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The 2021 NFL season may barely be in the books, but Dave Richard is already getting a jump on his 2022 preparation by highlighting at least one key statistic to know for each NFL team that had a major bearing on their 2021 performance and could mean a great deal for their 2022 outlook. In this space, Dave dives into the Carolina Panthers.

More Early Prep (AFC): BAL | BUF | CIN | CLE | DEN | TEN | HOU | IND | JAC | KC | LAC | LV | MIA | NE | NYJ

More Early Prep (NFC): ARI | ATL | CAR | CHI | DAL | DET | GB | LAR | MIN | SEA | NYG | WAS | PHI | NO | TB | SF

Carolina Panthers stats to know:

D.J. Moore's red-zone woes continued in 2021. Here's his career recap. 

  • 2021: 13 red-zone targets, nine inside-the-10 targets (four touchdowns)
  • 2020: 9 red-zone targets, six inside-the-10 targets (one touchdown)
  • 2019: 12 red-zone targets, two inside-the-10 targets (two touchdowns)
  • 2018: 7 red-zone targets, three inside-the-10 targets (no touchdowns)

The Panthers' pass-run ratio in the red zone has also played a contributing factor to Moore's lack of scoring and is therefore also helpful information and another piece of the puzzle. Here's a look at 

  • 2021: 47-53 pass-run (fifth run-heaviest playcalling)
  • 2020: 48-52 pass-run (11th run-heaviest playcalling)
  • 2019: 55-45 pass-run (11th run-heaviest playcalling)
  • 2018: 50-50 pass-run (seventh run-heaviest playcalling)

It's almost as if the Panthers have clung tightly to their run-heavy ways even after Cam Newton got hurt in 2019, left the team in 2020, came back in the middle of 2021, and then got benched at the end of 2021. Also, note that the Panthers have had two different playbooks and four different offensive play callers since the start of the 2018 season. 

Not too long ago we were talking about Moore breaking out in his second NFL season, but what about the 2021 rookie wide receiver class? Outside of the obvious -- Ja'Marr Chase -- this group sets up for more than a couple intriguing draft placements in 2022. The Fantasy Football Today team dove deep into the 2021 WR rookie class and what their outlooks look like for 2022:

In 2021, former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo will take over as offensive coordinator and play caller for the Panthers. His Giants offenses featured pass-heavy personnel groupings (three wide receivers on the field for nearly 90% of plays) and a pass game that operated through one receiver (Odell Beckham Jr.) receiving a massive target share.

Fantasy managers would love it if Moore broke through the touchdown barrier and landed more than four in a season. Still, Moore has more than made up for it in terms of target share (28.3%, fourth-best among wide receivers).