Carolina Panthers Week 15 Fantasy Football

Now that Derek Anderson will lead the passing attack for the Carolina Panthers in Week 15, what does that mean for the fantasy football value of Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart?

Interestingly enough, Anderson will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the same team he started against in Week 1, when Cam Newton was still recovering from injuries. Teams can rise and fall at various points of the season, but there has not been much of a rise for either the Panthers or the Buccaneers. With only two wins for Tampa Bay and four for Carolina, this will not be a game featuring two offensive juggernauts.

There are a ton of questions this week in the fantasy football universe about whether or not to start Olsen, and if Stewart can be trusted with DeAngelo Williams potentially returning to action. I will shortly address those concerns.

Without taking the first game these two teams met into consideration, the Buccaneers’ defense currently ranks 24th against the pass, and 20th against the rush. The team has a difficult time containing each facet of an offense, and the Panthers’ offense must find a balanced attack for success.

Now if you have Olsen, you are worried about Benjamin cutting into his productive, as well as Anderson’s abilities as a quarterback. While the backup quarterback did connect with Benjamin on six out of eight targets for 92 yards and a touchdown, Anderson targeted Olsen 11 times, and the 29-year old tight end hauled in eight receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown of his own. While Benjamin slightly outperformed his teammate in terms of yardage, Olsen actually outscored Benjamin in PPR formats. Benjamin has a great physical presence, and anything Anderson tosses up, the rookie wide receiver can come down with. While the defense tries to contain the rookie, Olsen will take advantage of short yard gains and redzone targets, which obviously gives him solid value in PPR leagues.

Don’t be afraid to roll with Olsen in Week 15.

As far as Stewart goes, I think people are making too big a deal of the return of DeAngelo Williams. While Williams did receive the bulk of the carries(14) in Week 1, the Charlotte Observer speculates that Williams will not see the field in Week 15, and Marty Gitlin of CBSSports.com reported that head coach Ron Rivera stated Williams will probably not play on Sunday, despite practicing on Thursday.

I’m not sure if Stewart can repeat his success of 155 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in Week 14, but this is still a nice matchup. I am in a situation where I can either use Stewart, Roy Helu, Greg Jennings, Reggie Wayne, Kenny Britt or Jared Cook in a flex spot, and I am going with Stewart. Newton helped to open up the running game, but that doesn’t mean Stewart still couldn’t find success against the 20th ranked rush defense of the Buccaneers.

I don’t think this is going to be a showcasing of offensive talent, and the game should be incredibly close. With that said, the Panthers have already defeated the Buccaneers this season, the team is riding high after it stomped New Orleans and the Buccaneers’ defense is equally vulnerable against the rush and the pass.

Don’t be afraid to start Olsen, and if you are in a situation where you have to start Stewart, you could do a lot worse.

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