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Rapid Reaction: Panthers Sign Robby Anderson (2020 Fantasy Football)

Mar 24, 2020

Anderson will have a target fight on his hands in Carolina.

Robby Anderson is off the free-agent market after signing a two-year, $20 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. Will Anderson be a fantasy football threat in 2020? And what does having three capable wide receivers do for the target distribution in Carolina? Our analysts are on the case:

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Q1. What is the fantasy football impact of Robby Anderson signing in Carolina?

This move is a surprising one, though Robby Anderson will reunite with his old college coach Matt Rhule. The issue for fantasy purposes is that there are only so many targets to go around, as D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey, Ian Thomas, and Curtis Samuel aren’t going to simply go away. Will Anderson take over as the No. 1 target for Rhule like he was back in 2015 when he tallied 70 receptions for 939 yards and seven touchdowns for Temple? I don’t think so when you consider Teddy Bridgewater‘s average depth of target was 6.2 yards in 2019, the lowest of all quarterbacks who attempted at least 125 passes. The offense surely had something to do with that, but he’s never been known as a terrific downfield passer. Anderson is likely to be in the boom/bust WR4 category, similar to his time with the Jets.
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

If I had to make a list of the most likely destinations for Anderson, the Panthers wouldn’t have made my top 15 spots. Yes, there’s the Temple connection with Matt Rhule, but the Panthers already had plenty of weapons between Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Curtis Samuel. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that Anderson is primarily a deep threat and the Panthers’ new quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, had the lowest aDOT of any starting quarterback last season. Anderson’s value takes a major hit with the move, down to WR5 territory.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Q2. Who else is impacted by Anderson’s signing from a fantasy perspective?

This move has a negative effect on D.J. Moore, who seemed ready to handle 140-plus targets in this offense. Adding Anderson to a two-year deal worth $20 million signifies that he’ll be involved quite heavily in Matt Rhule’s offense. While Moore is still going to be the best fantasy option on the team, this move knocks him out of the top-12 conversation. 
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

The move is a downgrade to both D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel, for the obvious reason that it adds another legitimate receiving weapon for the Panthers and should cut into both of their target shares. Moore, who was slated to be a low-end No. 1 receiver, now falls into the WR2 range, albeit still on the high end. Samuel remains only a borderline WR4, and one with little upside.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

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