The Panthers have fired HC Ron Rivera. He's been with Carolina since 2011, compiling a 76-63-1 record with 4 playoff appearances. But the Panthers went 7-9 last year and are currently sitting at 5-7. Secondary coach Perry Fewell will take over as interim head coach, OC Norv Turner will move into an assistant role and QB coach Scott Turner will serve as OC for the final 4 games of the season. We're not expecting any tangible fantasy impacts from the moves.
The Panthers are shutting down QB Cam Newton for the rest of the season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a smart move by Carolina. Newton's shoulder has obviously become a bigger problem over the past few weeks, and the Panthers are all but eliminated from the playoff picture. We'll see if Newton needs another surgery on that shoulder or if some rest will get him back to 100%. His absence will leave Taylor Heinicke as Carolina's starter for the last 2 weeks. Undrafted out of Old Dominion back in 2015, Heinicke has attempted just 5 regular-season NFL passes. He's not a Week 16 fantasy option and is a downgrade for all of Carolina's skill-position guys. RB Christian McCaffrey is the only reliable fantasy play on the team.
Panthers WR Devin Funchess (back) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Bucs after getting in limited practices on Thursday and Friday. HC Ron Rivera said Friday that he’s “optimistic” about Funchess’ status. If active, he’ll be no better than a risky WR3. But Funchess’ return would make WR Curtis Samuel impossible to trust in fantasy lineups. WR D.J. Moore remains a WR2 with upside.
Panthers WR Devin Funchess (back) remained sidelined for Wednesday's practice. That doesn't bode well for his chances of returning for Sunday's game against the Bucs. Frankly, we like Carolina's offense better with D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel as the top 2 WRs.
Panthers WR Torrey Smith (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Lions. WR D.J. Moore has played 70+% of the offensive snaps with Smith out the past 3 games. The rookie remains in the lower-end WR3 mix vs. a leaky Detroit pass defense.
Panthers WR Torrey Smith (knee) has been ruled out for Thursday night's game against the Steelers. That keeps D.J. Moore in the WR3 mix. He disappointed in the box score last week but played a season-high 86% of Carolina's offensive snaps.
Panthers WR Torrey Smith (knee) is out for Sunday's game against the Bucs. That locks WR D.J. Moore into a significant role vs. the league's 30th-ranked WR defense. The rookie is a WR3 with loads of upside.
Panthers WR Torrey Smith (knee) remained sidelined for Wednesday's practice. His status is big for WR D.J. Moore, who played a season-high 71% of the snaps and broke out for 129 total yards last week. If Smith is out this weekend, Moore will be worth getting into fantasy lineups in a pristine matchup vs. the Bucs.
Panthers WR Torrey Smith (knee) is out for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. The veteran has played 69% of the offensive snaps and averaged 4.5 targets per game. WRs D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel should pick up extra playing time this weekend, but neither is a strong fantasy option in a tough matchup.
Panthers WR Torrey Smith (knee) did not practice on Wednesday. His status for this weekend's game against the Ravens is uncertain. Smith's absence would open up snaps for 1st-round rookie WR D.J. Moore.
The Panthers made Maryland’s D.J. Moore the 1st WR off the board, selecting him with the 24th overall pick. Moore checked in as the #1 WR in our pre-draft rankings. His college numbers don’t jump off the page, but consider that Maryland never ranked better than 102nd in passing yards or 92nd in passing TDs in Moore’s 3 seasons there. He finished top 2 on the team in catches, yards and TDs all 3 years. And in 2017, he accounted for a whopping 45.7% of the team’s catches, 52.3% of the yards and 53.3% of the TDs. Moore is silky smooth on tape with solid route running and after-the-catch ability. He tested as a 97th percentile athlete at the Combine. While he doesn’t have prototypical size at 6’0 and 210 pounds, Moore checks every other box. He joins a Panthers WR corps that includes Devin Funchess, Curtis Samuel, Torrey Smith and Jarius Wright. Moore should immediately challenge for a starting spot and could even challenge Funchess for the #1 WR title this year.
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