have an effect on other players fantasy production.
Lets dig in! Next up is...
Key Additions: Christian McCaffery RB, Curtis Samuel WR, Russell Shepard WR, Matt Kalil T
Key Subtractions: Ted Ginn Jr. WR, Corey Brown WR, Mike Tolbert FB/RB, Mike Remmers T
The Panthers went for very high offensive upside in the 2017 NFL draft, and who can blame them? Christian McCaffery will immediately have a role in this offense even though Jonathan Stewart remains on the team. He will likely play on all passing downs and he is very capable of beating out Jonathan Stewart for early downs as well. McCaffery is currently being selected as the RB15 at 32nd overall. I feel that this is a slight reach at the moment, but closer to draft day I can see the justification behind that spot if McCaffery proves he can handle the majority of the workload.
Despite his talent and situation, the reason I am unsure of his ADP is that we just don't know how much this offense will start to target running backs in the passing game and we also don't know how often Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart will steal away goal line opportunities from McCaffery. Last year the Panthers targeted their running backs 70 times throughout the season, which is tied with Denver for the fifth least in the league. We can assume with McCaffery, that number could go up, but don't expect an astronomical leap. As far as goal line opportunities, I still expect Jonathan Stewart to retain that role and Cam Newton still has legs, so I don't see very many opportunities in that respect for the rookie.
With Ted Ginn Jr. and Corey Brown departing the team, this opens up an additional 151 targets for the offense. This will mean more work for Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen, but keep in mind they also made an underrated signing in 26 year old Russell Shepard who can easily carve out a role in this offense. Last year in 433 snaps, he earned a 76.1 PFF grade which is an improvement over both Ginn (72.5) and Brown (61.7). They also drafted another explosive rookie in Curtis Samuel that could command some work right away, but it is more likely that he will contribute as a kick returner or gadget type of player. Neither Samuel or Shepard should be on anyones draft board at this point, but make a note that the addition of these two will help the offense as a whole.
Lastly, the Panthers saw tackle Mike Remmers depart and then signed another tackle in Matt Kalil for their offensive line. Remmers was okay at best for the Panthers, scoring a 66.1 PFF grade on 1106 snaps as a starter. Kalil was much worse last year with a PFF grade of 36.9, but to be fair, he only played in two games due to injury. Kalil is a former 4th overall pick who hasn't quite lived up to the hype yet, but he will get another chance in Carolina playing next to his brother Ryan Kalil. Maybe this can turn his career around and if the offensive line can gain some chemistry and improve this season, that only means great things for Cam Newton and everyone else in this offense.
The bottom line: The Panthers offense should have a bounce back season this year. Benjamin and Olsen will likely see a few more targets coming their way, and McCaffery gives Cam Newton another weapon to elevate the offense as a whole.
Draftable key additions: Christian McCaffery RB
Keep an eye on: Russell Shepard WR, Curtis Samuel WR
Hopefully you enjoyed this article, and if you like fantasy football, you should definitely hit that follow button and smash that upvote button! If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, please don't be shy and let me know! Next up, I will be evaluating the key moves on the Chicago Bears.