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Start or sit Greg Olsen in Week 1 fantasy football?

From almost-retired to fantasy starter. Fire up Greg Olsen in a fantastic matchup at home.

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen catches a pass during practice at Bank of America Stadium. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

You’re most likely reading this because you either failed to draft one of the top-three Tight Ends (TE) this season or you’re looking for a cheap DFS option. What if I told you there’s a TE who contemplated retirement this offseason, is coming off a lower-body injury, has missed 16 games over the last two seasons and totaled the same amount of touchdowns over the last three season as he did back in 2015? Would that be something you might be interested in?

If not, you should be. The Carolina TE is in a fantastic matchup this week.

Although the 2019 Panthers have the best collection of pass-catchers they’ve had in the Cam Newton era, we might have to wait for a breakout game from either D.J. Moore or Curtis Samuel. Both Wide Receivers (WR) will draw Los Angeles’ top pass defenders in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, opening up the potential for Olsen to have more volume and potential to outperform his projection over his counterparts. Christian McCaffrey will get his, but he may not have the prolific pass-catching success we’re all hoping for with the Rams allowing the fourth lowest receiving yards per game to opposing running backs last season.

McVay told reporters Todd Gurley will not be ‘held back’ against the Panthers, but he may think twice about sending Gurley into one of the best defensive lines coming into this season and opting to attack this defense through the air, a pass defense who gave up the eight most fantasy points to opposing WR’s and the sixth most to opposing TE’s. An air attack from both teams should produce a lot of ‘fantasy goodness’, especially with an over/under set at 50.

Even though Christian McCaffrey has thwarted Olsen’s upside, there is still a path to success for the 34-year old: The Rams gave up the second most yards per game (67.0) and the third most targets to opposing Tight Ends (8.2) last season. Cam Newton’s completion percentage in 2018 was his career best at 67.9%; the main reason being the drop of his average depth of target (aDOT). He went from second in aDOT between 2011 to 2016 (10.3 yards) to 26th last season (8.5 yards). Olsen has been Newton’s most trusted pass-catcher throughout his career. Back in 2016, Olsen’s last full season, he was targeted eight times a game with an average of 8.3 yards per target.

Don’t be surprised if we see a solid performance from the ‘almost-retired’ Olsen this week against the defending NFC Champions.

Advice: Start