Panthers WR D.J. Moore (concussion) is out for Sunday's finale against the Saints. That leaves Carolina with Curtis Samuel, Jarius Wright and Chris Hogan atop the depth chart. We'd still try to avoid all 3 guys with Will Grier under center.
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.
The Panthers have signed WR Jarius Wright. Although never a real fantasy factor in Minnesota, Wright sports a strong 66.5% career catch rate and 13.3 yards per catch. He's also familiar with OC Norv Turner's offense, having spent 3 years in it in Minnesota. Wright will battle for snaps and targets with Torrey Smith and Curtis Samuel behind Devin Funchess.
ESPN's Adam Schefter hears that Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (knee) is "unlikely" to play against the Lions on Thanksgiving. With Diggs sidelined back in Week 5, Adam Thielen (92% snap rate, 8 targets), Cordarrelle Patterson (61%, 6 targets) and Jarius Wright (59%, 4 targets) served as Minnesota's top 3 WRs. Thielen and Patterson are on the WR4 radar this week vs. a burnable Lions secondary.
The Vikings returned to the practice field Monday after their Week 6 bye, but they did so without WR Stefon Diggs. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Diggs sat out with the groin injury that cost him the Week 5 game and "has bothered him for a couple weeks." We'll certainly be watching his status throughout the week. WR Jarius Wright also missed practice. WR Adam Thielen reportedly ran as the lead wideout.
Vikings WR Charles Johnson (ribs) is inactive for today’s game against the Chiefs. Jarius Wright and Stefon Diggs will play behind #1 WR Mike Wallace.
Vikings WR Charles Johnson (ribs) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Broncos. WR Jarius Wright (hand) is questionable after returning to a limited practice on Friday. He'd likely be the #2 WR if active. But WR Mike Wallace and TE Kyle Rudolph are the only parts of this Minnesota passing game that should be near fantasy lineups.
Vikings WR Jarius Wright is expected to miss "a game or 2" with a hand injury suffered last week, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Wright played 60% of Minnesota's offensive snaps in the first 3 games, totaling 5 catches on 9 targets for 72 yards. With WR Charles Johnson (ribs) looking iffy for Week 4, the Vikings are hurting at WR. Note that WR Adam Thielen has actually played the 4th most snaps so far -- 14 more than WR Cordarrelle Patterson.
Vikings WR Jarius Wright will open training camp as the team's slot receiver. “The best things that Jarius did were when he was in the slot,” HC Mike Zimmer said. “We keep working him outside, but we know he has big value for us in the slot as well.” Wright ran just 23.5% of his routes from the slot last season but hauled in 8 of 10 targets for 130 yards. He's been incredibly efficient no matter where he's lined up over the past 3 years, posting a 63.8% catch rate and 14.8 yards per reception. Still, Wright will be tough to trust in fantasy lineups as the 3rd or 4th pass-catching option in an offense that will funnel through RB Adrian Peterson. The other takeaway here is that WR Cordarrelle Patterson is sitting 4th on the depth chart. He won't be a fantasy factor as long as he's in that role.
Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will head to training camp 4th on the depth chart, per insider Ben Goessling. Charles Johnson and Mike Wallace are essentially locked into the 2 outside spots, and Jarius Wright is the favorite for slot duties. That'd leave Patterson in more of a gadget role -- which might make the most sense for the Vikings but wouldn't do much for fantasy owners. Patterson's skill set makes him worth monitoring closely this summer, but he'll need to climb the depth chart in order to be more than a late-round flier.
The Vikings snagged WR Stefon Diggs in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft. A 5-star recruit coming out of high school, Diggs racked up 1,896 all-purpose yards as a freshman. But he failed to build on that in his final 2 seasons, due at least in part to a broken leg in 2013 and a lacerated kidney in 2014. Diggs goes 6'0, 195 with 4.4 speed and explosive change-of-direction ability. He creates lots of separation and is dangerous after the catch. Diggs struggles against physical DBs, though, and might be stuck as slot receiver in the pros. He'll battle with Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright for playing time behind Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson.
Vikings WR Jerome Simpson is facing a 3-game suspension for his DUI arrest in November. He appealed the ban on Monday. Simpson posted a career-high 726 yards last year but was passed on the depth chart by Cordarrelle Patterson late in the season. Now battling with Jarius Wright for #3 duties, Simpson isn't worth a roster spot on your fantasy team.
The Vikings' official website calls WR Jarius Wright the offensive star of the 1st week of training camp. "Wright is diminutive, but he’s also fast enough and physical enough to play on the outside if needed," insider Mike Wobschall writes. "The Vikings can also get Wright the ball quickly while in space, similar to what they did with [Percy] Harvin many times." Wright finished his 2012 rookie campaign with just 22 catches. But they all came over the season's final 7 games. He averaged a healthy 14.1 yards per catch. Although undersized at 5'10 and 180 pounds, Wright has an intriguing skill set. It's just tough to imagine him emerging as a fantasy factor this year as he fights for targets with Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jerome Simpson and Kyle Rudolph on a run-first offense.
Vikings insider Dan Wiederer cautions not to “sleep on” 2nd-year WR Jarius Wright. The 4th-round pick was inactive for the first 9 games of last season, yet he caught Minnesota’s 2 longest pass plays (54 and 65-yarders). He finished with 22 grabs for 310 yards and 2 TDs. Heading into 2013, it’s tough to forecast anything favorable. He plays on a run-first offense, and his QB is among the least proven league-wide. Plus, he’s no higher than 4th in the pecking order for targets. Still, Wright might enter the radar in return yardage leagues, as he’ll compete with DB Marcus Sherels for special teams playing time. File Wright's name away as a late-round flier in those formats.
The Vikings snagged Arkansas WR Jarius Wright with the 118th overall selection in round 4. The 5’10, 182 pounder set the Arkansas single season record with 63 grabs in 2011 and also holds the school’s all-time mark for receptions with 165. With dynamite burst and quickness, he projects as a slot man with Minnesota.
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