Looks like we picked a bad time to have a losing streak. Despite last week’s monster performance from Christian McCaffrey, our defense let us down yet again. The path to the playoffs seems very clear to me: Win all non-Saints games and try to steal one from New Orleans to secure it. Any slip ups could be disastrous to our playoff chances. It starts here on the road against a Tampa Bay team riding with Jameis Winston this time around. Just as the last meeting, this game is very juicy if you’re playing DFS. Let’s get it!
Cam Newton ($6,600 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel): Cam is the #2 QB price wise on both sites behind Pat Mahomes, and the matchup indicates with good reason. The Bucs D has given up 30 or more points 7 out of 11 games this year, including our 42-28 beatdown that wasn’t as close as the score showed. In that game, McCaffrey was the focal point gashing them on the ground and air for 157 total yards. As I referenced in my introduction, this game is listed at 56 ½ for the over/under, so we expect a lot of points here. I expect this to go comfortably over. If that happens, that means Cam is having to throw meaningful passes into the 4th quarter, which we hate as fans but love as fantasy owners. If playing multiple lineups, I’d have limited exposure due to other cost-efficient options at QB. However, if you’re a homer, feel free to run him out as he should make us happy with both his arms and legs.
Projections: 275-300 yards passing, 3 TD, 1 INT; 50-60 yards rushing, 1 TD.
Christian McCaffrey ($8,800 DraftKings and FanDuel): If you rostered CMC last week, you probably won your weekly fantasy games and made money in DFS. 237 total yards from scrimmage set a Panther record and was also the fourth time in five games that he’s scored two or more touchdowns. Remember when I was complaining that only Cam was a red zone threat? Neither do I. The beauty of this matchup is that whatever stage this game is in, coming from behind or padding a lead, McCaffrey will be heavily involved. Expect him to be very chalky (popular) on both sites, but if I’m paying up for anyone at any position it’s going to be him. I will have lots of him and be happy about it.
Projections: 75-100 yards rushing, 1 TD; 6-8 receptions, 60-75 yards, 1 TD
Wide Receiver: As of this moment, Devin Funchess’ status is unknown for Sunday, but he hasn’t practiced yet so signs aren’t looking good. In that case, look for DJ Moore to continue getting the #1 looks. He looks to be the non-McCaffrey option that Cam prefers, and Norv looks to get him involved in all facets on reverses and other unique looks. Curtis Samuel would see more looks as well and used similarly. Even if Funchess plays, I don’t expect that much production to be taken away from either one of them. The player I would look out for would be Jarius Wright. I know I mention him a lot and how Norv Turner loves him. However, he’s a great route runner with good speed and hands and yes, he’s a Norv Turner staple. If this game becomes a shootout, Wright could be the sleeper pick you need. Not the biggest fan of Greg Olsen until he can see consistent targets in the 5+ range. If you’re looking for an ideal Panthers stack, in my opinion it’s Cam/CMC/Samuel. Samuel is one of the cheaper options for the Panthers, who are very expensive DFS wise.
Projections: Moore: ($5,600 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel): 5-7 catches, 80-100 yards
Samuel: ($3,900 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel): 4-6 catches, 50 yards, TD; 30-50 yards rushing
Olsen ($4,100 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel): 2-4 catches, 30 yards
Wright ($3,000 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel): 4-6 catches, 60 yards, TD
Defense/Special Teams: This will be a relatively short section. Simply, the Panthers D stinks right now. Missed tackles, lack of pressure on the QB, giving up 3rd and long, that is not the D we are used to seeing. I place the majority of the blame for their 3 game skid on the defense, and I have no reason to think much will change this week. I am especially worried about Adam Humphries in the slot position, who had 8/82/2 against us last outing and has built off that momentum and running hot. While I’m not optimistic of us being able to keep the score down, I am hopeful we can get a turnover or two and get to Jameis a few times. This will be the only saving grace to any of you who are brave enough to roster the D right now. They’ll have to prove me wrong before I risk negative points for a defense.
Projections: 28-35 points, 2-4 sacks, 1 TO.
Even through my pessimism, I do feel the Panthers get back in the winning column thanks to healthy doses of Cam and McCaffrey. The offense has held up their end of the deal the vast majority of the time this year, can the D get back to doing theirs? Let’s hope so, but if it does go south that will be great for Panthers in our fantasy lines. Thanks for the read, good luck with your DFS and season long fantasy lines and as always, KEEP POUNDING!
Have any questions? Check us out on DFSXperts.com, where we offer a spreadsheet with position rankings, value plays and Vegas lines. Find us on Facebook, DFS Xperts and follow us on Twitter @RealDFSXperts or my personal handle, @DFSXKennyB. Listen to me on Saturday mornings on The Rundown with Desmond Johnson, where we are on across the triad also streaming. Come and join us!
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