We are now one game deep into the preseason and there is some movement in the fantasy value of certain fantasy players. So I'll recap them all and assignment the value as moving 'up', 'down' or 'unchanged'. Player pre-draft rankings come from Yahoo Sports default rankings.
Overall the Panthers still have only two players worthy of starting status week to week. That is of course QB Cam Newton and WR Steve Smith. I know some of you will start both Panther RB's DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart as a tandem on blind faith and you will get some good weeks from that. But as long as the platoon holds you will sub optimize your line-up. Greg Olsen will be enticing as well but if Mike Tolbert gets significant touches then I'm feeling he's a weekly start.
QB Cam Newton (#12.9 overall, round 1.9 avg) - Newton has plenty of the weapons but is still prone to misfiring in the passing game. Though I think this ranking is a little high for Newton overall I see his value as unchanged based on what I have seen so far. He will be dangerous through the air and on the ground but won't touch the 14 rushing TDs he had last season. Assessment: Unchanged
WR Steve Smith (35.7, 4.3) - I see Smith as a top 10 WR so if he is there in the 4th you should grab him. I have seen nothing that would suggest Smith will see fewer targets in 2012 and Newton will only get better at getting him the ball. Smith might even see more single coverage with the emergence of a #2 WR like Brandon LaFell or Louis Murphy. Assessment: Trending Up
More fantasy stock watch after the jump...
RB Jonathan Stewart (98.4, 10.7) - Both Stewart and Williams remain a fantasy after thought with the all too common platoon between the two backs. The 10th round seems awful low for Stewart but given the way the Panthers will spread the ball around I have a hard time saying they have a higher value at this point. Stewart is probably the more durable of the two but he also plays a more physical game. The odds are one or even both will miss a little time and for those games the other will put up quality numbers. A true roll of the dice to go in the 8th or even lower. Assessment: Unchanged
RB DeAngelo Williams (109.8, 12.2) - I don't understand why Stewart continues to be ranked higher in fantasy given Williams is more likely to get more touches, especially early in the season. It maybe the probability of getting nicked up or it might be that Stewart is more of a big play player. I might not agree with that and I'm betting someone rolls the dice on Williams long before the 12th round. Assessment: Trending Up
RB Mike Tolbert (124.4, 13.8) - Tolbert is called the 'TD vulture' and I have no reason he was not brought into Carolina solely to get those goal line TD's and save Cam Newton from getting those hits. A poor showing this past week against the Texans aside, Tolbert should factor in the offense, in particular on 3rd down. The question is how much of Newton's 14 TD's will he get? Tolbert might be a good bye week replacement at best but I'm having a hard time saying he should be drafted higher until we know how much he is going to touch the ball. Assessment: Unchanged
TE Greg Olsen (135.7, 14.3) - Olsen put up 45 receptions for 540 yards and 5 TDs with Jeremy Shockey on the other side. Shockey is gone but I still don't see an increase for Olsen in 2012 with Tolbert and a legit #2 WR for Newton to choose from. Assessment: Unchanged
WR's Brandon LaFell & Louis Murphy (Unranked) - One of these two guys is going to emerge and hit something like 900 yards and 5 TD's; therefore both might be worth a flex play depending on the match-up. The Panthers do play the Bucs twice and have a couple other nice match-ups to warrant bye week plays. I think either could top that bogie. Assessment: Trending Up
There are no other players including K Olindo Mare or the Panthers defense worth a fantasy draft pick at this point. Let them sit ont he waiver wire until after week 1 and see how the Panthers spread the ball around.
Should Mare or Medlock show consistency this offense should put up some good numbers moving the Panthers starter K, whoever that ends up being, as a 3rd legit week to week starter.