Carolina Panthers Preview
It seems like every year Carolina is somebody’s pick to surprise everybody and do it all. I think, for once, that isn’t the case.
Offensively there are some concerns. Jake Delhomme is coming off an elbow injury that cost him all but three games last year. Those three games he was terrific, but a major injury like this could linger. He’ll be without Steve Smith for a couple of games for breaking Ken Lucas’ nose for him. As long as Delhomme stays healthy Smith should put together a strong season. Joining him is D.J. Hackett (from Seattle) and Muhsin Muhammad. He played well in Carolina, so maybe he’ll have a decent year. On the ground they will employ both Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Personally, I’m afraid of DeAngelo holding up.
On Defense the Panthers have several big name players such as Julius Peppers and Jon Beason, who is an absolute beast. He tallied 140 tackles. They were middle of the road on yardage allowed total, yardage allowed – passing, and yardage allowed – rushing. They will need to get to the QB more as they ranked 31 in the league with 23 Sacks. That’s just not going to cut it.
The team as a whole won’t cut it either. There are too many holes to expect a major turnaround this year. We’ll have to wait and see their approach. I don’t see the playoffs on the future for Carolina. I see around six or seven wins.
Fantasy-wise the Panters have some playmakers. Jake Delholmme is an adequate backup, although he could end up being one of the top sleeper picks at QB. Both Jonathan Stewart and DeAngleo WIlliams figure to get carries. I like Stewart better, but that’s because I feel he’s more likely to get the red zone touches. Steve Smith is worthy of a #1 to #3 WR depending on league size. He’ll miss a couple of games for breaking Ken Lucas’ nose, but fantasy owners are more worried about their last few weeks. You can take a chance on Muhsin and Hackett in larger leagues.