Doesn’t it seem like as soon as the Carolina Panthers ascend to the top of anything good a sudden fall is imminent? As soon as Christian McCaffrey became the top ranked running back he had a heck of a game. Hat tip to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense for bottling up C-Mac. He just could not get the ball in space last Sunday and finished with a paltry 6.3 fantasy points (0.5 PPR) in the CSR 1 league. This was on the heels or logging 38 points in the opener versus the Los Angeles Rams.
It’s no surprise McCaffrey tumbles to the third spot (some have him as low as fifth) in this weeks rankings on Fantasy Pros. The Panthers play the Cardinals (0-1-1) on the road.
Obviously a lot hinges whether quarterback Cam Newton is healthy enough to play. Let me be clear, McCaffrey is a must start any week regardless of who is behind center. It simply limits MCaffrey’s chances of putting up an elite number or any average number, or even as we saw last week, a sub-par number.
Here are my current rankings for the remaining Panthers players.
QB Cam Newton — Sit
Newton might not play Sunday due to a sore foot. We aren’t sure how bad he re-injured the foot he sprained during the preseason so even if he plays there is less of chance he exceeds his average of just under 6 points a game. Okay he could well do better, more in the 15 point range but it’s not likely he runs the ball much. We saw last week the impact of team knowing Newton won’t leave the pocket. In spite of that like our chances of winning the game even if Newton is less than 100 percent, not so much with Kyle Allen as quarterback but I think he can still lead the team to victory. The defense will need to make some plays on the ball though.
WRs DJ Moore (11.1 avg ppg) and Curtis Samuel (8.2 avg ppg) — Flex start
Both receivers have flex potential this week and both could put up double-digit points, provided Cam Newton plays. In non-mobile Newton means more passing plays, period. The Arizona Cardinals will stack the box and challenge Newton tot throw deep. I’m hoping this is the week Newton finally connects with Samuel for a long touch down.
TE Greg Olsen — Start
Same story as with the wide receivers regarding the quarterback situation. Olsen is averaging 10.3 points per game yet should still get targets regardless of who is under center. Through two games we can see the veteran tight end remains a major part of the Panthers offense whenever he is on the field. He can lead the team in receiving yards any given week.
Panthers DST — Sit
The Panthers have lost nine of their ten last games and their only win was against the New Orleans Saints back-ups in a meaningless 2018 season finale. Losing doesn’t bode well for a fantasy football defense. It means the state of the offense is such that it puts undue pressure on the defense. The Panthers losing streak is not due to any single factor but the Fantasy Gods do not care one way or the other. Love them and hope and pray they win but leave them on your bench. No one has to know.
Daily fantasy lineup
In the event Cam Newton does not suit up that means Kyle Allen will get the start. Now Allen could very well tank but given his surrounding cast he could surprise with a couple touchdowns and some rushing yards, maybe even a rushing score. The kid likes to scramble! Allen’s current salary cost in Draft Kings daily fantasy is only $4,000. If Allen is announced as the starter you should jump on that.
As it stands here is the 50/50 line up for the week courtesy of Fantasy Pros daily lineup optimizer.
My two locked players were George Kittle and Patrick Mahomes. I’ve got it entered and will let you know how it does. I scored last week with the line-up of the week, doubling my $5 bet. I am now 1-0 in the 50/50s on the season.
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