2013 Fantasy Football Notes: Carolina Panthers-Baltimore Ravens Preseason Game

By Jim Heath
Cam Newton Joe Flacco
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers‘ offense may have lacked a spark on Thursday night versus defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, but their defense and special teams did not.

In fact, Carolina scored a touchdown on a Ted Ginn Jr. punt return, a touchdown on a Drayton Florence 71-yard interception return, Thomas Davis on a two-yard fumble return for a touchdown, and the Panthers scored a field goal after Luke Kuechly picked off Joe Flacco.

Of course, defense is a volatile position in fantasy football, but this effort has to pique the interest of any GM looking for a bargain. Speaking of defense, is there a better IDP guy than Carolina’s Kuechly? He once again had a huge effort solidifying his probability of being the first overall IDP guy off boards in league drafts.

It was hard to find fantasy relevant news when glancing through the Panthers’ offensive box score. Cam Newton completed 10-of-19 passes for 99 yards and added 20 yards on two rushes. Tight end Greg Olsen caught three balls for 44 yards. Very little flash, even less excitement.

Despite the loss, the Ravens’ offense did find success Thursday. Flacco finished the night 18-of-24 for 169 yards and a touchdown. Rookie receiver Marlon Brown led the Ravens with four grabs for 59 yards and a score. Recently-signed Brandon Stokley contributed with three grabs and 43 yards.

Ray Rice, who has drawn criticism about a possible decline this fantasy season, had a solid effort Thursday. Rice carried the rock 16 times for 62 yards and a score – certainly a sight for Rice owners’ sore eyes.

The Panthers were victorious in this game, but there has to be some genuine concern about the offense. Not only did the Panthers’ offense lack spark Thursday night, they have lacked spark all preseason. Yes, it is preseason, so we temper our assumptions of each game. With that said, the Panthers have been less than spectacular through the air, and they have a nonexistent ground game this preseason.

I won’t say the sky is falling … not just yet.

That said, I certainly wouldn’t blame any fantasy GM that owns a Panthers offensive guy for being a bit concerned.

Jim Heath is a Fantasy Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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