One surefire way to lose a fantasy match-up is to start a slew of players who participated in a 9-3 defensive struggle. If you started any Buffalo Bills this past week, you were probably disappointed in your team’s results, and the same goes for those who relied upon members of the Carolina Panthers. Buffalo’s stop unit kept the Panthers out of the end zone, making Graham Gano the third-highest scoring player for the Carolina. Like our suggested Bills to play, our Carolina players busted pretty hard, as well.
QB Cam Newton
Newton was the 26th-highest scoring player in fantasy last week, one spot ahead of his counterpart, Tyrod Taylor. Newton threw for 228 yards and added 27 rushing. He was hit hard throughout the game, as he was sacked 6 times. He was evaluated for an ankle injury in the third quarter, but returned to the game in order to engineer what turned out to be a game-winning field goal drive in the fourth quarter. This is two rough weeks in a row for Newton, so it may be best to find another option until he proves that he’s back to 100-percent health.
RB Christian McCaffrey
The jack-of-all-trades was a master of none on Sunday, as Buffalo held him in both rushing (8 carries, 10 yards) and receiving (4 catches, 34 yards). He’s off to a slow start this year, especially when comparing him to other rookie running backs in his class. As he becomes more comfortable and Carolina’s offense settles, he should improve, but for now, he’s not going to make much of an impact.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
The big man had a pretty big day, especially considering how little offense was generated by the teams as a whole. Benjamin hauled in 6 of 8 targets for 77 yards, and if not for a beautifully-timed shot from safety Jordan Poyer, he would have had a touchdown, as well. Carolina’s best receiver looks to be fully-recovered from his 2015 ACL tear, so this could be a big year for him.
TE Greg Olsen
Might as well just call me mush. When one of the most reliable names in fantasy football has 1 catch for 10 yards, it’s certainly Murphy’s Law. When a guy who hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year in 2007 breaks a bone in his foot the first time I have the opportunity to draft him? Yeah...I owe him and his family an apology.* The three-time Pro Bowl player will miss at least the next two months, and he was placed on injured reserve.
*I don’t think I’m so important that luck and the football gods smite me for making picks. I’m only kidding about being a jinx. I’m not kidding about hoping that Olsen has a speedy recovery from his injury.