With Greg Olsen reportedly his foot, the Carolina Panthers will turn to Ed Dickson at the tight end position.
Olsen was sidelined with a right foot injury in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. He didn’t turn the rest of the game, emerging from the locker room during the second half with crutches and a walking boot. After the game, an emotional Olsen confirmed fantasy owners and Panthers fans’ worst fears: he has a broken foot.
The Panthers haven’t yet disclosed how long he’ll be sidelined for, but fractured feet typically have a recovery time of around six to eight weeks.
The injury is a huge loss for the Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton. Olsen has largely been injury-free since 2007 and became the first tight end in NFL history to have three-straight seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving last year. He was one of the top-ranked tight ends in all of football coming into the season and was poised to play a big part in Carolina’s offense.
Fantasy owners thought so too, as Olsen’s average draft position in fantasy leagues was in round 4.52 (44.35 overall), according to Fantasy Sports Portal, and most experts had him ranked within the top three at the tight end position.
With Olsen out for the foreseeable future, the focus turns to Dickson.
So far this season, Dickson’s rarely been utilized. He was targeted just once in the opener against the 49ers and three times against the Bills. But with Olsen out, Dickson will undoubtedly get more field time and looks from Newton.
Dickson’s best season came in 2011 as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. He caught 54 passes for 528 yards and 5 touchdowns. Those aren’t exactly Olsen-like numbers, and that was also seven seasons ago. The 6-foot-4 tight end is now 30-years old and isn’t nearly as explosive as he once was.
Would he be worth taking a flyer on in deep leagues? Not quite yet.
Instead, it’s Newton’s receivers that should see a boost in targets with Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess and others getting some additional looks.
Then, there’s tight end Chris Manhertz. He’s is in his third NFL season after signing an undrafted free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills in 2015. He ended up being released from the Bills’ preseason roster and spent the 2015-16 season on the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad and made his NFL debut before being released and claimed off waivers by the Panthers.
Last season, he played in four games and caught his only career reception for 10 yards. Basically, he will not be a feasible fantasy player and isn’t worth a waiver wire claim.