The Carolina Panthers have named Baker Mayfield their starting quarterback for their Week 1 game against the Cleveland Browns, per Adam Schefter. The revenge game is official, even though it has long been expected to happen ever since Carolina acquired Mayfield.
The Panthers have had fantasy football relevant quarterback in the past, thanks to the supporting cast. Running back Christian McCaffrey, wide receivers DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson and tight end Tommy Tremble are solid assets that should help Mayfield improve over his ADP.
Fantasy football analysis: Baker Mayfield
Fantasy outlook for Baker Mayfield
At FantasyPros, Mayfield is being drafted as the overall QB24. Now that he has been named the starter, I’d expect this to improve. Even with a rocky end to his tenure with the Browns, Mayfield is the best quarterback the Panthers have had in three years. He won’t be as mobile as Cam Newton was in his heyday, but Mayfield is certainly an upgrade over the Teddy Bridgewater/Sam Darnold/PJ Walker combo from a year ago. This is a shot at career redemption for Mayfield, and his shtick is performing in these moments. Mayfield being named the starter should see his ADP jump up to the QB18-20 range. He still isn’t going to be a start every week type of quarterback but could be a bye week fill-in given the matchup.
How Baker Mayfield starting impacts Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson
The fantasy outlook for McCaffrey could only get higher if he was guaranteed to stay healthy for the entire season. Mayfield being named the starter should solidify him as the RB2 for fantasy drafts, and the only person that can change that is CMC himself.
Moore is being drafted as the WR15 in half-PPR scoring, with Robbie Anderson coming in at WR74. Moore may actually still be over-drafted in fantasy football. He is going right behind Jaylen Waddle of the Miami Dolphins and ahead of Diontae Johnson from the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’d rather have both of those receivers, even though Moore should see a high target share.
Anderson is being under drafted even though he has let fantasy managers down in the past. He should be going in the WR55-65 range even though this means he is still not really fantasy relevant. Tremble should be drafted in fantasy football leagues, but keep an eye out for his involvement in the first week and see if he warrants a waiver wire.