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D.J. Wonnum Endures Rough Start with Panthers

By Matt Schauf | Updated on Wed, 19 Jun 2024, 3:11 PM EDT
D.J. Wonnum Headshot

Panthers Edge D.J. Wonnum missed all of spring workouts with "complications" related to his December quad surgery, according to The Athletic's Joseph Person. The report adds that Wonnum "likely will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list." Wonnum signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal with Carolina this offseason after playing his first four years in Minnesota.

2024 Fantasy Football Impact

Wonnum might look like an ascending pass rusher after tying his career high with 8 sacks and setting a new personal best with 62 tackles in 2023.

He cracked the top 24 at the position in fantasy points for the first time, blowing away his previous scoring averages.

Wonnum tied for just 56th among edge players in total pressures, though, according to Pro Football Focus. It's also worth noting that the contract he got ahead of his age-27 season ranks Wonnum just 58th among edge players in average annual salary.

Combine all that with questions about his repaired quad, and this doesn't look like a player you should get excited about for any 2024 format.

Dynasty Impact

The contract comes into play even more here. If Wonnum were an intriguing long-term bet, he likely would have gotten more on the open market.

Former Panthers Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, for example, got $18 million over two years from the 49ers after totaling 13 sacks across his first four seasons.

For fantasy purposes, let's basically consider this guy's name to be "Don't Wonnum."

Other Winners & Losers

If Wonnum's not ready to open the regular season across from Jadeveon Clowney, it would obviously open opportunity for someone. Unfortunately, there's no particularly intriguing player waiting to step in.

The closest thing to an interesting guy there is DJ Johnson, a 2023 third-round pick who posted a 98th-percentile speed score at least year's Combine.

Johnson posted limited college production while switching between defense and TE. He's also already about to turn 26.

Injury History: New Developments & Historical Context

Wonnum suffered the quad tear in Week 16 against the Lions and had surgery on December 28. It's obviously not a great sign that his return timeline remains uncertain nearly six months later.

Matt Schauf Author Image
Matt Schauf, Editor
Matt has earned two Fantasy Pros accuracy awards for IDP rankings and won thousands of dollars as a player across best ball, dynasty, and high-stakes fantasy formats. He has been creating fantasy football content for more than 20 years, with work featured by Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon, Sirius XM, and others. He's been with Draft Sharks since 2011.
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