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Sam Darnold - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Sam Darnold


#26 Quarterback

308 Projected Points

ADP: Not Available
Bye: 13
Experience: 3 Yr(s)
Age: 24
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 221
40 Time: 4.85

2021 Projections & Outlook


#26 Quarterback

308 Projected Points

ADP Comp/Att P Yds P TD INT Att R Yds Fum
Not Available 355/554 4100 24 16 175

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Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

-Suspect coaching and a poor supporting cast torpedoed Darnold’s 2020. HC Adam Gase’s offense lacked creativity, and Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman and Braxton Berrios finished as the top targets.

-The Jets’ O-line allowed Darnold to face pressure on a league-high 43% of his dropbacks.

-Across 12 games, he finished as a top-15 fantasy QB only twice.

-Darnold ranked near the bottom of the league in completion rate (59.6%), TD rate (2.5%), INT rate (3.0%), YPA (6.1) and QBR (40.1).

-The results weren’t all about the situation, though. Darnold received the worst Pro Football Focus passing grade (52.7) of his career. That ranked 42nd among 44 QBs with 100+ dropbacks.

-Darnold suffered a sprained right shoulder in Week 4. He missed 2 games before an aggravation cost him 2 more absences.

-In April, the Panthers acquired Darnold in a trade and exercised his 5th-year option. Dealing Teddy Bridgewater to Denver confirmed that Darnold will start.

-In the draft, Carolina passed on selecting Justin Fields or Mac Jones. Certainly a vote of confidence for Darnold.

-The Panthers added offseason pieces around Darnold, including TE Dan Arnold and rookies Terrace Marshall (WR) and Brady Christensen (LT).

-Carolina lost Curtis Samuel in free agency. But an offense with DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Marshall — plus a healthy Christian McCaffrey — brings a high ceiling for 2021.

-The O-line is a potential weak link. RT Taylor Moton is the only high-level player up front.

-The Panthers finished mid-pack with a 57.5% pass rate in 2020. While we like the creativity of a Joe Brady offense, don’t expect huge pass volume to propel Darnold.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line

Only 24, Darnold has time to turn his career around. The Panthers provide an upgrade across the board, save for an O-line that remains a question mark.

As for Darnold, though, we just haven’t seen anything more than the occasional flash to forecast a breakout. A small step forward is pretty much a lock, but don’t bank on Darnold as anything more than a fantasy spot-starter.


Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

The Panthers picked up QB Sam Darnold's 5th-year option on Friday morning. Carolina had a shot at QBs Justin Fields and Mac Jones in last night's 1st round but passed. Darnold is now set to make $18.9 million guaranteed in 2022, so there's a good chance he's the Panthers' guy for the next 2 seasons. Finally out of Adam Gase's shadow -- and with a nice pass-catching corps in Carolina -- Darnold is a good bet for a career-best year in 2021.

View all Sam Darnold Shark Bites »

The Jets traded QB Sam Darnold to the Panthers in exchange for a 2021 6th-round pick and 2nd and 4th-rounders next year. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Carolina was the "sole suitor" for Darnold -- hence the relatively cheap price tag. Darnold, of course, has been largely disappointing since going 3rd overall in 2018, completing 59.8% of his passes, averaging 6.6 yards per attempt and tossing 39 INTs vs. 45 TDs. He's gotten little help from his coaches or supporting cast. But Darnold has not fared well in Pro Football Focus' passing grades, ranking 30th, 27th and 35th over the past 3 seasons. He's a fine gamble for the Panthers to make, but Darnold certainly isn't a lock to emerge as the team's long-term starter. In fact, he'll need to beat out QB Teddy Bridgewater for the 2021 starting job -- although we do consider Darnold the favorite there. The Jets, meanwhile, are widely expected to take BYU QB Zach Wilson with the 2nd overall pick later this month.

View all Sam Darnold Shark Bites »

Jets QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) will start against the Dolphins on Sunday, HC Adam Gase announced. Darnold has been out since Week 8 and has averaged just 174 yards and .5 TDs passing in 6 games this season. He's a low-end QB2 for Week 12, but Darnold's return should be good news for WR Jamison Crowder.

View all Sam Darnold Shark Bites »

The Jets don't expect QB Sam Darnold to play Monday night against the Patriots after he aggravated his right shoulder injury in practice this week. That will mean a 3rd start for Joe Flacco, who managed 195 yards against the Cardinals in Week 5 and 186 against the Dolphins in Week 6. For the season, Flacco is averaging just 5.0 yards per pass attempt. He's not a significant downgrade vs. Darnold, though, if you're considering any Jets wideout for your lineup this weekend.

View all Sam Darnold Shark Bites »

Jets QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) did not practice on Thursday. He reportedly aggravated his previous throwing-shoulder injury last week. The Jets expect Darnold to play vs. the Patriots on Monday night, but he should be nowhere near fantasy lineups.

View all Sam Darnold Shark Bites »

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