Originally posted: October 11, 2017
Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers, 8:25 PM ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, NC
Weather Forecast: Mostly Cloudy
Gametime Temperature: 74°F
Probability of Precipitation: 2%
Wind Impact: LIGHT – NE at 7 MPH
QB Carson Wentz
Carson Wentz is QB6 through five weeks, but three of his five games were against teams that are currently top-10 in fantasy points allowed to the position. The challenge is greater on the road with a short week this time against a Panthers defense allowing the ninth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Carolina is also top-10 in our aFPA vs. QB rankings. For that reason, Wentz is a fringe QB1 in 12-team leagues this week.
RB LeGarrette Blount
Even with Darren Sproles on IR, and even with Wendell Smallwood out last week, LeGarrette Blount STILL couldn’t crack the 40% snaps barrier. He’s yet to do it this season, and that simply will continue to limit his upside for a player that has a track record of being inefficient and relying on touchdowns for big weeks. He also has not caught more than one pass in any game this season. Consider him a FLEX option in Week 6 on Thursday night against a Panthers defense ranked in the top 10 of our aFPA vs. RBs.
RB Corey Clement
Any ideas of Corey Clement taking over all of Wendell Smallwood’s touches last week were dashed when Kenjon Barner also got some backfield work. This is a three-man committee with LeGarrette Blount involved as well, rendering Clement somebody you don’t want to start on Thursday night.
WR Alshon Jeffery
Alshon Jeffery was shut down last week by Patrick Peterson, but the Panthers provide some opportunities for success on Thursday night. Carolina allowed 5 touchdowns to Saints and Patriots WRs in Weeks 3 and 4. Take out last week’s obvious bad CB matchup and Jeffery averaged 8.5 targets the first four weeks. Jeffery is back in WR2 status this week.
WR Nelson Agholor
Nelson Agholor has been boom-or-bust this season, with two 19-point+ PPR games and three sandwiched in between with fewer than 10 PPR points. In fact, 2 long touchdowns have accounted for 44.6 percent of his PPR points this season. That’s the kind of inconsistency you can’t rely on in your starting lineup.
WR Torrey Smith
Torrey Smith had a long touchdown last week, but that one play accounts for 33% of his PPR points this entire season. You can’t start a player like that. Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz are the primary targets in this offense.
TE Zach Ertz
Zach Ertz is the best tight end in fantasy football through five weeks in both standard and PPR formats. Are you starting him Thursday Night against the Panthers? Of course! His 9.6 targets per game is top-10 in the league.
K Jake Elliott
Jake Elliot didn’t play Week 1 but is still the sixth-highest scoring kicker in 2017. He’s averaging 12 fantasy points per game. However, there are some red flags on Thursday Night Football against a Panthers team ranked first in our aFPA vs. Kicker rankings. Proceed cautiously.
QB Cam Newton
After only two touchdowns and four interceptions through his first three games, Cam Newton has thrown for 6 touchdowns and only 1 interception in his last two outings, including 3 touchdowns against the Lions last week. Cam has 2 rushing touchdowns on the season, the Panthers are 4-1, and he’s looking healthier each week.
This week, Cam faces an Eagles defense that held the Cardinals to only seven points last week, but is allowing the fourth-most yards per game to opposing passers. With Cam looking sharp, and a nice matchup, he should be an excellent option in all leagues.
RB Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey gained only 38 yards last week against the Lions, but he scored the first touchdown of his NFL career. He had 5 receptions and 3 carries on the day, but was targeted 7 times in the passing game. McCaffrey is averaging 12.2 combined touches per game, and if he keeps getting that kind of work, he should continue to be valuable, especially in PPR formats. He already has 27 receptions on the season.
This week, McCaffrey should do well against the Eagles, who have been tough against the run but have allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game. The Panthers offense has improved over the past two weeks, and expect McCaffrey to be a solid RB2 option, especially in PPR formats.
RB Jonathan Stewart
Jonathan Stewart is averaging 15.4 carries per game, so he’s getting a consistent workload, but he’s only gaining 3.3 yards per carry, including only 21 yards on 18 carries last week against the Lions. Stewart is worth owning and considering in any given week due to his workload, but it’s concerning he’s been so unproductive with his opportunities.
This week he faces a tough Eagles run defense that has allowed only 3 rushing touchdowns all season, and only Denver is allowing less rushing yards per game. Stewart should be considered a fringe RB2 option at best in standard leagues, with limited value in PPR formats.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
Kelvin Benjamin had 4 catches for 58 yards and a touchdown against the Lions last week, and he’s benefited from the Panthers offense waking up over the past two weeks. Benjamin remains the top WR in the Carolina passing game—despite the recent production from Devin Funchess. He should continue to produce as long as Cam Newton plays well.
Benjamin faces an Eagles defense that held the Cardinals to seven points last week, but has given up 8 touchdown passes to opposing offenses this year. The game could end up being a shootout, which should allow Benjamin to wind up with solid WR2 numbers.
WR Devin Funchess
Devin Funchess is averaging 5.5 catches, 63.25 yards, and 0.75 touchdowns over his past four games, and has 7 receptions in each of his past two games. He had 53 yards and a touchdown against the Lions last week and looks like he’s taken a leap in his third season.
This week he faces an Eagles pass defense allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing WR. He should benefit from continued improvement throughout the Carolina offense. He may be a bit touchdown dependent, but could be worth considering as a low-end WR2 in this matchup.
TE Ed Dickson
Ed Dickson blew up against the Lions last week with 5 catches for 175 yards. He’s only gained that many yards in three of his seven previous seasons! Dickson is benefiting from additional targets as he starts in place of an injured Greg Olsen, but he’ll need to be consistent before he’s worth every-week consideration.
This week, he faces an Eagles defense allowing 12.1 fantasy PPR points per game to the tight end position and giving up the fourth-most passing yards per game this season. With some upside in a good matchup, Dickson is worth streaming in deep leagues.
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