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Projecting Carolina Panthers skill position depth chart and fantasy impact

The Panthers hope they can get Sam Darnold and their offense back on the path to success.

Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers and D.J. Moore #12 of the Carolina Panthers during the first half of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Bank of America Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Coach Matt Rhule’s rookie season wasn’t great, but there’s little doubt he was short-handed. His star, do-it-all running back Christian McCaffrey was out for all but two and a half games. Teddy Bridgewater also wasn’t the answer at quarterback, as he threw just 15 touchdowns to 11 interceptions in 15 games.

The team doesn’t appear to be on the verge of the playoffs, but there is talent there. If Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady can turn Sam Darnold’s path around, their chances for a quicker franchise turnaround go way up.

Quarterback

  1. Sam Darnold
  2. P.J. Walker
  3. Will Grier
  4. Tommy Stevens

Running back

  1. Christian McCaffrey
  2. Chuba Hubbard
  3. Rodney Smith
  4. Reggie Bonnafon

Wide receiver

  1. D.J. Moore
  2. Robby Anderson
  3. David Moore
  4. Terrace Marshall
  5. Brandon Zylstra
  6. Shi Smith

Tight end

  1. Dan Arnold
  2. Ian Thomas
  3. Tommy Tremble
  4. Colin Thompson

Biggest offseason changes

The Panthers traded for ex-Jets first rounder Sam Darnold in hopes of extracting better football from him as the Jets move on to Zach Wilson. Curtis Samuel left in free agency and the Panthers picked up ex-Seahawks wide receiver David Moore and drafted Terrace Marshall late in the second round.

Running back Mike Davis moved on to Atlanta, but Christian McCaffrey will once again lead the way after returning from injury. Fourth round pick Chuba Hubbard appears in line to take over the backup role in the backfield. The Panthers hope not to need him as much as they needed Davis last season.

The team added ex-Saints tight end Dan Arnold to the tight end group. Ian Thomas hasn’t panned out, so Arnold has a chance to win the job.

Biggest questions for fantasy football

The biggest unknown for fantasy is Sam Darnold. Will he be able to improve on Bridgewater? We can’t expect him to be a fantasy asset, but it wouldn’t be that difficult to improve on 15 touchdown passes for his receivers. Darnold has a stronger arm and even if he has trouble with turnovers and wins, he still should give Moore and Anderson better looks and fantasy upside.