The Carolina Panthers were quiet for most of last week regarding Cam Newton’s availability for their Week 3 contest against the Arizona Cardinals. They eventually announced Newton would be missing the contest with what they deemed an “ankle sprain.”
Kyle Allen started in Newton’s place and performed admirably. Actually, I take that back. The Arizona native tore it up. Allen tossed four touchdown passes in his second-ever NFL start.
Panthers fans will not have to hold their breath nearly as long as they did last week to figure out who will be under center for their team in Week 4.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that Newton is dealing with a possible Lisfranc injury, and will likely be on the mend for the foreseeable future.
What fantasy football implications does Newton’s injury have on Allen, Christian McCaffrey, and the rest of the Panthers skill players moving forward?
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How Good Can Kyle Allen Be?
Kyle Allen will likely not toss four touchdowns this coming week. Hell, he may never toss four touchdowns in a single game ever again in his career. However, Allen obviously has the most to gain from Newton’s injury. Allen is a talented player, in fact, he was the highest-rated quarterback in his recruiting class coming out of college. At one point he even started ahead of future first overall draft pick Kyler Murray during their time at Texas A&M.
Yet, one must be warry of Allen moving forward. Four of Allen’s next six contests are against fantasy defense that rank in the top 11 at defending the quarterback position, two of which rank in the top five. With that said, Allen may be worth a flyer this week vs. a Houston team that has allowed an average of 23+ fantasy points to opposing QBs this season.
It’s also worth mentioning that Allen’s Week 3 performance may not be as much of a fluke as many expect. Allen has performed quite well in his limited time as a starter in this league.
Skill Player Stock Watch
DJ Moore, WR
Moore was a fantasy darling this offseason and a breakout candidate for many experts. The early returns in 2019 may have not been full breakout worthy, but they were extremely impressive. Moore averaged 12 targets over the first two weeks of the season, reeling in a total of 16 receptions over that time span. However, Moore saw his target share plummet with Allen at the helm last Sunday. The wideout was only targeted twice in the team’s victory against Arizona. Moore was able to save face with a long touchdown on his lone reception of the game, but that is not something you want to bank on moving forward. Moore seems to have the least connections with Allen out of the Panthers group of skill players. The wideout was virtually excluded from Carolina’s game plan in Week 3.
Verdict: Stock Down ?
Curtis Samuel, WR
One man’s loss is another man’s gain. While Moore seems to be trending down in the now Kyle Allen-led Panthers offense, Curtis Samuel continues to climb the hierarchy. The thing is, Samuel seemed primed to do so regardless of who is at QB. After a quiet Week 1, Samuel has since averaged 15+ fantasy points.
Samuel has high upside WR3 written all over him vs. a struggling Houston Texans defense this coming week. If Samuels can continue to show consistency he will work his way into a solid WR2 play moving forward.
Verdict: Stock Up ?
The reincarnation of Greg Olsen is upon us. Many fantasy owners avoided the aging and often injured veteran in drafts this season. Yet all Olsen has done is go out there and score the fifth-most fantasy points by a tight end through three weeks of play. Olsen has caught for 185 yards and two touchdowns over the past two games.
Olsen paced the team along with Samuel, with seven targets each last Sunday. A young quarterback like Allen will likely lean on the wily veteran pass-catcher heavily over the next few weeks. It’s possible Olsen will unseat Moore in the receiving pecking order moving forward, if that hasn’t happened already.
Verdict: Stock Up ?
There’s not much to be said here. Week in, and week out, Run CMC is a top-three fantasy option regardless of position, and regardless of who his quarterback is.
However, one could argue that the loss of Newton may save McCaffrey from being vultured at the goal-line by the burly quarterback. An added touchdown to a player’s stats here and there never hurt anybody, and will be a welcomed sight for McCaffrey owners.
Verdict: Stock Slightly Up ?