Panthers Start or Sit: Week 10

Entering Week Ten, the Carolina Panthers have a hot hand. Who can fantasy owners turn to for a good performance this week?

After a successful trip west, the Carolina Panthers are back at home and face the Kansas City Chiefs this week. Under center for the Chiefs will be Alex Smith, who missed the past week while under concussion protocol. However, the Chiefs will be without the services of Pro Bowl linebacker Justin Houston and receiver, Jeremy Maclin.

Fortunately for the Panthers, Luke Kuechly was not listed on the injury report at all this week and should be 100 percent on Sunday. Unfortunately, both Ryan Kalil and Gino Gradkowski are questionable with different injuries. Should neither be able to start, backup guard Chris Scott would be the starting center for Carolina. Other notables for the Panthers are that safety Colin Jones is out with a concussion while linebacker Shaq Thompson may return for Sunday’s matchup.

Defensively, Kansas City is a bit of a mixed bag for Carolina. While Kansas City is ninth best in average points per game allowed, they also have let up the eighth most rushing yards with an average of 124 yards allowed per game. Kansas City also is first in total team takeaways, with 20 in just eight games.

So what Carolina Panthers can you expect to lead your fantasy team to victory this week?

START:

Jonathan Stewart, RB- While the Rams held Jonathan Stewart to only 42 yards, he was still able to carry the rock 15 times. It is clear that despite injuries plaguing the 2016 campaign for Stewart, he is still the premier back in the Carolina offense. In Stewart’s five games started this year, he has been handed the ball 79 times for an average of just under 16 times a game.

Nov 6, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) is defended by Los Angeles Rams defensive end William Hayes (95) during a NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Panthers defeated the Rams 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the Chiefs defense allowing 125 yards rushing per game and on the road, look for Stewart to have a solid day.

Greg Olsen, TE- Last week, the only one to reach the end zone for Carolina was “Ole Reliable” Greg Olsen. Guess what? Olsen will probably find it again this week as well. Without having to deal with the coverage of linebacker Houston, Olsen may already be on his way to a big game.

“They’re (Kansas City) sound, they play what they play, and they have a lot of good players,” is how Olsen described the Chiefs defense earlier in the week. Despite Kansas City’s good players, Olsen himself is one of the league’s premier tight ends. Through eight games, Olsen has 673 yards which is on pace for a career high.

SIT:

Ted Ginn Jr., WR- While Ted Ginn Jr. was targeted seven times and came down with five grabs for 40 yards last week, the inconsistency for a receiver coming off of a ten touchdown campaign last season is the biggest reason that fantasy owners should shy away.

There is no doubt that Kelvin Benjamin has taken a very large chunk of the workload from Ginn, but it is surprising that quarterback Cam Newton has seemingly forgotten about the return specialist at times. In the past three weeks Ginn has seen five catches in each contest, so if the deep threat were to have a breakout game it could warrant fantasy owners to second guess their decision to keep him on the bench. But for now, it is best to leave Ginn out of the starting lineup.

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