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Carolina Panthers

NFC South


The Carolina Panthers have officially picked up the fifth-year option on QB Sam Darnold. (Source: Field Yates on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: If there were any doubts before the Draft, those can now be pushed aside as the Panthers have made it clear Darnold is their guy by passing on a quarterback and exercising his fifth-year option.

Category: Transactions


The Carolina Panthers have picked up their fifth-year option on WR D.J. Moore. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This was an easy decision for Carolina. Moore won't turn 25 until April and he already has a couple of 1,100 yard seasons under his belt. Scoring touchdowns has been a bit of an issue so far in his career (10 total in 46 games), but his fantasy upside remains sky high. Perhaps Sam Darnold will provide a quarterback upgrade for this Carolina offense, which would only increase Moore's fantasy value.

Category: Transactions


Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater has been traded to the Denver Broncos for a sixth-round pick. (Source: Tom Pelissero on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: It only cost the Broncos a sixth-round pick to bring in a veteran quarterback in Bridgewater to possibly compete with Drew Lock for the starting job. The Broncos also have options with the Number 9 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. While it’s certainly possible they still select a quarterback, they at least now have a veteran to compete with and/or provide guidance and leadership to a younger, less experienced Lock.

Category: Transactions


RB Mike Davis is signing a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Falcons. The deal includes $3.3 guaranteed in year one. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Davis was one of the top free agent running backs available and ends up signing a two-year deal with Atlanta. He set career-highs in carries (165), receptions (59), yards from scrimmage (1,015) and touchdowns (eight) across 15 games for the Panthers in 2020. Former Atlanta RBs Todd Gurley and Brian Hill are unrestricted free agents, Davis has the chance to lead the Falcons backfield. “New Falcons HC has a history of production in the run game, and perhaps Mike Davis will benefit from this,” per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Barring any more additions to the Falcons backfield, Davis is a high-upside RB2 in fantasy for 2021.

Category: Transactions


Former Panthers WR Curtis Samuel is signing with the Washington Football Team on a three-year, $34.5M deal. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Samuel joins Washington after a career year in Carolina, catching 77 balls for 851 yards and three touchdowns. He also totaled 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries. He’ll reunite with head coach Ron Rivera in Washington, and will immediately step into a WR2 role working in tandem with Terry McLaurin. Consider Samuel a low-end WR2 from a fantasy perspective catching passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick. This offense should be fun to watch.

Category: Transactions


TE Chris Manhertz and the Jaguars have reached an agreement on a two-year, $7.25 million contract. The deal includes $4.25 million guaranteed. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Manhertz ends up in Jacksonville, where he’ll most likely be utilized as a blocking tight end. The 28-year-old hauled in six receptions for 52 yards across 16 games for the Panthers in 2020. Manhertz has 12 receptions over 70 career games and will have no fantasy value with his new team in 2021.

Category: Transactions


The Panthers and LB Shaq Thompson have restructured his contract. (Source: Joe Person on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: “Christian McCaffery and Shaq Thompson just restructured their contracts to give the Panthers more money versus the cap,” said Panthers HC Matt Rhule. Thompson racked up 114 tackles (64 solo) with two forced fumbles across 16 games for the Panthers in 2020.

Category: Transactions


The Carolina Panthers and RB Christian McCaffrey have restructured his contract. (Source: Mike Garafolo on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: A large portion of CMC's base salary is being converted to a signing bonus, which saves the team about $5.6 million in cap space this year. Despite an injury-riddled 2020, McCaffrey is still considered one of the best first-round picks in fantasy football entering 2021.

Category: Transactions


Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Carolina Panthers are placing the franchise tag on OT Taylor Moton. the number is expected to be between $13.5 and $14 million. (Source: Adam Schefter on twitter)

Fantasy Impact: With the franchise tag deadline coming today and the lack of high-level tackles at the position in free agency, the Panthers made a smart move by bringing back Moton. The deal will likely cost the Panthers between $13.5 and $14 million in terms of a cap hit this season. The veteran tackle started and played all 16 games last season, he was graded as PFF's 13th best tackle.

Category: Transactions


The Panthers have cleared $19.9M in cap space this week by cutting Kawann Short, Stephen Weatherly, Tre Boston, and Michael Palardy. David Newton with ESPN is reporting that "The Panthers, per a source, plan to make a strong run at Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson if the Texans grant the former Clemson star his wish to be traded." (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: This week has been surrounded by rumors regarding Watson's desire for a trade. There has been a lot of smoke coming from Carolina, including Newton's bold prediction that the Panthers would be willing to part with Christian McCaffrey and three first-round picks. While a trade is far from imminent, this is a situation that should be closely monitored. Watson has said that he will not play in Houston next season, and the Texans are saying that they will not trade the 25-year-old superstar quarterback. With Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz both getting their requested trades, the Texans may be more likely to listen to offers. With the NFL Draft just about two months away, the Texans may want to get some extra picks in 2021 if they're heading towards a full-blown rebuild. Watson, who made an immediate impact as a rookie, is coming off his best season as a pro, passing for a league-best 4,823 yards and 33 touchdowns while rushing for an additional 444 yards and three touchdowns. With the midseason firing of the head coach and General Manager Bill O'Brien though, the Texans finished 4-12, and Watson made his demands for a trade known publicly.

Category: Rumors


The Panthers released 32-year-old defensive tackle Kawann Short on Tuesday morning, bringing an end to the Purdue product's tenure in Carolina. (Source: Carolina Panthers on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: By cutting the eight-year veteran, Carolina creates $8.6 million in cap space while accruing over $11 million in dead money. Short appeared in just three games this past season before suffering a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery. His absence will be felt going forward, but the move makes sense for a Panthers team that is looking to get younger and save money.

Category: Transactions


Panthers WR Robby Anderson caught 3-of-7 targets for 40 yards in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Saints.

Fantasy Impact: While Anderson was pedestrian in Week 17, he popped in his first season with the Panthers. Anderson, D.J. Moore, and Curtis Samuel all finished with 1000+ total yards.

Category: Game Recaps


Panthers RB Rodney Smith ran the ball 10 times for 40 yards and a touchdown while catching his line target for a four-yard gain in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Saints.

Fantasy Impact: Smith was the featured back on Sunday. He managed 44 total yards and a touchdown. The Panthers' offense was a mess on Sunday.

Category: Game Recaps


Panthers QB Phillip Walker completed 5-of-14 passes for 95 yards and three interceptions in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Saints.

Fantasy Impact: The Saints had their way with both Walker and Teddy Bridgewater. The Panthers could not get going at all. The Panthers may have to think about their quarterback situation in 2021 despite being tied to Bridgewater.

Category: Game Recaps


Panthers RB Tommy Stevens rushed four times for 24 yards in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Saints.

Fantasy Impact: Stevens managed 24 yards on his four touches behind Rodney Smith. He may not be on the roster in 2021.

Category: Game Recaps


Panthers WR Pharoh Cooper caught 1-of-2 targets for a nine-yard gain in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Saints.

Fantasy Impact: Cooper was once again just a guy behind a talented trio of receivers on the Panthers.

Category: Game Recaps


Panthers TE Ian Thomas caught 1-of-3 targets for a two-yard loss in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Saints.

Fantasy Impact: Thomas ended the year like he started it, not involved. This Panthers tight end position turned into a dumpster fire.

Category: Game Recaps


Panthers K Joey Slye was successful on his lone extra-point try in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Saints.

Fantasy Impact: Slye only logged one point, but it was not his fault. He did not have many opportunities in a game the Panthers' offense was terrible.

Category: Game Recaps


Panthers tackle Greg Little (ankle) was placed on injured reserve. (Source: Pro Football Talk)

Fantasy Impact: Little was the Panthers' top rated run blocker according to Pro Football Focus. His absence is therefore a slight downgrade to Carolina's rushing attack the rest of the way.

Category: Injury Updates


The Panthers activated rookie DL Yetur Gross-Matos from the reserve/COVID-19 list. (Source: David Newton on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Gross-Matos should play in Week 14 against Denver. The second-round pick has totaled 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble so far this season.

Category: Injury Updates