While there initially appeared to be some talk about a committee approach at tight end for the Panthers in Week 14, when it was all said and done, Ian Thomas was the obvious beneficiary of Greg Olsen’s absence. It wasn’t like he struggled to make an impact, either. The second-year tight end would finish Carolina’s 40-20 loss to Atlanta with five receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown. He played an eye-popping 85.9% of the Panthers’ offensive snaps, he saw a significant 24.4% target share on Kyle Allen’s 41 attempted passes, and his 10 raw targets actually matched Olsen’s season-high. Thomas was everything you could have wanted and more if you streamed him or used him in DFS last Sunday.
Whether or not he can repeat the feat in now the question. Despite being able to log limited practice sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; Olsen was not able to clear the league’s concussion protocol and he will miss Week 15’s matchup with Seattle. Spoiler alert: It’s a really, really good matchup. The Seahawks come into their contest with the Panthers having allowed the most catches per game to opposing TEs in 2019 (6.5). However, that’s not where their list of deficiencies end, as the team has also surrendered 70.5 receiving yards per contest to the position, along with a whopping 25% target share - both representing the second-worst marks in the NFC.
Fantasy Football Analysis, Carolina Panthers TE Ian Thomas
Priced at the minimum on DraftKings last week, Thomas quickly validated himself to the Fantasy Football community with his impressive performance against the Falcons. I can understand the hesitation go back to well in consecutive weeks, yet Thomas’ combination of implied volume and positive matchup make him an unavoidable asset at an always shallow position. Get a piece where you can.