A Defense Looking To Improve On It’s Top 15 Finish From 2018.
My series covering every NFL team continues with this one taking a look at the Carolina Panthers. In one or two articles I will be identifying a couple of players that I would consider adding or trading for ahead of the 2019 season. Also included will be my recommendations on what it might take to acquire each of these players.
Kawann Short, Defensive Tackle:
Many people may not realize that Kawaan Short, 30, has been the Panthers best defensive lineman, the last few seasons. He only started 14 games last season, due to injury. His final stat line was 29 solo tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, and one pass deflection. Players who are always around the ball and productive, like short, are valuable in IPD leagues. Another thing I look for is consistency, are you someone who can be dependable week in and week out. Over the last four seasons, 2018 was the first year Kawann didn’t start all 16 games for Carolina. Given his overall consistency, I am looking for him to have another solid season in 2019.
Some people might look at his age and want to trade him before his decline, but I feel just the opposite. Short finished just outside the top 20, in defensive tackle scoring, in 2018. He’s someone who could be a nice bye week starter or a weekly defensive tackle two, depending on your lineup format. With defensive tackle not being a high scoring position overall, Short could be had for a late round pick.
Shaq Thompson, Linebacker:
Thompson, 24, was a first round pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2015. He’s never played a full 16 games and only started 47 out of the 56 games he has played. Even though he hasn’t been a weekly starter, he has managed to increase his production each year. His final line for 2018 was 50 solo tackles, and three and a half sacks. Both his tackle and sack totals were career highs. He accomplished that in only 11 starts, playing in three more. Due to former teammate, Thomas Davis, not being re-signed there is a starting spot available. Shaq does seems like the logical choice, but his injury history might change that. A strong 2019 season will be needed if he hopes to get re-signed by Carolina.
Shaq Thompson hasn’t produced like the first rounder he was drafted as. With injuries and Thomas Davis having played a role in that, I think 2019 is Thompson’s year. It will not be cheap to acquire his services, but giving up a second round pick is something I would gladly do. To me that classifies him as an IDP buy low player.
Eric Reid, Safety:
It looks like Reid, 27, has found a home in Carolina, after signing a three year contract, in mid February. He made his debut in week 5 last season, instantly becoming an every down player. Only having played in 13 games, he still managed to pile up an impressive seasonal stat line. He ended with 50 solo tackles, five pass deflections, one sack, and one pick. Reid has been known for his big hitting and position versatility and should be the starter for several seasons. I expect him to be a 16 game starter and match or beat his 73 solo tackles, accrued in 2013 with San Francisco.
Any time a team backs a player, like Reid, with a contract extension that only means great things in IDP leagues. With most of the veterans getting released or retiring, Reid is someone i’m looking to add. Having finished top 50 at his position last year, I’m expecting him to finish top 25 in 2019. Given everything I mentioned, he makes a great buy low and someone I’d welcome for a mid round pick.
Some big name players, for Carolina, will be looking to have even more productive seasons in 2019. Ranking these players in order of acquisition, it would be Shaq Thompson, Eric Reid, then Kawann Short. I’m excited for this defensive unit going into this season. Get a piece of these buy low players, if possible. Hopefully, you find these recommendations helpful in your quest to build that championship roster for 2019. Please keep an eye out for the Chicago Bears.
Follow me on Twitter @MorganMcLane and follow the show @IDPGuys Defense does win Championships!