Quarterback Cam Newton is known for more of his own big-play ability, and some are worried that will limit the value of his receivers. Newton has posted two seasons of 700 or more rushing yards, and in 2013, the 25-year-old quarterback ran for 585 yards. He has also recorded 28 rushing touchdowns in this three-year career, so it is easy to see why some fantasy players would have concerns drafting Olsen.
Newton, however, has been able to make his receivers fantasy relevant. Steve Smith recorded 1,174 receiving yards and scored four touchdowns in 2012. Things were a little more evenly distributed in 2013, as Smith and Olsen both received 109 targets. Smith’s receiving yards decreased from the previous year with 745 yards, but Olsen was able to haul in 816 receiving yards and scored six touchdowns. While he isn’t posting Peyton Manning-like stats, Newton can still bring value to his receivers.
With a depleted group of receivers, Newton is going to rely heavily on Olsen. As I mentioned above, Smith was targeted 109 times last season, and all of those looks will have to go somewhere. The Panthers do appear to have a weapon in rookie Kelvin Benjamin, but he is still an unproven commodity. Outside of Benjamin, Olsen has very little competition as Newton’s go-to guy.
Newton is also currently recovering from several injury issues, and he will most likely be more timid in running the football to start off the season. That means increased targets for Olsen. I have tried to draft the 29-year-old tight end in almost every draft I have been involved with, and I am buying into him with all my chips.
For a player generally being drafted fairly late, Olsen is an extreme value that everyone should take advantage of.