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Carolina Panthers 2023 Fantasy Football Team Preview

As we inch closer to opening day of the NFL season, we want to get you prepared for your fantasy football drafts. That process begins with our team previews, where we’ll break down each team’s offense while providing players we’re targeting and, in some cases, avoiding.

Panthers Fantasy Football Team Preview

Head Coach: Frank Reich (first season as Panthers HC)

Offensive Coordinator: Thomas Brown (first season as Panthers OC)

Key Offensive Additions

Key Offensive Departures

Key Offensive Rookies

Points Per Game: 20.4 (20th)

Passing Yards: 176.2 (29th)

Rushing Yards: 130.0 (10th)

Vacated Targets: 127 (17th)

Pass 54 percent Run 46 percent

Pace: 25th

OL Rank: 13th


Bryce Young, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, was a very productive passer in college who throws with great anticipation. He’s undersized, which brings some injury concerns, but he’s a capable play extender with some rushing production. Young has value in best ball, Superflex and dynasty, but he’ll enter the season as a mid-range streaming option in most leagues.

There is some chance that Andy Dalton will see some playing time this season. He’s an excellent backup, but he’s little more than a low-end, matchups-based streaming option in fantasy when he starts.

Running Backs

After signing a four-year, $25.4 million contract this offseason, Miles Sanders should comfortably lead this backfield. He just set career highs in carries (259), rushing yards (1,269), and rushing touchdowns (11) with the Eagles. 

Sanders reunites with running backs coach Duce Staley, who was with him in Philadelphia in 2019 and 2020. Sanders averaged 4.1 targets per game in his first two seasons with Staley before it dropped to 2.8 per game in 2021 and 1.5 targets per game in 2022. Those hoping Sanders returns to his pass-catching ways are likely in for a disappointment, as Sanders has struggled mightily as a pass blocker throughout his NFL career. With how much the Panthers invested to trade up for undersized Young in the draft, it’s difficult to see them leaving Sanders in on third downs because of fantasy points. Sanders was a mid-range RB2 with the Eagles last year, so that’s likely his ceiling for the Panthers in 2023.

Behind Sanders, Chuba Hubbard looks like the next man up, and he should handle 7-12 touches per game behind a strong Panthers offensive line. Hubbard is decently fast, and he’s capable in all phases. There’s a slight chance he’ll be flex viable occasionally, but he’s probably just a handcuff for fantasy who could replicate Sanders’ numbers if injuries strike.

Raheem Blackshear only saw 33 touches last year as an undrafted rookie with the Bills, but he could also be in the mix for pass-catching duties. Across five college seasons, he totaled 123 receptions for 1,213 receiving yards, even leading Rutgers in receptions and receiving yards during the 2018 season.

Wide Receivers, Tight Ends

Frank Reich and Thomas Brown are set to create an exciting passing game for the Carolina Panthers. Their expertise in intermediate route usage bodes well for their most accomplished receiver, Adam Thielen, who will benefit greatly from their play-calling style.

Last season in Minnesota, Thielen ran deep routes on 32 percent of his plays. Given his age and playing style, that figure is quite high. With his expected new role, Thielen is well-positioned to lead the team in targets and become the go-to player in Carolina’s offense, especially against zone coverage.

DJ Chark and Terrace Marshall are expected to compete for deep targets. While both have the potential to excel, Jordan’s preference is Chark, as he has stood out in training camp, displaying his athleticism while making impressive catches.

For the third wide receiver spot, there are high hopes for rookie Jonathan Mingo. His versatility, having been utilized in various roles at Ole Miss, will likely earn him early playing time, adding depth and dynamism to the Panthers' passing attack.

When it comes to the tight end position, Hayden Hurst is the standout player. He's the only fantasy-worthy mention among the tight ends on the team. Hurst's experience makes him a valuable asset, especially for a rookie quarterback, because tight ends often serve as reliable targets in critical situations.

Dynasty Sell

Ian Miller: Sell Mingo (WR45)

There have only been 12 wide receivers selected in the second round to have a ‘Bust’ prospect designation. Of those 12, not even one has posted at least a 12-point-per-game season. Mingo is unlikely to be the one to break that mold.

Falcons We’re Targeting or Avoiding in Fantasy Football

Josh Larky: Avoid Sanders

Ryan Reynolds: None

Jordan Vanek: Target Thielen

Other Fantasy Previews



NFC South: NO | ATL | TB 

NFC West: SF | LAR | SEA | ARI



AFC South: HOU | IND | JAX  | TEN

AFC West: KC | LAC | LV | DEN

Follow our Team on Twitter

Josh Larky: @JLarkyTweets

Ryan Reynolds: @RyanReynoldsNFL

Jordan Vanek: @JordanVanekDFS

Ian Miller: @Dynasty_IM

Our data is provided by Sports Info Solutions, and our vacated targets figure is provided by Tru Media

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