The Carolina Panthers‘ defense was a work in progress last year, performing inconsistently, but showing continued signs of improvement under Sean McDermott. It seems the defensive coordinator has finally conjured up the magic formula, however, because his defense has been one of the most ferocious units in the league all season.
Carolina’s been allowing an average of 13.5 points per game to opponents, the best in the NFL. They’ve been great against the pass, giving up just eight touchdowns through the air in 10 games thus far. They’ve been even better against the run, incredibly giving up a mere three touchdowns on the ground all year. Only the Tennessee Titans have permitted fewer passing touchdowns and no team has allowed fewer rushing.
Occasionally we see strong defenses that don’t actually generate a lot of fantasy points, but that’s not the case with the Panthers. In their last three games, they have nine sacks, five interceptions, three fumble recoveries and a touchdown. They’re averaging 12.5 fantasy points per week, a very solid number for a defense. They also have an especially friendly matchup this week against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins, who were already giving up a lot of points to opposing defenses, will now be playing without three of their five starting offensive linemen. The door is wide open for Luke Kuechly and co. to terrorize Ryan Tannehill all afternoon, as they should obviously have very little trouble getting to him. Tannehill’s been sacked more than any quarterback in the league this season and with his o-line in absolute shambles, things can only get worse.
Make sure Carolina’s in your lineup this week because they could wind up having one of the biggest fantasy performances of all on Sunday. And if you’re a Dolphins’ fan, good luck and godspeed.