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What to do with Curtis Samuel in Week 6 fantasy football

Curtis Samuel’s been disappointing the past couple of games, yet will he turn things around versus Tampa Bay?

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel catches a touchdown pass against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy in the second quarter at State Farm Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

You’re not going to have a lot of time to decide whether or not you want to play Curtis Samuel in Week 6, as Carolina’s contest with Tampa Bay kicks off over three hours before the main slate on games on Sunday, but the prospect of the wide receiver is definitely worth exploring. Samuel’s underwhelmed since back-to-back impressive performances in Week 2 and Week 3, managing only six catches for 51 yards across the Panthers’ past two matchups. However, despite these modest returns, Samuel’s path to a huge fantasy output remains clear. His 37 targets sit only two behind both Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, while his 524 air yards stand as the 10th most of any WR in the league.

This is the type of matchup where those hypothetical yards could become tangible, too. Though the Buccaneers come into this weekend boasting the NFL’s top run defense by DVOA, teams have been able to find success in the air against them. Tampa Bay has not only induced the most opponent passing attempts per game of any squad in football (43.6), they’ve also surrendered the most yards per contest to rival receiving corps (214.8). Put simply, coaches know the way to beat the Bucs is by exploiting their secondary and they do it. A lot.

Fantasy Football Analysis, Carolina Panthers WR Curtis Samuel

Even in one of the week’s better situations, Samuel’s boom-or-bust nature makes him a high-end WR3 at best. Still, that’s more than enough to make a player viable with four teams on their scheduled bye. Additionally, this is probably you’re last opportunity to use Samuel for a couple of games, as Carolina has San Francisco and Tennessee on the horizon. Especially in standard formats, I’ll be taking another chance on the 23-year-old’s immense upside.

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