Carolina Panthers 2011 Fantasy Team Preview
Just about the only positive to come out of the 2010 Carolina Panthers’ season was having the #1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Matt Moore was disappointing, and 2010 second round selection Jimmy Clausen was even more disappointing. Injuries riddled the entire team, including two former fantasy studs in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
At one point the Panthers were down to their fourth string running back in Mike Goodson, who actually provided a couple solid weeks as a Flex option.
NFLSoup analyzes the 2011 fantasy value of the Carolina Panthers:
QB Cam Newton
There’s no question that Cam Newton is a gifted athlete, and what he did at Auburn was very rare. But the NFL is a much faster game, where even the worst team in the league would likely blow out the best collegiate team.
That being said, I just don’t think Newton is a good fantasy option… at least not in 2011. There aren’t enough weapons in the passing game for Newton to produce in fantasy, and he still has a lot of adjusting to do before he makes an impact. I’m not even taking Newton as a backup.
RB DeAngelo Williams
When Williams is healthy, he’s one of the best running backs in the game. But health is important and he’s missed plenty of time in the last two seasons enough not to warrant a first round selection. He can catch out of the backfield, and will rack of the yards. But be cautious.
If you’re a risk taker, don’t be shy about grabbing Williams at the end of Round 2, but if he can make it to Round 3, that’s where I feel more comfortable selecting him as my RB2 or even Flex.
RB Jonathan Stewart
Stewart was impossible to stop in 2009 when DeAngelo Williams went down. In 2010, he was still very solid, despite struggling to score.
Stewart is more than a handcuff as he’ll receive a nice share of the carries, but despite his health issues in 2010, I still like him as one of the best backups in the NFL when healthy. He’s being drafted when other starters are still on the board, so be careful not to reach.
WR Steve Smith
Poor Steve Smith has had to deal with poor quarterback play the last two seasons, and it doesn’t seem to be improving with rookie Cam Newton at the helm.
Smith is a Flex option at the most.
WR Brandon LaFell
LaFell showed some flair in 2010 and is a talented receiver. The issue at hand is finding a quarterback that can get the ball in his hands.
Until that happens, I can’t feel comfortable with LaFell as anymore than a potential Flex option.
WR Legedu Naanee
Naanee got to show off some of his down field ability after the Chargers entire receiving corps seemed to end up injured in 2010. He wasn’t retained, and now he’s with a team that will struggle a lot offensively, and run the ball primarily.
TE Greg Olsen
Olsen couldn’t get much done in Chicago with Mike Martz heading the offense, and despite being talented, he’s not a game changer.
He should see a few receptions courtesy of a rookie QB’s dump offs, but he won’t help your fantasy team much. Pass.
K Olindo Mare
Mare isn’t the same kicker he once was, and he’s on a team who’s scoring opportunities will likely be limited. No thanks.
Carolina Panthers Defense
The Panthers have the talent to get to the quarterback and create turnovers, but they’re also likely to give up quite a bit of points. There are many better options out there for your team.