With Greg Olsen reportedly breaking his foot, the Carolina Panthers will turn to Ed Dickson at the tight end position.
Olsen was sidelined with a right foot injury in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. In the second half, he returned on crutches and wearing a walking boot and didn’t return to the game. An emotional Olsen confirmed fantasy owners and Panthers fans’ worst fears: he has a broken foot.
The Panthers haven’t yet disclosed how long he’ll be sidelined for, but it almost assuredly will be a good portion of weeks.
The injury is a huge loss for the Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton. Last year, Olsen became the first tight end in NFL history to have three-straight seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving, and he was one of the top-ranked tight ends coming into the season.
Olsen’s average draft position in fantasy leagues was in round 4.52 (44.35 overall), according to Fantasy Sports Portal, and most experts had him ranked within the top three at the tight end position.
With Olsen out for the foreseeable future, the focus turns to Dickson.
So far this season, Dickson’s rarely been utilized. He was targeted just once in the opener against the 49ers and three times against the Bills. But with Olsen out, Dickson will undoubtedly get more field time and looks from Newton.
Dickson’s best season came in 2011 as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. He caught 54 passes for 528 yards and 5 touchdowns. Those aren’t exactly Olsen-like numbers, and that was also seven seasons ago. The 6-foot-4 tight end is now 30-years old and isn’t nearly as explosive as he once was.
Would he be worth taking a flyer on in deep leagues? Not quite yet.
Instead, it’s Newton’s receivers that should see a boost in targets.
Then, there’s tight end Chris Manhertz. He’s is in his third NFL season after signing an undrafted free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills in 2015. He ended up being released from the Bills’ preseason roster and spent the 2015-16 season on the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad and made his NFL debut before being released and claimed off waivers by the Panthers.
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Last season, he played in four games and caught his only career reception for 10 yards. Basically, he will not be a feasible fantasy player and isn’t worth a waiver wire claim.