Welcome to the week 6 edition of the Panthers DFS Guide. Before we dive into the slate, let’s review the final game of the Matt Rhule era.
WEEK 5 RECAP
Watching the Panthers offense is akin to Phil Connors waking up to relive Groundhog Day repeatedly. They stunk again in Week 5 and Matt Rhule finally got his walking papers. From a fantasy football perspective, CMC is the only reliable option to consider at this point.
WEEK 6 MAIN SLATE OVERVIEW & POSSIBLE PANTHER OPTIONS
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, the Panthers/Rams game has a game total of 41.5, which is the lowest total on the slate. Additionally, the Panthers are 10 point underdogs. Congrats to the Panthers for having the lowest total on the slate two weeks in a row! Billy Bob from Varsity Blues would definitely not give this game a 10 from a viewing perspective, especially when the Bills and Chiefs game is in the same viewing window.
With running backs such as James Conner, Cam Akers and Rashaad Penny out, there are a number of pay down options at the position this week. Eno Benjamin, Darrell Henderson Jr & Kenneth Walker III will be extremely popular on all sites and will likely be played by 25-40% of the field. Additionally, Rhamondre Stevenson is in a great matchup against the Browns and is projected to be played by over 30% of the field. He is more expensive than the other outlined backs, but that will not deter the field from this advantageous matchup.
Paying down at running back will allow teams to pay up for expensive QB options such as Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes.
Just like last week, if you’re looking to play any Panthers on the main 11 game slate, CMC would be the only consideration in tournaments. He is projected to be played by less than 10% of the field – if the Panthers are to have any chance in this game, he will have to do the heavy lifting.
P.J. Walker will get his third career start for the Panthers. In his two other starts, he attempted 34 and 29 passes. Those starts came under former Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady. It is hard to project how Ben McAdoo will use him. Walker has only thrown for 2 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions in 10 career games. He hasn’t offered anything in the running game either, with only 12 total attempts for 11 yards.
While the Rams offense has struggled, they still have elite pieces on their defense. If you have a conviction on Walker and one of his pass catchers, feel free to go for it in a large field tournament.
For me, I will definitely have CMC in a few of my lineups. If I want to get frisky, I’ll pair D.J. Moore with P.J. Walker in an extremely large field tournament.
SINGLE GAME SHOWDOWN: POSSIBLE CAPTAIN/MVP PLAYS
DK CPT/FLEX SALARY
Tyler Higbee (DK only)
Darrell Henderson Jr (DK only)
As noted earlier – the Panthers will need CMC to go beast mode in order to win this game. He has been the only player to produce relevant fantasy production in this awful offense.
With news breaking on Friday afternoon that Cam Akers would not play on Sunday, Darrell Henderson will likely be extremely popular in all lineup builds. His low salary can help players fit in both CMC and Kupp into their lineups. If using Akers with both CMC and Kupp, be mindful of the other players you use in your lineup to ensure your lineup remains unique.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN said the Panthers plan to sit Jaycee Horn. Not that a player of Kupp’s stature needs any help, but Horn’s absence boosts his ceiling even more.
With the Rams offensive line doing their best impression of the Panthers 2021 offensive line, Matt Stafford has not been airing it out deep. Per Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis, 80.2% of his passing attempts have been below 10 yards, which is the highest in the league.
Tyler Higbee has received 24 targets over the last two weeks with the Rams offensive line in shambles. He’s a better option on DraftKings as opposed to FanDuel. Higbee would need to score a touchdown to really pay off on FanDuel.
POSSIBLE FLEX PLAYS
DK FLEX SALARY
If you play Kupp at captain, you’ll want to include Stafford as a flex play. Walker and Moore offer a contrarian build in a single game showdown lineup as most of the field tries to fit CMC and Kupp into their lineups.
Per Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus, the Rams have allowed 84 pressures through five weeks. Even with Horn likely sitting, the Panthers defense can still get after the quarterback with Brian Burns on the edge and offer players salary relief.
The year-on-year decline of the Rams OL is one of the steepest in recent memory
They’ve allowed the most pressures in the league (84) after allowing 7th-fewest in 2021 (144)
— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) October 10, 2022
We all know the Panthers offense has been dreadful, so the Rams are in play here. The Rams still have Aaron Donald – who can single handedly wreck a game.
Aaron Donald currently tied for No. 4 in the NFL in pressures (22), per @TruMediaSports; in Week 5 he had a 33.3% pressure rate and his two sacks came from rushing as an OLB/wide 9. https://t.co/lAhaAOCucZ
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 13, 2022
With the low projected point total, kickers are in play again this week.