Player News - Panthers

Date: Team: Pos:

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Kelvin Benjamin (knee) avoided a "major injury" Week 3 against the Saints.

It is not clear what "major injury" means, and Benjamin still could be sidelined for weeks with a "minor injury." Still, this is good news after Benjamin was reportedly "pretty upset" on the sidelines following the injury. Hopefully we will get a clearer picture on his timeline early in the week. Devin Funchess and Christian McCaffrey combined for 21 targets with Benjamin sidelined.
Sep 24 - 6:07 PM

Curtis Samuel caught 2-of-5 targets for five yards in the Panthers' Week 3 loss to the Saints, adding a 31-yard rush.

Samuel's five targets nearly doubled his previous season total (three). With Kelvin Benjamin's (knee) health uncertain, Samuel is likely headed for a bigger Week 4 role, but will be hard to trust in fantasy. Samuel needs his touches manufactured, and Cam Newton is struggling mightily.
Sep 24 - 5:46 PM

Ed Dickson caught an eight-yard pass in the Panthers' Week 3 loss to the Saints.

The reception, Dickson's only target, could not have been more pointless. It came from backup QB Derek Anderson with 30 seconds remaining in what would be a 34-13 loss. Dickson simply isn't a pass catcher. Even with all the Panthers' injuries, Dickson isn't going to make a fantasy impact. He's off the radar.
Sep 24 - 5:43 PM

Devin Funchess caught 4-of-10 targets for 58 yards in the Panthers' Week 3 loss to the Saints.

Funchess' 10 targets were a new career high, but two of them resulted in Cam Newton interceptions. Funchess was completely blanketed on both picks, with Newton tossing passes that were easily jumped. With Kelvin Benjamin (knee) now joining Greg Olsen on the shelf, Funchess is going to see WR3 volume. Considering his near total lack of production to this point in his career, however, Funchess remains best treated as a WR4.
Sep 24 - 5:36 PM

Jonathan Stewart rushed 12 times for 57 yards in the Panthers' Week 3 loss to the Saints.

He added a four-yard reception. Stewart was finding the soft spots in the Saints' attackable defense, but a struggling Cam Newton torpedoed the Panthers' entire offense. With the Panthers spending most of the afternoon in comeback mode, it was pass-catcher Christian McCaffrey who was featured. That figures to remain a problem for J-Stew next week in New England, as the Panthers could have a hard time taking the lead.
Sep 24 - 4:49 PM

Christian McCaffrey caught 9-of-11 targets for 101 yards in the Panthers' Week 3 loss to the Saints.

He added four carries for 16 yards. With Kelvin Benjamin (knee) knocked out early, McCaffrey led the Panthers in every receiving category. He could have had an even bigger day had Cam Newton not been wildly inaccurate. One of McCaffrey's missed connections was a tipped-ball interception Newton rocketed off his fingertips. The Panthers are barely even pretending McCaffrey is an option between the tackles, but are living up to the hype with his passing-game usage. That's only going to increase with Benjamin likely to be sidelined. The Pats are an attackable Week 4 matchup.
Sep 24 - 4:40 PM

Cam Newton completed 17-of-26 passes for 167 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions in the Panthers' Week 3 loss to the Saints.

He added three rushes for 16 yards and a score. Newton was benched late in the fourth quarter with Carolina trailing 34-13. Off to a "slow start" after quiet games against the 49ers and Bills, Newton made it clear in this one he's legitimately struggling as he tries to come back from major March shoulder surgery. Newton simply didn't look healthy against the Saints' woeful defense, making only a handful of accurate throws all afternoon. He resembled 2015 Peyton Manning, lacking drive, and seeming to have no idea where the ball was going when it left his hand. His INTs were two softballs thrown into tight coverage that the Saints jumped and an over-throw off Christian McCaffrey's fingertips. The Panthers might need to consider benching Newton until he gets healthy. Fantasy owners would be wise to do so for next week's trip to New England.
Sep 24 - 3:47 PM

Kelvin Benjamin (left knee) has been ruled out for the remainder of Sunday's game against the Saints.

Benjamin appears to be dealing with a multi-week injury, at the minimum. With Cam Newton struggling mightily, the Panthers will move forward with Devin Funchess, Curtis Samuel and Russell Shepard as their top three receivers.
Sep 24 - 2:23 PM

Kelvin Benjamin suffered a knee injury in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Saints, and is questionable to return.

Although technically "questionable," Benjamin was spotted with his helmet off and ice on his knee early in the second quarter. He was reportedly "pretty upset." He's almost certainly done for the day. Benjamin got pulled down violently from behind, and staggered off the field. It was the opposite of a non-contact injury. Devin Funchess is now the Panthers' "No. 1 receiver."
Sep 24 - 1:48 PM

Panthers declared C Ryan Kalil, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, LB Jeremy Cash, CB LaDarius Gunter, DE Daeshon Hall, QB Brad Kaaya and OT John Theus inactive for Week 3 against the Saints.

Kalil (neck) and Cash (calf) were ruled out on Friday. Cam Newton, who had been listed as questionable with ankle and shoulder injuries, is active and starting against the Saints.
Sep 24 - 11:49 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Cam Newton (shoulder, ankle, questionable) will play Week 3 against the Saints.

There was never much doubt, but it is good to get confirmation. Newton has only attempted 57 passes through two games with just 399 yards and two touchdowns to show for it, but he could not have a better matchup than at home against the Saints. He is a solid QB1.
Sep 24 - 12:43 AM

Panthers C Ryan Kalil (neck) is out for Week 3 against the Saints.

Jeremy Cash (calf) has also been ruled out while Cam Newton (ankle, shoulder) is listed as questionable. Tyler Larsen will spell Kalil at center this week.
Sep 22 - 2:17 PM

Kelvin Benjamin (knee, ribs) wasn't listed on the Panthers' final injury report for Week 3 against the Saints.

Benjamin was absent for Wednesday's practice but returned to full sessions on Thursday and Friday. He has an enticing matchup against New Orleans this week and should lead the team in targets with Greg Olsen (foot) on the shelf.
Sep 22 - 2:12 PM

Cam Newton (ankle, shoulder) is questionable for Week 3 against the Saints.

Beat writer Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer called his questionable listing a "technicality." Despite getting in limited practice reps, Newton will be a full-go for Sunday's game against New Orleans. It's a great spot for Newton, though he'll be without his favorite target Greg Olsen (foot).
Sep 22 - 1:43 PM

Coach Ron Rivera said Carolina's backfield work will be determined by "flow of the game" and who is playing well.

Fantasy owners who used an early-round pick on Christian McCaffrey can't be too thrilled by this development. Essentially the Panthers are going with a hot-hand approach, which means McCaffrey's role is going to be different each week. For all his promise, McCaffrey has been out-touched by veteran Jonathan Stewart 35-30 in the early going. McCaffrey's day will eventually come, but it could be a while before he overtakes Stewart.

RotoGrinders.com Daily Slant: In daily fantasy, McCaffrey may work as a risky GPP play. The flow could turn in his favor and he could get hot against a Saints defense that struggles to defend receiving RBs. Last week, the Saints allowed the Patriots backs to combine for a 12/137/1 receiving line. McCaffrey has run the 5th-most routes among RBs (52, per PFF), and Stewart hasn't been very involved as a pass-catcher, receiving 3 targets to CMac's 12.
Sep 21 - 3:06 PM


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