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Carolina Panthers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2023

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Speaking at OTAs, Panthers HC Frank Reich gave his thoughts on 3rd-year WR Terrace Marshall. “We saw that last year with the reps that he got, the catches that he had, the big plays that he had. He shows that capacity to be a big-play guy,” Reich said. “The next step with every player is just more reps, more plays, more confidence where it’s like, ‘Hey, give me the ball.’” Marshall spent part of the offseason working with Mo Wells, a former LSU sprinter who also trains Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase. The goal was to build muscle with the hopes of avoiding injuries that’ve slowed his development. Still only 23, Marshall isn’t a name to forget in dynasty leagues. But it’s clear the Panthers’ new staff isn’t expecting much after adding Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark, and Round 2 WR Jonathan Mingo.

Panthers TE Hayden Hurst is recovering from sports hernia surgery, per HC Frank Reich. Hurst will sit out OTAs until further notice, but we’ll let you know when he’s back on the field. There’s a lead TE job waiting for him when he returns to 100%. The 30-year-old (in August) inked a 3-year deal with $13 million guaranteed in March.

Panthers QB coach Josh McCown dismissed any concerns regarding QB Bryce Young’s size. “When you turn on the tape, you don’t feel that,” McCown said. “You never felt it. You look at all the studies and the balls being thrown over the middle, especially — that’s where you get into some issues (typically) — and his (completion) percentages are as high or higher than others in taller quarterbacks when we make several different comparisons with different players. So, at the end of the day, that really never entered into the evaluation as a critical factor, because it didn’t show up on the tape.” The Panthers are making Young earn the starting job over veteran Andy Dalton, but he shouldn’t be much of a hurdle. We currently forecast 17 games for the No. 1 overall pick.

Panthers QB Bryce Young impressed his new HC on the first day of rookie minicamp. “Honestly — I don’t want to overdo it on the first day — but he did every little thing right,” Frank Reich said. “The little throws out in the flat, the little bubble screen stuff, the ‘deep over’ (route) throw . . . just threw it with accuracy, saw it well, knew where guys were supposed to be — yeah, just showed complete command.” The Panthers not surprisingly aren't locking Young in as their Week 1 starter, but the rookie is the favorite to beat out Andy Dalton for that title.

The Panthers selected Ole Miss WR Jonathan Mingo in Round 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Mingo is a bet-on-traits prospect. He spent four years at Ole Miss but never led the team in receiving yards and totaled only 12 TDs. His career 25.6% Dominator Rating (share of team receiving yards and receiving TDs) lands in the 40th percentile. But Mingo goes 6’2, 220 pounds with a 4.46-second 40 time and a 39.5-inch vertical. His Combine performance earned him a 98th percentile Relative Athletic Score. That size and athleticism pops on tape. Mingo is a smooth mover who can win deep and after the catch. He was one of 12 WRs in the nation to earn a 99.9 Pro Football Focus grade on deep targets last year – AND averaged a big 7.3 yards after the catch per reception. Mingo lands on a Panthers squad without any long-term, impact WRs. Playing alongside the highly-accurate Bryce Young only adds to Mingo’s dynasty appeal.

Carolina selected Alabama QB Bryce Young with the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Young’s size (5’10, 204 pounds) garnered most of the attention pre-draft. Just note that he missed only one game in two starting seasons. (Young suffered an A/C joint sprain in his right shoulder last October.) The former five-star recruit wins both inside the pocket and out with an uncanny ability to feel pressure and deliver an accurate ball. Across two starting seasons, Young racked up 8,200 yards, 79 TDs, and only 12 INTs. In Carolina, he’s the heavy favorite to start Week 1 over Andy Dalton. A WR corps of Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark, and Terrace Marshall Jr. isn’t ideal for year one. But we’re optimistic about the QB’s long-term prospects.

Panthers edge Brian Burns had surgery last Wednesday on his right ankle, the team announced Monday. Burns missed Week 18 with what was deemed an ankle sprain, but he returned to participate in the Pro Bowl games.'s Darin Gantt reports that Burns continued to feel soreness as he began the offseason program, however. Tests revealed a "small fracture," which Dr. Robert Anderson repaired. Carolina expects Burns to be ready for training camp and play the season with "no limitations." This obviously adds a challenge for a rising, young pass rusher, though. We'll be watching Burns' progress this summer. Don't be surprised if we're a little cautious with his initial projections, coming in mid-May.

New Panthers WR D.J. Chark had ankle surgery recently, HC Frank Reich said Tuesday. Reich added that Chark "could be ready for part of OTAs" but didn't provide any other details. We assume the surgery was on the troublesome ankle that Chark fractured back in September of 2021 and flared up last year, costing him 6 games. We'll keep an eye on his status over the next few months.

The Panthers agreed to a one-year deal with WR D.J. Chark. The 26-year-old missed six games in the first half of last season with ankle trouble but made some noise in the second half, averaging 57.7 yards on 17.6 yards per catch over the final seven games. Chark ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash at the 2018 Combine and is averaging 14.4 yards per catch through five NFL seasons. He adds much-needed juice to a Panthers WR corps that added WR Adam Thielen last week. Those two are the current favorites to open the season as Carolina's top two WRs -- although don't count out WR Terrace Marshall. The Panthers, of course, are expected to select their starting QB with the first pick of next month's draft.

The Panthers and WR Adam Thielen have reportedly agreed to a three-year deal. The terms of the contract are unknown as of this writing. After nine years in Minnesota, the long-time Viking and former UDFA will have an opportunity to get his career back on track. Thielen recorded four seasons of 900+ receiving yards between 2016 and 2020 en route to a pair of Pro Bowl nods and an All-Pro second-team nomination in 2017. This past season saw his lowest productivity in PPR fantasy points per game (10.6) and target share (17.2%) since 2016, and the Vikings' midseason acquisition of TE T.J. Hockenson caused Thielen to see an even steeper drop-off in usage in the latter half of 2022. With a slim WR corps, Thielen should be able to establish himself as a top option in the Panthers' passing attack. That said, it's tough to imagine a ton of fantasy upside from a player that turns 33 by the time the 2023 NFL season begins. This signing helps dynasty managers left holding the bag after the Vikings released Thielen earlier this month, but that's about it. Thielen's presence as a veteran option for whichever rookie QB the Panthers opt to select with the number one pick of the NFL Draft will be useful, though likely more important for real-life football than fantasy.

According to multiple reports, RB Miles Sanders has agreed to a contract with the Panthers. This move makes a ton of sense for many reasons. New Panthers HC Frank Reich is likely to operate a similar offense to the one Sanders played in with the Eagles, given that their HC Nick Sirianni served as Reich's OC with the Colts from 2018 to 2020. Though Sanders set career-high marks in touches (279), rushing yards (1,269), and TDs (11) in 2022, he failed to play more than 40% of the Eagles' offensive snaps in every game after Week 16 through the Super Bowl. In an offense devoid of major talent, Sanders will have an opportunity to thrive in what should be a comparable scheme to the one in Philadelphia. Plus, without a major rushing threat at QB like Jalen Hurts as of now, we may see Sanders return to form as a pass-catcher. He totaled 78 receptions across his first pair of seasons in the NFL, but only 46 between 2021 and 2022. We're looking at a solid opportunity for a quality RB2-type season from Sanders if the Panthers don't add too much more around him.

UPDATE: Sanders' contract is reportedly a four-year deal, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Certainly no small investment here.

The Panthers have agreed to a three-year deal with TE Hayden Hurst. The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Hurst, a former NFL first-round pick, will be joining his fourth team since entering the league in 2018. At best, he's been a streaming TE consideration throughout his career. It's tough to say he'll have as much fantasy appeal going from a high-powered Bengals offense in 2022 to the Panthers with a rookie QB likely to be under center, though. This transition only hurts the value of Hurst even with diminished target competition. Dynasty managers are probably further ahead looking elsewhere to the 2023 rookie class or beyond if TE is a position of need. He may prove to be reasonably effective for redraft purposes if the Panthers don't add a ton of talent around him, though.

UPDATE: Hurst's contract is reportedly a three-year deal worth $21.75 million (with $13 million guaranteed).

The Panthers have reportedly agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract with QB Andy Dalton. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the deal includes $8 million in guaranteed money and that the contract could be worth up to $17 million in total. This deal makes a lot of sense for the Panthers as they're likely to take a young QB with the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft next month. Having an experienced player like Dalton there to serve as a mentor and aid in the development of whoever the franchise ultimately chooses to draft is a wise choice. Should HC Frank Reich choose to take his time with whichever rookie QB the team opts for, Dalton could feasibly be a decent bridge option for a few games as well. Dalton totaled 2,871 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 14 starts with the Saints in 2022. If nothing else, this means dynasty managers can justify holding onto their shares of Dalton.

The Panthers have reached a deal with former Bengals S Vonn Bell, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Carolina still has S Xavier Woods, who signed for three years as a free agent last offseason. The team lists Jeremy Chinn as a safety as well, but he moves around the formation. According to Pro Football Focus, Chinn actually played more snaps at slot CB than anywhere else last season. So expect the Panthers to have room for all three players in their primary defensive alignments. Cincinnati, meanwhile, must replace both safeties. Dax Hill -- a late first-round pick last April -- should fill one spot. We'll see about the other. Hill gets a boost in the dynasty rankings with these departures.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Vikings are releasing WR Adam Thielen. It's been a long-rumored, contract-related move. The 32-year-old (until August) has seen his target share decline for two straight seasons. Thielen also tallied a career-low 10.2 yards per catch last season and posted his second smallest averages in both receptions and yards per game since becoming a starter in 2016. We'd still bet on Thielen finding opportunity somewhere else, but it's tough to know how big a role to expect until he lands. You can take some shots on Thielen at his already depressed ADP in current best ball drafts. But don't target him too heavily or expect a huge payoff. Thielen's departure leaves opportunity for WR K.J. Osborn and TE T.J. Hockenson. Don't be surprised, though, if Minnesota adds a wide receiver early in the NFL Draft.

QB Bryce Young weighed in at 5’10, 204 pounds at the NFL Combine. Alabama listed him at 6’0, 194 pounds, so the results are a mixed bag. “I’ve been this size, respectfully, my whole life,” Young said at the Combine. “I know who I am. I know what I can do.” He opted to not take part in throwing drills. But the tape shows Young as the most polished QB prospect in this class. Despite a slim frame, it’d be a surprise if he drops out of the top-5 on draft night. See where he slots in our QB dynasty rankings.

The Panthers are hiring Ejiro Evero as DC, according to multiple reports. In his 1st year as Broncos DC, Evero earned widespread praise. He piloted a unit that ranked 7th in yards allowed, 14th in points allowed and 10th in Football Outsiders' DVOA. Denver likely would have ranked even better but traded EDGE Bradley Chubb during the season and lost S Justin Simmons to injury for 5 games (among other injuries). Evero -- who has been on NFL staffs since 2007, except for 1 year spent at the D-III level -- impressed enough to draw head-coaching interviews this offseason. He'll take over a Panthers defense with some talented pieces. Chief among those are EDGE Brian Burns, S Jeremy Chinn, CB Jaycee Horn and DT Derrick Brown. Don't be surprised if the Carolina defense becomes more of a fantasy football factor in 2023.

Eagles RB Miles Sanders tallied 11 carries for 42 yards and 2 TDs in Sunday's NFC Championship win vs. the 49ers. Teammate Kenneth Gainwell led the team with 48 rushing yards. Sanders, QB Jalen Hurts, and RB Boston Scott combined for 4 rushing TDs in a game against a 49ers' defense that ranked as the single-toughest matchup in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs. Eagles OC Shane Steichen and company deserve a great deal of credit for this momentous victory. The Eagles will now be preparing to face the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.

Bengals TE Hayden Hurst (calf) isn't listed on the final injury report for Sunday's AFC Championship game vs. the Chiefs. He put in a full practice on Friday after being limited on Thursday. Hurst should be ready for his usual role this weekend.

Bengals TE Hayden Hurst was added to Thursday's injury report and limited in practice with a calf. He missed 3 games late in the regular season with a calf injury -- although it's unclear if this is related. Check back Friday afternoon for another update on Hurst's status for this weekend's AFC Championship game vs. the Chiefs. His absence would be significant.

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