Not only does everyone hope the Panthers win big each game just for the team, but many fans want to see their Panthers players show out for their fantasy football teams as well. This will likely be a tough matchup all around for offensive players, we should let that be known. My goal each week is to get within three points (over or under) of my prediction for each player I post. These points are based on my PPR league. We give .5 points to receivers for those wondering.
GRAHAM GANO- This probably wasn't the sexy pick you saw coming first. GANO himself would tell you otherwise, though.
Prediction- 10 points
In a defensive battle, kickers are huge. They could have to hit multiple field goals from 35 yards and deeper to help their team to victory. My final score projection of 20-13 would put him right at this mark or over it depending on how your league scores field goal points. Two 50 yard kicks would net you 10 points alone.
KELVIN BENJAMIN- Back for his first game since traveling to Seattle for the playoffs in the 2014-2015 season, Benjamin is sure to get his share of targets from Cam Newton. The bonafide number one target in Carolina knows how to use his big frame to block out defenders from the ball for some quick chunk plays and also win contested catches.
He will have his work cut out for him in one of the most physical secondaries in the league with the Broncos, who love to man up, press, and jam opposing receivers at the line. The Panthers would likely like to get to the ball to Benjamin early on some quick throws just to get his game feel and rhythm back after being out for so long.
PREDICTION: 15 points (PPR)
This could be a tough matchup for Benjamin's first game back and his performance will likely hinder on getting fantasy owners those crucial 6 points for a touchdown, especially in standard formats. While his targets could be high, Denver certainly knows what he can bring to the table and will want to eliminate it.
GREG OLSEN- Cam's safety blanket will be needed and likely used in this one. With KB's presence back, Greg Olsen's knack for finding the open spot will be key. Though he could also receive some extra attention here and there himself.
PREDICTION- 13 points (PPR)
Again, Denver offers a tough matchup for opposing offenses. There's a chance Olsen could take advantage of one of the new faces at linebacker that would put him on the higher range of this prediction, but I can't foresee but maybe two total passing touchdowns in this one. One to Benjamin and the other (if it happens) to Olsen.
CAM NEWTON- As dynamic of a player Cam is, it's hard to sit him. He hasn't favored well in his two contest against Denver and has never played in the air up there. It's a hostile environment and emotions will be running high with the Broncos Super Bowl celebration. Despite all this, unless you went with multiple quarterbacks earlier in your draft, you can't sit Cam. He can drop a 30 point game anytime he gets hot. He is also reigning MVP in the NFL and the highest scoring fantasy player in 2015. This includes the likes of Antonio Brown (albeit one point) in PPR formats. He's a must starts each week.
PREDICTION- 22 points
A grind-it-out outing for Cam (hopefully to a Panthers win) could end with one passing and a possible rushing touchdown near the goal line would spring him up on the higher side of this prediction.
PANTHERS DEFENSE/ST- Last but definitely not least. Yes, the Panthers will likely have two (definitely one) starting corners and the Broncos have a younger arm slinging the pigskin. But this is another must-start. And experienced pass rush versus a young quarterback must not only happen for a Panthers win but also a fantasy win.
PREDICTION- 12 points
Look, there's always the possibility of Trevor Siemian going off but I'm not putting my money on that. I'm going with the Panthers allowing at the most 13 points and forcing at least one turnover in this one.
By Tripp Morgan
Commissioner of C3 Mills League