The Carolina Panthers had a bit of a swoon in 2016, but bounced back to the playoffs in 2017. In the 2018 NFL Draft, they drafted only two players at traditional fantasy football positions: one early, and one in the middle rounds. Are they players worth knowing about for your 2018 fantasy football leagues?
D.J. Moore, Wide Receiver, Round One
To be honest, there isn’t a lot of show-stopping tape for Moore on a target-by-target basis. Everything he does, in aggregate, is wonderful. He doesn’t always play the fastest, but his 4.42 40-yard dash shows he can. His routes are great. Body control is not a problem. He’s not huge and he doesn’t fight too hard for 50/50 balls so he doesn’t particularly pop on tape. Still, he plays a quality wide receiver at an already exceptionally polished level.
Here’s the problem with D.J. Moore: the way the Panthers offense is built. Moore enters a crowded situation that will see little opportunities for him to score touchdowns from within the ten-yard line (that’s Cam Territory). He’ll also be battling receiving back extraordinaire Christian McCaffrey and the ageless wonder Greg Olsen for touches. Also, Devin Funchess and C.J. Anderson exist. However, it’s shaping up to be a good offense. He has a chance to be a thousand yard receiver in this offense, despite his limited touchdown upside. He’s a perfect tenth or eleventh round flier.
Ian Thomas, Tight End, Round Four
Thomas is an extremely talented tight end who will do well to get reigned in under Greg Olsen’s watchful eye. He has good hands and body control when targeted, but his routes are telegraphed and slow (though he’s fast with the ball). He’s strong and hard to take down once he has the ball, but isn’t ever going to make anyone miss… ever. Remember what I said about Moore’s situation in a crowded offense? Go ahead and multiply that by ten, and then you’ll have Ian Thomas’ situation. Thomas will end up with three or four touchdowns this season but the SPARQ freak has to get out from under Olsen’s shadow before he’s relevant.
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