By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)
Sticking with the team previews, let's head over to the NFC South and
take a look at the Carolina Panthers who took a step back from their
2013 season. There is quite a bit for fantasy owners to get excited
about regarding the Panthers heading into the 2015 fantasy football
season. For starters, Cam Newton signed a monster extension and now
seems to have two quality receivers to throw to. The ground game doesn't
appear to look too intimidating and the defense doesn't look as
formidable as it did two years ago but on the offensive side of the
ball, fantasy owners may like what they see. It's time to delve into the
Cam Newton- Quarterback- After signing a monster extension this
offseason, Cam appears poised to have a big 2015 for both the Panthers
and his fantasy owners. Newton's fantasy numbers took a dip last year
mainly because the rushing numbers went down. Cam rushed for 555 yards
and a touchdown while passing for over 3,500 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Since his value comes mostly from his legs, fantasy owners were a bit
disappointed in the Panthers signal caller in 2014 but Cam did still
manage to score double digit fantasy points in eight games and average
over 22 fantasy points per game last season. Fantasy owners should
expect a big season from the former Auburn standout in 2015.
Kelvin Benjamin- Wide Receiver- It's safe to say the second year wideout
had a pretty productive rookie season last year averaging almost ten
fantasy points per game and scoring double digit fantasy points in eight
of the 16 games he played. He finished with 73 catches on 145 targets
for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. Benjamin was also a favorite
red zone target for Cam and should continue to improve in his second
Devin Funchess- Wide Receiver- The rookie receiver was drafted out of
Michigan in the second round of this years draft and is a converted
Tight End. While his college numbers are not exactly eye popping, his
frame is what will make him a tough cover in the NFL. Standing at 6'4
and weighing 232 pounds, he's another big body for Cam Newton to throw
to who should have no problem throwing defensive backs out of his way.
With defenses focusing on Benjamin and tight end Greg Olsen, there
should be a lot of opportunities for Funchess to make a name for himself
among fantasy owners.
Greg Olsen- Tight End- Olsen remains a steady fantasy option at a slim
position. He averaged almost nine fantasy points per game last year and
scored double digit fantasy points in eight games as well. His 84
receptions for over 1,000 yards were a career high for him while his six
touchdowns were second most in his career.
Jonathan Stewart- Running Back- In the 13 games Stewart played in last
year, he averaged almost ten fantasy points per game and scored double
digit fantasy points in five of those games. He failed to reach the
century mark in rushing yards and scored only three rushing touchdowns.
He did manage to give fantasy owners 25 catches for almost 200 yards and
an additional touchdown but fantasy owners shouldn't expect too much
from him heading into 2015. He's difficult to trust due to his health
and the Carolina run game hasn't scared defenses outside of Cam Newton.
D/ST- Not quite the stifling defense they were two seasons ago, Carolina
ranked middle of the pack in fantasy defenses in 2014 while allowing 25
passing touchdowns. With fantasy defenses being fickle from year to
year, the Carolina Panthers D/ST will probably end up middle of the pack
again in 2015.