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Fantasy Predictions: Panthers vs. Texans

Bench Texans. Start Panthers.

Carolina Panthers v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Texans’ offense continued their strong performance in Week Two until quarterback Tyrod Taylor left with a hamstring injury. He was 10-11 for 125 yards and a TD (plus one rushing TD) in what appeared to be a well-oiled offense. Rookie QB Davis Mills stepped in and the Texans immediately struggled to move the ball down the field. This change in quarterback should make wide receiver Brandin Cooks a low-end flex option this week; he should most likely be on your bench. Especially heading into a short week, it will be unlikely any Texan deserves a start on your fantasy team.

Barring a change in workload this week, running back Phillip Lindsay should be a player you look to drop after Week Three. He’s owned in 40% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues, but at this point isn’t seeing the carries or passes to warrant a roster spot.

Mark Ingram, while toting the ball 40 times through two games, is an option for your flex in Week Three, but Carolina has the league’s best defense in yards per game allowed (190). Ingram should not be a fantasy factor this week. The Panthers will be looking to stymie the run early, which should push Houston’s RBs out of points opportunities late in the game.

Houston Texans

QB: Davis Mills - 18-28, 229 yards, 2 INT, 3 carries, 12 yards

RB: Mark Ingram - 17 carries, 65, 1 TD, 1 reception 7 yards

RB: Phillip Lindsay - 6 carries, 21 yards, 3 receptions, 24 yards

RB: David Johnson - 10 carries, 32 yards

WR: Brandin Cooks - 5 receptions, 88 yards

WR: Anthony Miller - 3 receptions, 42 yards

TE: Pharaoh Brown - 2 receptions, 19 yards

TE: Jordan Akins - 1 reception, 8 yards

K: Joey Slye - 1/1 XP, 1/2 field goals

DST: Houston Texans - 302 pass yards allowed, 103 rush yards allowed, 28 - 35 points allowed, 2 sacks


SIT: Brandin Cooks, Mark Ingram, and Phillip Lindsay

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers’ offense is a three-headed monster, but there’s one head that leads them all. Christian McCaffrey has 54% of Carolina’s touches through two games. He’s tied for the team lead in receptions at 14 and carried the ball 20+ time per game. He’s an obvious start in all leagues.

Less obvious, but you should START quarterback Sam Darnold if you are a low-end QB team looking for several potential added points. Darnold is hovering around 68% completion percentage in an offense that’s functioning quite well to begin the season. D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are fine fantasy WR2s; I’m a rather big fan of playing Anderson in the flex week in and week out, as he’s seen a healthy production for the past several years and is not as touchdown dependent as Moore.

Don’t look to Carolina for tight end support. Neither Ian Thomas or Dan Arnold receive a sufficient share of the plays or targets, and neither are likely to see red zone targets.

Carolina’s defense should be a waiver wire add. They’ve only allowed 190 yards per game, 21 points per game, and have 10 sacks in two games. I assume they will have at least two interceptions against Davis Mills. I will be aiming for Carolina on my own waiver wires, and you should too for a one-week stint; they play Dallas, Philadelphia, and then Minnesota the next three weeks.

QB: Sam Darnold - 27-34, 302 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 2 carries, 15 yards

RB: Christian McCaffrey - 22 carries, 91 yards, rushing TD, 6 receptions, 71 yards, receiving TD

RB: Chuba Hubbard - 6 carries, 22 yards

WR: DJ Moore - 8 receptions, 119 yards, 1 TD

WR: Robby Anderson - 5 receptions, 72 yards, 1 TD

WR: Terrace Marshall - 3 receptions, 18 yards

TE: Ian Thomas - 2 receptions, 16 yards

TE: Sam Arnold - 1 reception, 6 yards

K: Zane Gonzalez - 4/4 XP 1/1 field goals

DST: Carolina Panthers - 229 pass yards allowed 134 rush yards allowed, 2 INT, 3 sacks, 10 - 17 points allowed

START: Panthers Defense, Sam Darnold, CMC, D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson

SIT: Zane Gonzalez