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Hayden Hurst: Fantasy football draft profile for 2023 NFL season

We break down the outlook for Panthers TE Hayden Hurst heading into the 2023 NFL season.

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Hayden Hurst had a solid season with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2022, making it all the way to the conference championship. After his lone campaign in Cincinnati, he’s joining Bryce Young and the Carolina Panthers for the upcoming season.

2023 Fantasy Football: Hayden Hurst Profile

Recap of 2022 season

Hurst had 555 receiving yards over 65 receptions in the 2022-23 season and postseason. As a receiving option on an offense that also employed Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase, he wasn’t always the top choice, but he was a consistent short-game option for Joe Burrow. He caught three touchdowns.

Updated Panthers outlook

The Panthers got the first overall pick of the draft and selected quarterback Bryce Young, which is good news for just about any receiver on that team. The Panthers’ WR corps includes Adam Thielen, DJ Chark, and Terrace Marshall, Jr.

Best-case scenario

Hurst has been rehabbing a groin injury throughout the offseason, and if he can come back completely healthy, he could be a huge fantasy add this season. The Panthers’ offense is “very tight end friendly,” per Hurst himself, especially in the red zone. A big man outplaying his coverage is good news for any quarterback, but especially for a rookie quarterback still figuring out the pace of the pros. In a best-case scenario, Hurst finishes the season ranked top three in receiving yards on the Panthers and grabs a few extra touchdowns.

Worst case scenario

The worst-case scenario for Hurst would involve Young struggling to adjust to the NFL level of play, or the offensive line failing to protect Young. At that point, Hurst would likely be utilized more as a run blocker than as a receiving option, which would drop his fantasy value. In a different case, his groin injury could continue to nag at him and affect his playing time.

Prediction

Hurst should be a favorite target of Young’s. If the offensive line fails to protect the Panthers’ prized possession, none of the Carolina receiving corps will have much fantasy value.