The Panthers defense intercepted Tom Brady twice as they faced the Patriots in Week 3 of the NFL preseason.
Charles Tillman and Kurt Coleman both got in the action for Carolina, who will need a stout defensive effort in 2014 after losing offensive playmaker Kelvin Benjamin to a torn ACL. The Panthers D/ST unit and running game will need to be staples of the Carolina team in 2015, as they were down the stretch last season when Carolina finished 4-0 in December while allowing just 10.8 points per game.
WEEI's Christopher Price believes the Patriots No. 2 cornerback job is Tarell Brown's to lose.
Brown played well in the third preseason game on Friday night, breaking up two passes including one in the end zone. With 61 career starts to his name, Brown should offer a veteran presence opposite Super-Bowl hero Malcolm Butler.
The Palm Beach Post called LB Koa Misi a "constant on Dolphins defense no matter where he plays."
Misi recorded a career-high 66 tackles in 2014 and will look to further improve in the Miami defense led by new addition Ndamukong Suh. The Miami D/ST is currently being drafted eighth among fantasy defenses and draws a decent matchup in Week 1 against the Washington Redskins. The addition of Suh alone makes this D/ST worth pursuing in fantasy leagues.
The Indianapolis Star labeled the cornerback position as one to watch as the preseason enters Week 3.
With CB Greg Toler nursing a neck injury, the Indianapolis Star believes that the Colts will be on the hunt for cornerback depth with the regular season drawing closer. Indianapolis will need some defensive back production alongside Vontae Davis after recording just 12 interceptions in 2014. The Colts D/ST is an interesting Week 1 option as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills and their perennially murky quarterback situation.
The Denver Post tabbed new safety Darian Stewart as a "great fit for Wade Phillips’ defense."
The Post also noted that Stewart is the only prominent "new" starter on the Denver defense. Stewart is a new arrival from Baltimore and will attempt to fortify the Denver defense that is being selected 11th among fantasy D/ST units in fantasy drafts. The Broncos defense will be a middling option in Week 1 for fantasy owners as they host Joe Flacco and the Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.
Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News thinks DL Tyrone Crawford "has just scratched the surface."
Machota also noted that the "staff raves about his upside" when speaking of the fourth-year player. The Dallas coaching staff will hope to see some improvement from their pass rush, which registered just 28 sacks in 2014, good for 28th in the NFL. The Cowboys D/ST is not on the fantasy draft radar and will be a group to avoid in Week 1 as they face the New York Giants in a game with an over/under hovering above 50.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel expects the Green Bay defensive communication to be tested against Philadelphia in Week 3 of the preseason.
The Eagles famously run their offense at a speedy clip, so Dom Capers will have his defense focused on communication in between snaps. It will be an interesting test for the Packers defense, who will be a decent Week 1 fantasy option as they travel to Soldier Field to take on Jay Cutler and the Bears, who turned the ball over 29 times (sixth in the NFL) in 2014.
Coach Ron Rivera said the Panthers are going to "stick" with WR Corey Brown.
Brown had a nightmare game on Friday night, dropping three passes including his second drop in the end zone in as many weeks. "This is what the preseason is for," Rivera said. "As we go through it and I see how he handles the situation, it will tell me a lot about who he is as a football player." The Panthers do not have much choice but to stick with Brown. Kelvin Benjamin (ACL) is out for the season, Devin Funchess (hamstring) is injured and unproven, and the rest of the depth chart is either old, uninspiring or both. Carolina's lack of receiving talent is a real concern for Cam Newton's fantasy value.