GM Dan Morgan stated he'd be in search of "dogs" this offseason, and the Panthers will need to find as many canines as possible to improve upon last season's 2-15 record. With additions in free agency and the draft, including protection and new weapons for Bryce Young, the Panthers are rebuilding their roster. Despite the ongoing process, they possess the talent to expect improved results this season.  

Below the CBS Sports Fantasy staff will take a look into the Panthers' entire team outlook including changes to the top of the depth chart that matter for Fantasy, a burning question for Fantasy Football managers that needs to be answered, a review of their draft class, strength of schedule, and individual player outlooks for all of the notable Panthers players who may end up on your Fantasy rosters.

Panthers 2024 lineup changes

1/1/2024Week 1 2024 (proj)
QBBryce YoungBryce Young
RBChuba HubbardChuba Hubbard
WRAdam ThielenDiontae Johnson
WRDJ CharkAdam Thielen
WRJonathan MingoXavier Legette
TETommy TrembleTommy Tremble

Burning question: Will Bryce Young step up to the plate?

The Carolina Panthers drafted Young to be their franchise quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, his rookie season didn't meet expectations. Young faced a great deal of pressure, taking the second-most sacks among starting NFL quarterbacks last season (62) while throwing only 11 touchdowns in 16 games. Protection issues and struggles from wide receivers hindered his performance. With new weapons like Diontae Johnson and Xavier Legette, along with improvements along the offensive line, Young is poised to showcase the skills that made him the No. 1 overall pick.  

2024 NFL Draft class

132Xavier LegetteWRSouth Carolina
246Jonathon BrooksRBTexas
372Trevin WallaceLBKentucky
4101Ja'Tavion SandersTETexas
5157Chau Smith-WadeDBWashington St.
6200Jaden CrumedyDTMississippi St.
7240Michael BarrettLBMichigan

Panthers 2024 schedule

1Sep 8, 2024@New Orleans1:00 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
2Sep 15, 2024vsL.A. Chargers1:00 pmCBSBank of America Stadium
3Sep 22, 2024@Las Vegas4:05 pmCBSAllegiant Stadium
4Sep 29, 2024vsCincinnati1:00 pmFOXBank of America Stadium
5Oct 6, 2024@Chicago1:00 pmFOXSoldier Field
6Oct 13, 2024vsAtlanta4:25 pmFOXBank of America Stadium
7Oct 20, 2024@Washington4:05 pmCBSFedEx Field
8Oct 27, 2024@Denver4:25 pmCBSEmpower Field at Mile High
9Nov 3, 2024vsNew Orleans1:00 pmCBSBank of America Stadium
10Nov 10, 2024vsN.Y. Giants9:30 amNFLNAllianz Arena
12Nov 24, 2024vsKansas City1:00 pmCBSBank of America Stadium
13Dec 1, 2024vsTampa Bay4:05 pmFOXBank of America Stadium
14Dec 8, 2024@Philadelphia1:00 pmFOXLincoln Financial Field
15Dec 15, 2024vsDallas1:00 pmFOXBank of America Stadium
16Dec 22, 2024vsArizona1:00 pmFOXBank of America Stadium
17Dec 29, 2024@Tampa Bay1:00 pmCBSRaymond James Stadium
18Jan 5, 2025@AtlantaTBAMercedes-Benz Stadium

Panthers 2024 player outlooks

By Dan Schneier and CBS Fantasy staff

QB Bryce Young

Young finished 30th in Fantasy points per game as a rookie behind the likes of Zach Wilson and Aidan O'Connell. In 2024, his outlook has changed due to the significant investment the Panthers made to surround Young with more help. For starters, the Panthers hired Dave Canales to run the offense fresh off the job he did in Tampa reviving Baker Mayfield and generating a playoff-caliber offense. They upgraded the offensive line with the signings of Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis in free agency and they traded up into Round 1 to draft WR Xavier Legette. Young has looked good early in OTAs, but he still projects as a QB who should not be on your radar in one-QB leagues and only as a high-upside QB3 or back-end QB2 in Superflex and two-QB leagues.

QB Andy Dalton

Dalton started just one game in 2023 for the Panthers and he finished as the QB7 overall that week with 362 passing yards and two touchdowns. Dalton's production came on 58 passing attempts, but garbage time stats count just the same in Fantasy Football. The Panthers have doubled down on their investment in Bryce Young as they should, so Dalton is off the Fantasy radar, but he would be a sneaky QB2 in two-QB and Superflex leagues should he see playing time in 2024.  

RB Jonathon Brooks

Brooks was arguably the highest-upside RB prospect in the 2024 class due to his ability to set up blocks, force missed tackles, and operate as a receiver out of the backfield. The latter point is key here with head coach Dave Canales coming over from Tampa, where he helped fuel Rachaad White's 2023 breakout via the ninth-most targets among all RBs. White also finished with the fifth-most touches among all RBs in 2023. Brooks' situation is different as he recovers from a torn ACL he suffered last season at Texas in a more crowded backfield than Tampa's was in 2023 with Miles Sanders and Chuba Hubbard, but if he can earn a heavy workload, he's one of the highest-upside sixth-round draft picks you can find at any position. You might have to dip into Round 5 to grab Brooks if he recovers in time for training camp. Brooks is a candidate to be off the board in the top five of rookie-only drafts as the consensus RB1.  

RB Chuba Hubbard

Hubbard wasn't expected to make much of a Fantasy impact in 2023 but went on to earn the lead role in Carolina. From Week 6 on (when he took over the role), Hubbard finished just inside the RB2 range (RB24 in points per game) while averaging just under 20 touches per game. The Panthers selected RB Jonathon Brooks with early draft capital in the 2024 NFL Draft, but he is returning from a torn ACL he suffered midseason in his final year at Texas. Hubbard could open the season as a lead back and ultimately serve as an excellent option for zero or hero-RB roster builds. Hubbard typically comes off the board in the Rounds 13-15 range.

RB Miles Sanders

Sanders was a colossal bust in 2023 after signing a contract that was expected to make him the Panthers' lead back. He finished with just 423 rushing yards and one TD, managed just two weeks in the top 24 at RB and was barely rosterable for the entire second half of the season. Carolina drafted Jonathon Brooks with early draft capital and he is expected to take over lead duties when healthy. If not Brooks, Chuba Hubbard is likely to open camp ahead of Sanders on the depth chart. Sanders is not worth drafting in 2024.

WR Diontae Johnson

Johnson was traded from Pittsburgh to Carolina this offseason, and he should be the new No. 1 receiver for Bryce Young. Johnson is worth drafting as early as Round 7 in the majority of leagues as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver, with his value higher in PPR. He will compete with Adam Thielen and rookie Xavier Legette for targets, but Young should find Johnson to be his most reliable receiver. He's coming off a quality season in 2023 with the Steelers at 11.8 PPR points per game, but Johnson has two years on his resume with at least 15.6 PPR points per game. The Panthers offense could be a surprise this season with new coach Dave Canales, who has gotten solid years out of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett as an offensive coordinator. If Young leans on Johnson as expected then he could be a valuable Fantasy asset, especially if you draft him at the right price.  

WR Adam Thielen

Thielen surprised many in 2023 when he jumped on the radar as one of the best early waiver wire adds. There were only 10 WRs who scored more Fantasy points than Thielen until Week 12 and he had three weekly finishes inside the top five at the WR position during that span. After Week 11, Thielen finished inside the top 36 at WR just twice and never scored double-digit Fantasy points in a single week (standard scoring). Now entering his age-34 season, Thielen has more competition for targets after the Panthers drafted WR Xavier Legette with their first-round pick and traded for Diontae Johnson. They're also undergoing a scheme change and new head coach Dave Canales will funnel some of those WR targets to the RB position. Thielen is a low-upside swing for the final rounds of your draft despite his strong start in 2023.

WR Xavier Legette

Legette is a tricky prospect to figure out because it took him until his final season at South Carolina to break out, but he broke out in a big way with 1,255 receiving yards (17.7 per catch) and seven touchdowns. At 6-foot-1 and 221 pounds, Legette ran a 4.39 40 with equally elite testing numbers in the quickness drills (10, 20-yard splits) and explosive testing (40-inch vertical jump). He's one of the biggest physical freaks to enter an already loaded rookie WR class and how fast he can build a rapport with Bryce Young will tell the story of his rookie season from a Fantasy standpoint. Legette's upside makes him one of the priority picks in the 10th or 11th rounds of your drafts, and he should come off the board in Round 2 of rookie-only drafts.

WR Jonathan Mingo

The Draft Day story is that Mingo was selected by the Panthers after owner David Tepper called up former star Steve Smith Sr. to ask which receiver he preferred, and this gave a new definition to being handpicked by the regime. Of course, Tepper brought aboard a new regime in Carolina after moving on from Frank Reich and hiring Dave Canales this offseason. Mingo will have a chance to develop his game and earn snaps after playing his best football as a rookie in the second half, but he'll have a tough time earning targets with the team using a first-round pick on Xavier Legette and trading for Diontae Johnson, as well as Adam Thielen returning. Mingo is unlikely to be drafted outside of deep-rostered leagues.   

TE Ja'Tavion Sanders

Sanders profiles as more of a move tight end than a traditional Y and that's excellent news for Fantasy purposes. TEs have a better chance of producing in Fantasy if they are used in the slot and moved around the formation. Sanders didn't test as fast as expected (4.69) as a straight-line runner, but his 1.59 10-yard split was elite and showed off his quickness and burst off the line of scrimmage. He is unlikely to make a Fantasy impact in 2024 as he develops his skill set, but if he earns early playing time, he could jump on the waiver wire radar at a position always searching for production. Sanders is worth consideration in Round 3 of rookie-only drafts.

K Eddy Pineiro

Pineiro scored the 27th-most Fantasy points per game in 2023 and although the Panthers have revamped their offense to build around Bryce Young, it remains an unproven unit that could still finish near the bottom of the NFL in points scored. Pineiro is not worth rostering in Fantasy leagues. Pineiro made just 12 field goals of 40 yards or longer in 2023 and didn't finish inside the top 15 overall in field goal percentage.

Panthers DST

The Panthers DST was not rosterable to begin with and only made matters worse by trading star pass rusher Brian Burns away this offseason and using what little premium capital they had in the draft and free agency on the offensive side of the ball. This will once again be one of the lowest-scoring DSTs in Fantasy and not worth rostering even in plus matchups.