Carolina Panthers

NFC South

The Carolina Panthers granted sixth-year wide receiver Russell Shepard his release after the veteran wideout refused to take a pay cut and asked to become a free agent. (Source: Joe Person via Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: A former undrafted free agent out of LSU, Shepard spent his first four seasons in Tampa Bay before catching 17 passes for 202 yards in 15 games with Carolina in 2017. He'll probably get a camp invite, but Shepard is well off the fantasy radar.

The Carolina Panthers announced that running back Fozzy Whittaker has been placed on Injured Reserve after tearing his ACL last week in OTA's. (Source: Joe Person via Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: Whittaker's season is officially over. The 29-year-old veteran only played 46 offensive snaps for the Panthers last season and was unlikely to have much of an impact behind C.J. Anderson and Christian McCaffrey. Assuming he makes a full recovery next year, Whittaker will be a free agent, but he holds no fantasy value.

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the Carolina Panthers and TE Greg Olsen have agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $8.55 million per year, maxing out at an incentivized $10.05 million per year value. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Although Olsen had auditioned for Thursday Night Football while garnering interest from Fox Sports earlier in the offseason, the 33-year-old tight end made it clear that he is committed to remaining in the league as a player for the foreseeable future. He cemented his sentiments on Thursday by agreeing to his extension with the Panthers. Assuming he will open 2018 with his health intact, Olsen could bounce back to his once Pro Bowl form. However, because of his aforementioned age as well as the loss of Ed Dickson in free agency, I believe the Panthers will target Olsen's successor this weekend via the draft. Fellow NJ native Mike Gesicki could be a fine fit in Carolina and is likely to fall to day-2.

Category: Transactions

Retirement has been pushed off for at least another season as Carolina will bring back Julius Peppers for 2018. (Source:

Fantasy Impact: IDP owners should expect about the same from Peppers, who is 38-years old, and was tied for the team lead in sacks with 11.0 in 2017. Peppers is the all-time leader in sacks with 92 for Carolina.

Category: Transactions

Former Falcons and Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe signed a three-year deal with the Panthers, reported to be worth about $27 million total. The move leaves Atlanta with a hole on their defensive line. (Source:

Fantasy Impact: Exactly what this does for IDP owners with Poe and Vernon Butler in Carolina, who is rumored to have a larger role in 2018, is unclear at this time. The extent of the contract does indicate that Poe will be counted on.

Category: Transactions

Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei is expected to sign a five-year deal with the Buffalo Bills when the league year begins on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. (Source: Adam Schefter)

Fantasy Impact: Lotulelei played for Bills head coach Sean McDermott when the latter was the defensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers. The Bills traded Marcell Dareus last season and Kyle Williams is currently a free agent, so this signing fills an obvious need.

Category: Transactions

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Jaguars have agreed to terms with offensive guard Andrew Norwell on a five-year deal worth $66.5 million. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The contract also comes with $30 million guaranteed, giving him the second-most guaranteed money among offensive guards in the NFL. It's a great signing by them, as Norwell will immediately upgrade the run-game. There were multiple teams vying for his services, too, and you now know why the Jaguars weren't able to retain wide receiver Allen Robinson. The player who benefits most from this move is Leonard Fournette, though he was already being considered a first-round pick in fantasy drafts.

Category: Transactions

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting the Carolina Panthers and K Graham Gano have agreed to terms on a four-year deal on Tuesday. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Just hours before the franchise tag deadline which expires at 4pm Tuesday, the Panthers struck a deal with Gano, who was going to receive the tag if an extension was not agreed upon. One of the more consistent fantasy kickers in the past two seasons, Gano should once again be viewed a top 10 option in 2018 redraft formats. He’s tied to the Panthers until he’s 34.

Category: Transactions

Jonathan Stewart released

Wed, Feb 28th 11:34am EST
By Anthony Cervino

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the Carolina Panthers have released RB Jonathan Stewart on Wednesday. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: After 10 seasons in Carolina, the Panthers have released Stewart, the 13th overall pick in the 2008 draft. His release comes to no surprise since he's coming off of the worst statistical seasons of his career. Totaling 732 yards and seven touchdowns on 206 touches, he was a disappointment for his fantasy owners who believed he'd still make an impact in the wake of the addition of Christian McCaffrey. His touchdown production was the 30-year-old RB's saving grace. Without Stewart, the Panthers are in immediate need of an early-down back. Expect them to address this vacancy in both the free agent market and the upcoming NFL Draft.

Category: Transactions

By cutting Kurt Coleman and Charles Johnson gives the Panthers cap space to explore options. Saving the team $5.9 million in salary cap space. (Source:

Fantasy Impact: Johnson was rumored to be a casualty, but Coleman's release for a mere $2.65 million was somewhat out of the blue. Look for Coleman to latch on somewhere as a possible starter as he still showed he has fuel left in the tank in 2017.

By cutting Kurt Coleman and Charles Johnson gives the Panthers cap space to explore options. Saving the team $5.9 million in salary cap space (Source:

Fantasy Impact: As rumored Johnson and his cap had to go after playing very little in 2017. He may latch on somewhere else in 2018, it would likely be a depth or heavy rotational player.

Kuechly recently underwent a procedure on his right shoulder, he skipped last month’s Pro Bowl because of an unspecified injury. It's now obvious this upcoming procedure and injury may have been the reason. (Source:

Fantasy Impact: With no timetable yet on when Kuechly will be able to return to action, his IDP owner should think if there are no setbacks he should be ready to go when camp rolls around this summer.

Category: Injury Updates

Cam Newton suffered ligament and cartilage damage to his knee in the Wild Card loss to the Saints. An MRI revealed the extent of the injury and no surgery is planned. Dr. David Chao writes, "This may be cause for some long-term concern. The team has said no surgery is required. It is true that some ligaments may heal with time, and swelling can improve. But cartilage damage to the meniscus or articular surface is often permanent. Depending on the location and extent, it is something to keep an eye on." (Source: Dr. David Chao/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Fantasy Impact: The Panthers have a new OC in town, Norv Turner, and OTAs will be important so that he and Newton can orchestrate some greatness for the offense. Newton's injury news doesn't help matters.

Category: Injury Updates

With pending free agent Star Lotulelei possibly hitting the open market after former general manager Dave Gettleman picked up his fifth-year option for 2017 and never working out a long-term deal, Butler may find himself in a starting role in 2018. Lotulelei will not be cheap at this point in his career for Carolina to retain. His talents will be in high demand on the open market if he isn't resigned. (Source:

Fantasy Impact: Butler was Carolina's first-round pick in 2016 and has flashed at times when playing a limited role. IDP owners in fantasy football will want to monitor the situation throughout the offseason to determine if Butler could be a deep sleeper in 2018.

Thompson found himself as a beneficiary of the game flow as New Orleans leaned heavily on the passing game in the Wild Card game. He recorded a team-high tieing eight combined tackles in the loss.

Fantasy Impact: Any IDP owners in a playoff contest also benefited if the had Thompson in their lineups. He should have been a steal in most daily leagues. Thompson will enter 2018 with a question mark on his probable level of production hinging on whether Thomas Davis will return for another season. Coming into 2017 it was rumored that Carolina would get him more involved but it didn't seem to pan out so well for his IDP owners with Thomas Davis retaining his starting position. At Davis's age owners may find Thompson as a nice stash for 2018 and well worth the investment. He is well worth the risk to see how things play out.

Category: Game Recaps

James Bradberry recorded a team-high tieing eight combined tackles in the loss to New Orleans in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday.

Fantasy Impact: Bradberry had a productive game as New Orleans opened up the passing game while Carolina tried to stifle the run. Bradberry drew a lot of Michael Thomas who was targeted nine times and caught eight of those for 133 yards. Bradberry was also busy on the outside as New Orleans threw many sideline passes at the line of scrimmage. Going into 2018 Bradberry should be a serviceable cornerback in IDP leagues using that designated position in their lineups.

Category: Game Recaps

Devin Funchess was able to play despite a shoulder injury and he finished his season with 79 yards on four receptions. Funchess failed to catch a deep ball from Cam Newton which would've given the Panthers the lead but he couldn't get back to the ball. It was a solid season for Funchess as the top receiver for Cam Newton.

Fantasy Impact: Funchess will return next season as a solid WR3 with upside and especially if Christian McCaffrey or Greg Olsen misses time. The Panthers need to find other options to go with Funchess and Olsen but it will remain to be seen if they draft someone or acquire someone via free agency.

Category: Game Recaps

The Carolina Panthers D/ST allowed 22 points to the Falcons and totaled just one sack in Week 17.

Fantasy Impact: The Falcons were not particularly generous to opposing D/STs this season, but more was certainly expected out of Carolina. They did almost nothing in the two games against the Saints this season, so they'll make a poor play in DFS for the first round of the playoffs.

Category: Game Recaps

Christian McCaffrey rushed six times for 14 yards and caught five passes for 40 yards on Sunday against the Falcons.

Fantasy Impact: With Jonathan Stewart out of the game, it seemed that McCaffrey would have a great opportunity to see additional touches, but it never materialized. McCaffrey ends his season with over 1,000 total yards. He'll likely be heavily involved in the first round of the playoffs next weekend against the Saints.

Category: Game Recaps

Thomas Davis recorded 10 combined tackles in the loss to Atlanta in Week 17. Davis was suspended for Week 16 and finished on a strong note in this contest.

Fantasy Impact: The Panthers are heading to the playoffs and Davis's IDP owners will want to start thinking about his future in 2018. He'll be 35 years old next season and one has to wonder at what point Carolina moves on.

Category: Game Recaps