New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers: Fantasy News and Notes
The New York Giants and Carolina Panthers faced off on Thursday Night Football, but it wasn’t a battle. The Giants had control of this one throughout, and at one point were up 23-0 before they finished the Panthers off with an embarrassing 36-7 victory.
But there was more to this game than just the final score or the Giants slapping the Panthers around. We learned some interesting things in the fantasy football realm, too. Let’s take a look at what is different after last night’s action:
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Newton was my top-ranked quarterback this week and he was an absolute bust. I’m pretty sure a lot of people had him at least in their top-three, but it’s still a major blow to have him stink up the joint so badly when he’s my top guy at a position. He did pass for over 200 yards and ran for a score, but three picks killed any value he mustered up.
I don’t know if he’s really falling into a sophomore slump, but two out of three games has had him looking pretty average. Last night he struggled badly with accuracy on several throws, and Carolina’s ground game was stifled just like it was in week one. Perhaps not having Jonathan Stewart had something to do with it. Whatever the case, I wouldn’t be shocked if Newton’s inconsistent through the first three weeks is something that doesn’t go away.
Andre Brown, RB, New York Giants
Brown may not be the best talent in the world, but he ran very hard and showed underrated speed and toughness. The Panthers are far from a formidable run defense, but he stilled earned all 113 of his rushing yards and found the end-zone twice. He was so good subbing for the injured Ahmad Bradshaw, that the Giants returned to rookie back David Wilson just twice. Brown clearly is a guy to roster as a handcuff if you’re a Bradshaw owner, and arguably even if you’re not. He should have excellent value for as long as Bradshaw (neck) remains out.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers
The read-option was not working in week three, but at least D-Will wasn’t a total loss like he was in week one against the Buccaneers. No negative yardage this time. Instead, Williams racked up 73 total yards and wasn’t the worst Flex play in the world if you needed him this week. He was still a disappointment overall, however, and hopefully you didn’t use him as your RB2.
Ramses Barden, WR, New York Giants
Say what? Barden was filling in for Hakeem Nicks (foot), who is back in New York resting up for week four. We all thought he’d come in and make a couple plays, but not be a huge factor. Just about everyone was wrong. Instead, Barden was the focal point of the passing offense against Carolina, and really just couldn’t be stopped. He ran solid routes and used his size and body to reel in everything Manning threw to him. He ended with a fantastic line of nine receptions for 138 yards – good enough to lead all receivers in this lop-sided contest.
You can’t really count on this type of production going forward with Nicks due back next week, but anytime Nicks or Cruz are out, Barden is worth playing.
Martellus Bennett, TE, New York Giants
This guy just won’t quit, will he? My number five tight end for the week scored a touchdown in his third straight game, while also finding time to rack up six receptions for 73 yards. His combination of size and speed make him a threat every single week in this offense. He’s not a sleeper anymore, folks.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
Olsen made his weak week two showing (one catch) look like a fasad, as he hauled in seven passes for 98 yards on Thursday night. That’s two games now with at least six catches, as Olsen is starting to develop a better rapport with Cam Newton. Now, if only the Panthers could start putting up these numbers earlier in games and doing so more consistently.
New York Giants DEF/ST
I don’t know if it was just the Panthers choking at home or what, but the Giants showed up in a huge way on Thursday night, despite getting torched in back to back games to start 2012. Not only did they allow just seven points on the night, but they picked Newton off three times and sacked him twice. This was a fantastic performance by the G-Men, as they really limited Carolina in every facet of the game, and didn’t even yield the lone touchdown until the third quarter. If they can start playing like this more, they’ll be a very tough team to beat. Even better, they might be a reliable fantasy defense to use, as well.
Kevin Roberts owns and operates NFL Soup and heads the fantasy football division of the site. Roberts also finished 2nd in the Wide Receiver position in Fantasy Pros expert fantasy football rankings in 2010 and 3rd in the Quarterback position in 2011. In addition to running the fantasy football section of the site, Roberts contributes to NFL Soup's NFL Draft coverage and breaking news reporting. Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin