Panthers Fantasy Football sleeper pick
Fantasy football draft upcoming? Consider this Carolina Panthers wide receiver…
Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney began working on the team’s wide receivers beginning in the middle of last season. Parting ways with former first-round pick, Kelvin Benjamin, provided an opportunity for a few young speedsters and opened up an otherwise stagnant offense.
At the time rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel benefited from an increase in playing time, grabbing eight catches for 68 yards in just over one game. Unfortunately, in the midst of a five catch effort versus Miami, Samuel injured his ankle was lost for the remainder of the year.
This injury, coupled with Hurney electing to make D.J. Moore the Panthers initial draft pick this year and first overall receiver selected has led many to forget about Samuel. The late emergence last season of Damiere Byrd as a potential threat on both offense and special teams has also crowded a revamped position for Carolina.
Even as Samuel and Byrd compete for a potential fifth wide receiver spot on the roster, ESPN Senior Writer Tristan Cockcroft named Samuel as one of his sleeper picks for the 2018 Fantasy Football season.
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"In the two games in which he played following the trade of Kelvin Benjamin, Samuel’s usage spiked, as he played 87 of 134 offensive snaps (64.9 percent) and had a 20.3 percent target share (12 of 59), after he had scarcely been used in his first seven contests."
Through two preseason games Samuel has managed four catches for 72 yards and one kick return (17 yards). His ability to contribute through special teams and on offense will benefit both the Panthers and any fantasy owners who choose to make him a late selection in their respective drafts.
Given Samuel is entrenched in a position battle to make the roster behind Devin Funchess, Torrey Smith, Moore and Jarius Wright he may also be available as a pick up once his future is determined with Carolina.
Regardless, if you find yourself in a deep fantasy league strapped for talent at wide receiver, Samuel should be given some consideration – especially for his big play potential.