The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.
Newton admitted Wednesday that he celebrated the Panthers’ victory over the Patriots on Monday night by going out, but it was merely to Waffle House, one of the few local establishments open late.
Newton said he “popped orange juices” but was careful not to eat anything that could alter his preparation for his next game, according to ESPN.
“I order scrambled eggs, hash browns and cheese grits in one bowl with a light waffle … extremely light waffle,” Newton said. “Ah, man, to die for.” Newton said he is “on a first-name basis” with the local Waffle House employees.
Pyro's take: The more I hear about Cam, the more I like this guy. I am not from the South, but when I am I love to get my Waffle House on. Waffle House needs to get an endorsement deal done. I want to see Newton's face on every Waffle House.
Superman needs to be sure he does not have a letdown game, after two big back-to-back wins over the 49ers and Patriots. Cam will be facing the Dolphins, who are currently 7th best against quarterbacks one the season, surrendering just 18.3 points a game.
11/21/13, 05:37 PM CST by Houdini
"It's been a growth period," Rivera said of his suddenly surging signal-caller. "He's learned so much – like I have – and he's grown a lot."
Over Newton's last 16 games (the equivalent of one regular season), he has thrown 26 touchdown passes while tossing just nine interceptions. In the 16 games before that, dating back to the middle of his rookie year, Newton threw 18 touchdown passes against 15 interceptions.
But the more notable number - one that Rivera shares in and one that has observers pronouncing that Newton has truly arrived - is the win-loss record. The Panthers are 10-6 over their last 16 games, a playoff-caliber kind of record.
Pyro's take: We have been seeing the growth of Newton in fantasy as well, but we have not seen the best, yet. Newton has a tough schedule coming up, and his accuracy is going to get put to the test.
Although, this is time where Cam is going to use his speed to set up his accuracy. I expect Superman to be in Candlestick this week, and he will be running, and throwing on the run with his new found accuracy. Cam needs to prove himself this week, which I like in fantasy.
LaFell good at blocking, but inconsistent in fantasy
“I get so teed off when I don’t get the ball that I want to hit somebody,” LaFell said. “Whatever play it is, I got to go block so I have to go take my frustrations out on whoever’s in front of me.”
Receivers’ blocks don’t make the stats sheet and, short of ones like Ginn’s and Smith’s on Sunday, they are rarely even talked about.
LaFell, however, takes pride in his blocking. The team’s No. 2 wide receiver learned in his college days at Louisiana State that if he wanted to get on the field as a rookie playing for a big-time national program, he needed to do more than just catch passes.
“He is our best blocking wide receiver, and a lot of his blocks are made downfield,” Rivera said. “When you see him block downfield, you know he’s rolling.”
Pyro's take: LaFell has been a great blocker, according to Ron Rivera, but he has been inconsistent in fantasy. Part of the reason for the inconsistency is poor play from Cam Newton.
Newton has only thrown for better than 55% completion percentage in 2 of 5 games this season. That type of play from your quarterback will lead to poor play in fantasy from his wide receivers.
LaFell has failed to take the next step in his career, but really whose fault is it? If you own LaFell he will be a risk/reward play the rest of the season.
Rivera said a few days of rest for tight end Greg Olsen is just what he needed. The tight end injured his foot during the Arizona game and missed practice earlier in the week but took all his necessary reps on Friday and is probable for Sunday.
Pyro's take: It was a little worrisome earlier in the week when Olsen was sporting the walking boot, but he looks like he will be just fine for the game this week versus the Vikings, and he is a good start this week.
Greg Olsen in walking boot, but expects to play Sunday
Panthers tight end Greg Olsen's injury looks worse than it actually is.
Olsen has been walking around this week with a protective boot on his left foot -- even wearing it to Wednesday's practice, which he did not participate in.
But Olsen expects to increase his activity level at Thursday's practice, and plans to play in Sunday's game at Minnesota. Olsen said he injured his left foot during the Week 5 loss at Arizona, but did not indicate how it happened or the extent of it.
"It's all right. I'll be fine. It's more precautionary. I should be able to do some more stuff tomorrow," Olsen said Wednesday. "I don't expect to miss any time."
Pyro's take: Olsen has been productive this season with 21 catches for 273 yards and touchdown in 4 games. Olsen had 5 catches for 79 yards in the first half last week before sustaining the injury, which are the statistics he finished the game with. Olsen says he will be ready for this weeks game against the Vikings, and that would be good as he could be in store for a lot of yards, as the Vikings have struggled to cover the tight end this season.
veteran running back Jonathan Stewart is on track to come off the physically unable to perform list when he's eligible in Week 7, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said recently. Stewart continues to rehab his surgically repaired right ankle.
Without a trusted backup, DeAngelo Williams has averaged 20 carries a game and is the league's third-leading rusher with 291 yards through three games.
Pyro's take: Stewart will definitely eat into DeAngelo's carries when he returns, which means this is a great time to put Williams on the trading block and see what you can get in return for him. The problem for these Carolina running backs is while they may get some decent yards the touchdowns are few and far between and split between the 3 backs and Cam Newton. Sell high on DeAngelo if you own him.
For the first time in the Cam Newton era, the Carolina Panthers will face consecutive teams with quarterbacks of African-American descent after hosting Russell Wilson’s Seahawks and traveling to E.J. Manuel’s Bills on Sunday.
There were an NFL-high nine black or biracial quarterbacks who started in Week 1. One media outlet has dubbed it, “ The Golden Age of the Black Quarterbacks.”
Newton isn’t throwing a party.
“You don’t have a bar mitzvah just because you’re a starting African-American quarterback in this league,” Newton said Wednesday. “Even though I’m a fan of everybody, I can’t say I just root for Michael Vick, (Robert Griffin III), Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick. I still feel like I learn just as much from Michael Vick as I do from Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or even RG3.”
Pyro's take: I love the bar mitzvah shout out, but it is good to see that Cam is more focused on having a good game this week. Cam only threw for 125 yards and 1 touchdown in week 1 adding 38 yards on the ground, but that was against a stout Seahawks defense. This week Newton draws the Bills and and he should find a lot more open passing and running lanes, and should have a solid fantasy performance.
Stewart played in just nine games last season, and there's no telling when he'll be recovered enough to play football in 2013. Panthers coach Ron Rivera admitted Tuesday that Stewart might start the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which would knock the running back out of the first six games of the season. Stewart is recovering from ankle surgeries.
"At this point, anything is an option," Rivera said, via The Associated Press. "What you're hoping is you can get him on the football field, and we'll see once the doctor gets a chance to look at him."
That's a big change in tone from last week, when Rivera believed Stewart was on track to play in Week 1.
Pyro's take: This is tough news for Stewart, but good news for DeAngelo Williams and those of us who have been hoping to see one guy lead the way for the Panthers.
Stewart is a player that has never really jumped to the level that many expected to him to reach earlier in his career. Stewart also does not have many great plays that come to mind, unlike Williams who I can recall breaking long runs more than once.
Williams will get a boost in his rankings and if Stewart does hit the PUP list he will not be worth drafting unless you are in a really deep league.
How will Panthers new OC Mike Shula affect Cam Newton in 2013?
When 2011-12 Panthers OC Rob Chudzinski signed on to be the Cleveland Browns head coach back in January, Carolina decided to stay in-house, promoting QB coach, Mike Shula, to be their new offensive coordinator. Since then, Shula showed throughout OTAs that his plan is to move away from the zone-read/option calls and get Newton to make more plays from the pocket.
Pyro's take: That's all fine and dandy, but we're not totally buying it. Shula may indeed try to infuse a more "normal" rushing attack using his RBs instead of Cam, but with Jonathan Stewart coming off of offseason surgery to both ankles, DeAngelo Williams just turning 30 (in April) and Mike Tolbert more of a short-yardage option, we expect Newton to continue his ways as one of the most dominant running quarterbacks in NFL history. Besides, Shula's recent history would agree with us. In his last six years as a QB coach in the NFL (Jaguars, 2007-10; Dolphins, 2011-12), his quarterback ranked amongst the Top-4 in rushing attempts during each of those six seasons (David Garrard, Cam Newton). Basically, Cam should continue to be graded as a mid- to top-end fantasy QB1 in 2013.
Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey (knee) has been practicing with the team all week, but has been doing so on a limited basis.
Pyro's take: It definitely looks like Shock will be playing this Sunday, but likely won't be close to 100% if he does. Our guess is that he ends up playing up that limp of his the moment he drops that first pass.
The Chicago Bears announced today that they have signed Mike Martz to be their offensive coordinator for the 2010 season. Terms of the contract have yet to be disclosed.
Pyro's take: Finally the Bears have "their guy". After going through a lengthy search composed mainly of candidates who pulled out of the running before an offer was even made, Chicago ended up settling for someone who had no problem ripping Jay Cutler to shreds early on in 2009. In order to mend possible broken bridges between the two, Martz immediately flew down to Tennessee to speak with Cutler after his interview.
Animosity aside, Cutler stands to gain the most fantasy-wise from the hiring, while TE Greg Olsen stands to lose the most. Martz has never been one to integrate the tight end into his offensive schemes, but wide receivers Devin Hester, Devin Aromashodu, Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett could be in for a nice uptick in value, as should RB Matt Forte.
Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey (knee) hasn't practiced with the team the last three days and is being listed on the injury report as questionable for the Super Bowl.
Pyro's take: Even though the Saints are practicing as if Shockey won't be available come Super Sunday, the eccentric tight end vows he will play in the big game.
"There's no holding the reins back," Shockey said. "I'll do everything I can, even it that requires hurting myself, to win the game because you got a lot of time to rehab and things of that nature to get right in the offseason."
01/30/10, 02:00 PM CST by Dawgmaticå
Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey (knee) is active for the playoff game against the Vikings today.
Pyro's take: Pretty much everybody is active and ready to go for the high-powered Saints, but don't expect too much from the controversial tight end. He'll likely be used as a decoy for much of the game as he gimps around on his bum knee.
Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey (knee) didn't practice all week and is being listed as questionable on the team's injury report.
Pyro's take: Shockey will be a game-time decision come Sunday. He seemed to re-injure himself last week during his touchdown catch and was a complete non-factor from then on out. Even if he plays, we don't expect too much from him because of the injury.
Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams has been declared inactive for the game against the Saints today.
Pyro's take: Williams just barely got over 200 carries this year after going for 273 the year before. When he was in there, he was a RB1 for your fantasy team, but he didn't come near the production of the 2008 season. He'll be a first-round pick again next year, especially with Carolina likely to have an easier schedule.
01/03/10, 11:30 AM CST by Dawgmaticå
Coach John Fox and the Panthers did not offer any new news Monday morning on the left ankle injury suffered by running back DeAngelo Williams.
Pyro's take: Williams left Sunday's game late in the first quarter with the injury and did not return. Jonathan Stewart took full advantage of the opportunity rushing for 109 yards with 2 TDs, one rushing and one receiving. The 100-yard game was the first the Vikings had given up since the Packers Ryan Grant ran for 119 yards back on November 11th, 2007, 38 games ago.
Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey (toe) was declared inactive for the game against the Cowboys tonight.
Pyro's take: The guy has been pretty lame over the last month and a half, never catching more than 4 balls or going over 50 yards in receiving. David Thomas will see a lot more action with Shockey out, so if you need a last ditch replacement on your fantasy team, grab Thomas and roll with it.
12/19/09, 05:15 PM CST by Dawgmaticå