Show Navigation
Show Menu
Player Profile

Sam Darnold - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Sam Darnold
CAR

QB CAR

#24 Quarterback

318 Projected Points

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

Weekly Outlook

3d Projection

Med Floor

15.3

DS Projection

21

Consensus

38 other sites
22

Low Ceiling

25.8

Rest of
Season

21.7

Week 6 Projections
Yds TDs INT Rush Yds Fantasy Pts
270 1.7 1.1 12 21
Weekly Writeup
Last week snapped Darnold's streak of 4 straight top-14 fantasy finishes. He gets a Vikings defense on Sunday that's been surprisingly good so far this year. Minnesota sits 6th in Football Outsiders' pass defense rankings and 7th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs.

Rest Of Way Outlook

Yds TDs INT Rush Yds Fantasy Pts
268.4 1.8 1 15.2 21.7
Week 5
Darnold struggled through easily his worst outing so far this season in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. He completed a season-low 56.8% of his passes for just 177 yards. Darnold found rookie TE Tommy Tremble for a 1st-quarter TD, but he also found Philly defenders for 3 INTs -- doubling his season total. Darnold’s 44.5 passer rating for the game fell way off his previous low of 85.5.

Pressure looks like it’ll be an issue at times for Darnold this year. Sunday marked the 2nd highest pressure rate he has seen: 31%, according to Pro Football Reference. That trailed only Week 1 (36.1% vs. the Jets) and marked the 3rd game of 30% or worse through 5 weeks. Only 3 teams are allowing a pressure rate of 30% or higher for the year so far. Carolina sits 6th highest.

That aspect clearly hasn’t kept Darnold from delivering in other games, though. And Week 6 brings a Vikings defense tied for just 18th in the league in QB hits for the year.
Week 4
No repeat of Darnold’s upset win over Dallas with a Jets team coming in winless in 2019. Carolina hadn’t lost this season until visiting the Cowboys Sunday. Darnold’s 2 rushing TDs, on an option and a QB draw, helped the Panthers to a 1-point halftime lead. Getting the ball to start the 2nd half, the Panthers seemed to be in good position. They overcame a holding penalty when Darnold connected with WR D.J. Moore for a 39-yard gain. After converting 4 of 6 3rd downs in the 1st half, Carolina went 0 for 7 in the final 2 quarters. The 1st post-halftime drive ended in a missed 54-yard FG attempt by Zane Gonzalez, followed by 20 Dallas points in the 3rd quarter. Darnold completed 12 of 16 before halftime, and 14 for 23 with 2 INTs in the 2nd half. He was sacked 5 times.
Carolina could bounce back at home Sunday against the Eagles, who weren’t competitive against Dallas 6 days earlier. Darnold will have to shoulder most of the offensive burden, which has included 5 rushing TDs from the QB, until RB Christian McCaffrey returns from a strained hamstring. The Panthers were hoping he’d be able to practice Wednesday, but that still would be a long way from playing in a game effectively. The schedule will be easier, with a 2nd straight home game against Minnesota and a winnable road contest against the Giants.
Week 3
Darnold came through for fantasy teams that started him in Week 3, finishing 6th among QBs in fantasy points.

It wasn’t conventional, though. Darnold scored not 1, but 2 rushing TDs. The 1st came on a read-option from 5 yards out. The 2nd was a 1-yard sneak after RB Royce Freeman was stuffed on the previous play.

We obviously can’t bank on rushing scores from Darnold going forward. Those were his 2nd and 3rd of the season, though, after also punching 1 in back in Week 1. Carolina is taking advantage of his underrated mobility, so we can at least project Darnold for some fantasy production with his legs.

And he continues to throw it well. While he didn’t tally a passing score in Week 3, Darnold completed 23 of 34 passes (68%) for 304 yards (8.9 YPA). He’s sitting on career highs with a 68% completion rate and 8.3 yards per attempt through 3 weeks. Darnold ranks 10th among 33 qualifying QBs in Pro Football Focus’ passing grades.

Losing RB Christian McCaffrey for the next few weeks hurts. But Darnold still has plenty to work with in WRs D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall. And he has 3 more plus matchups on tap: at Dallas, vs. Philadelphia and vs. Minnesota.
Week 2
Facing a Saints defense absent CB Marshon Lattimore, Darnold went on to post 305-2-1. That was enough to rank as the QB13 for Week 2. Darnold hit reserve WR Brandon Zylstra off play-action for his first score. (It looked like busted coverage on the Saints’ part.) Later, he hit DJ Moore for a goal line quick-slant TD. Darnold wasn’t perfect, though, as he tossed an INT and had another that should have been picked. He also overthrew Robby Anderson on what would have been a beautiful deep ball score. Despite some bumps, it’s clear the Carolina offense is in good hands with Joe Brady and Matt Rhule at the helm. Darnold will remain a streamer for Week 3 against Houston.
Week 1
Darnold played well enough in his Panthers debut, completing 24 of 35 passes (68.8%) for 279 yards (8.0 YPA), 1 TD and 0 INTs. The score came to a wide open WR Robby Anderson on a deep post from 57 yards out. Darnold also connected on all 9 targets to RB Christian McCaffrey and 6 of 8 to WR D.J. Moore.

He juiced up his fantasy production with a 5-yard rushing score on a designed QB sneak. Darnold finished 16th at the position in fantasy points on the week.

This came against the Jets, who figure to be 1 of the worst defenses in the league this year. But Darnold earned a strong 79.4 PFF passing grade, 8th highest on the week. So it was an encouraging debut.

Darnold is unlikely to reach QB1 status this season. But he’s good enough to at least be a spot-start option with his deep and talented cast of weapons.

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 »

Panthers QB Sam Darnold opened the final preseason game with 6 straight completions against the Steelers en route to a productive night. He finished 19 of 25 for 162 yards and 2 TDs. Darnold found Terrace Marshall and Robby Anderson for 2nd-quarter red-zone scores, while D.J. Moore led all Panthers with 6 catches and 48 yards on a team-high 6 targets. Carolina opens the season with a favorable schedule, including a home date with the Jets in Week 1 and a Week 3 visit to Houston. Keep Darnold in mind as a late-round fantasy football option -- especially if you wait on addressing QB in your draft. As for the WRs, Anderson and Moore operated as the clear leaders, playing 38 snaps apiece among Darnold's 41, according to Pro Football Focus. Marshall worked in for 23. TE Dan Arnold played 30 snaps, with TE Ian Thomas taking the field for 22.

View all Sam Darnold 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 »

Winning Your League Starts Here Trophy

Why Wouldn’t You Invest
$36 to Win Your League?

Check out thisleague-winning info

2021 Draft Package Now - Sept 15th

$39

Get Instant Access
2021 In-Season Package Sept 5th - Mar 7th

$39

Get Access Sept. 5th
2021 DFS Package Sept 5th - Mar 7th

$49

Get Access Sept. 5th
Best Value – All Access Pass
DS Insider Membership All 3 Packages

$127 $36

Semi-annual auto-renew
Get Instant Access
Draft War Room Included Draft War Room Draft War Room Draft War Room Included Draft War Room
Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings
3D Projections Included 3D Projections 3D Projections 3D Projections Included 3D Projections
Live-Draft Sync Included Live-Draft Sync Live-Draft Sync Live-Draft Sync Included Live-Draft Sync
In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles
Mock Draft Tool Included Mock Draft Tool Mock Draft Tool Mock Draft Tool Included Mock Draft Tool
Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Included Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Included Round-by-Round Draft Strategies
Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts
Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring
Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor
In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings
“Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool
“My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications
Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder
Trade Partner Navigator Trade Partner Navigator Included Trade Partner Navigator Trade Partner Navigator Included Trade Partner Navigator
Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares
In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems
Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice
Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data
DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder
DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks
High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews
DFS Independent DFS Independent DFS Independent Included DFS Independent Included DFS Independent
Daily Fantasy Advice Daily Fantasy Advice Daily Fantasy Advice Included Daily Fantasy Advice Included Daily Fantasy Advice
Personalized Email Advice Personalized Email Advice Personalized Email Advice Included Personalized Email Advice Included Personalized Email Advice
Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles
Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates
Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates
To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives
All-Access
Draft Sharks App
All–Access Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Get Instant Access Get Access Sept. 5th Get Access Sept. 5th Get Instant Access

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play