When the Panthers decided to move up (way up) in the 2023 NFL Draft, it cost them serious draft capital in the process as they sent star wide receiver DJ Moore, the #9 overall pick, a second-round pick this year, a 2024 first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2025 all to the Bears in exchange for the first overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. That draft haul left the Panthers with some needs on offense and an inability to fill them through the draft as well. Forced to look at free agency to fill some holes, the Panthers struck quickly and nabbed former Eagles running back Miles Sanders, signing him to a four-year, $25 million contract. The signing sends a ripple effect in dynasty leagues, so let’s reset the landscape.
Miles Sanders, RB CAR
Sanders had his best season in the NFL last year with 1,269 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, helping to lead the Eagles all the way to the Super Bowl. While he’s never offered a ton in the passing game (he has just 74 catches the last three seasons), he has always looked the part of a solid starting running back in the league. In Carolina, there presumably won’t be as much competition for carries as D’Onta Foreman is likely going to find work elsewhere now. With only Chuba Hubbard and dynasty super sleeper Raheem Blackshear around to contend with, Sanders is going to be a staple in a lot of fantasy lineups next season.
Look for Sanders to be a serious safety valve for whichever rookie quarterback the Panthers decide to grab in the upcoming NFL Draft. As Carolina does their best to protect their new investment, he should get a ton of rushing attempts and even have a chance to get back close to the 50 catches he had as a rookie. He’s going to see some stacked boxes, but a running back is a rookie quarterback’s best friend and Sanders’ ranking of RB22 could rise a touch with this news. This is about as good a situation as a dynasty manager could have hoped for in regards to his future.
Chuba Hubbard, RB CAR
Hubbard has had his chances over the past two seasons, but those opportunities haven’t amounted to too much in terms of production. So far in his two seasons, he’s posted just 1,078 rushing yards (4.0 yards per carry), 39 receptions, 345 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns. While not awful by any stretch of the imagination, Hubbard has simply not looked the part of a starting running back and much more like a capable change-of-pace option – that’s exactly what he’s going to be moving forward as he’ll likely be counted on to spell Sanders on occasion and be ready in case of an injury. Ultimately, Hubbard’s value is more in line of a handcuff than it is a prospect waiting in the wings.
Raheem Blackshear, RB CAR
If there’s a sleeper in this situation, it’s likely Blackshear. You may remember him from last preseason when he was tearing up the competition for the Buffalo Bills. The Panthers ultimately jumped on the hype training, signing him off their practice squad. While he currently offers more special teams value than anything else.
D’Onta Foreman, RB CAR
For the second straight season, Foreman emerged as a solid replacement, first for Derrick Henry in 2021, then last year for Christian McCaffrey, who was shipped off to San Francisco in the middle of the season. Foreman has always had talent, but a torn achilles during his time in Houston was catastrophic to his career early on. After he posted 914 rushing yards and scored five touchdowns last year, many thought the Panthers would simply re-sign him and give him the starting job. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be and Foreman is currently looking for work. It’s unlikely he returns to Carolina (and his return would throw a monkey wrench into this whole thing), but managers are just going to need to stay tuned. His ADP is in flux at the moment.
The Panthers certainly didn’t move up in the NFL Draft to get a punter, so it’s more than likely we see one of these two at the helm of the franchise next season. Regardless of who it may be, there is going to be a lot of work to do in Carolina. Having Sanders will at least help either of them in terms of possible early season success.
Rashaad Penny, Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, Trey Sermon, RBs PHI
The Eagles running back situation is one of the most interesting in the league. They just signed Penny, the oft-injured home run hitter from Seattle. In addition, they brought back Boston Scott, and still have Kenneth Gainwell and Trey Sermon on the roster. Losing Sanders seem to be inevitable and now that’s come to pass. This will be a backfield to watch throughout the draft and free agency as well.
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Impact: Miles Sanders signs with Carolina - March 16, 2023
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Impact: JuJu Smith-Schuster signs with the Patriots - March 16, 2023
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Impact: David Montgomery signs with Detroit - March 15, 2023