Most Underrated Player: Panthers
Published by Michael Garrity
After nine seasons, Cam Newton and the Panthers officially parted ways in the offseason. Newton was released in March 2020 after the Panthers failed to find a trade partner. Without Newton, the Panthers were without a solid starting Quarterback. Insert Teddy Bridgewater. After signing a three year, $63 million contract, Bridgewater looks to be the clear QB1 come the first week of the season. Fantasy wise, Bridgewater has great value for being a starter on the Panthers, and here's why.
Bridgewater showed his capabilities as a starting quarterback last season in Weeks two-seven, as he started five out of six games. In that span, Bridgewater posted four double-digit fantasy point performances, three of which were above twenty points. What's even more impressive is Bridgewater faced three tough matchups in CHI, DAL, and SEA, and still managed to put up decent QB1 numbers. With his solid Sig PPG (17.12), and combined point total of 85.6 (12th among QB1’s during span), Bridgwater showed he can produce solid numbers as a starter.
Bridgewater enters the Panthers offense with many weapons at his disposal. With the best receiving back in football (Christian McCaffrey), a top-15 Wide Receiver in DJ Moore, and two speed demons in Curtis Samuel and Robby Anderson, he has all the tools for a successful first season in North Carolina. Bridgewater won’t find a receiver like Michael Thomas on the Panthers, but he can certainly make do with what has been given to him. A big part of his success will not only come from McCaffrey, but from DJ Moore.
Moore has one of the best upsides as a receiver in the entire NFL for the 2020 season. After a solid sophomore season, Moore showed many signs for a bright future. With the third best TD dependency (10.4%), and a high consistency rating (0.371), all signs point towards an increase in every statline. Along with Bridgewater having the easiest SOS in the NFL, and Moore having the third easiest, these two could end the season as a Top-10 QB-WR duo in 2020.
Bridgewater is currently being drafted as the 25th QB off the board in fantasy drafts. This is around the late 14-15th round. He is being drafted behind rookies Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa, in which both won’t start come Week one. As it stands, drafting Bridgewater that late is fantastic value for a starting Quarterback. He will serve as a nice backup option behind a week-to-week starter you may have drafted early. Wilson, Ryan, Brees, and Allen are all good examples. With a fantastic young supporting cast, uncrowded QB room, and easy SOS, Bridgewater could find himself as a reliable fantasy QB come the middle of the season.