Devin Funchess might have helped you out in 2017, but his stats suggest he's risky, and a new teammate will pull targets away from him in 2018. Funchess emerged as the Panthers' top receiver last season by default because Cam Newton had no one else to throw to after tight end Greg Olsen got hurt. But when Olsen was on the field, Funchess was minimized - five of his seven games with three catches or fewer came when Olsen was OK. The 6-foot-5 receiver also sported a frustrating (yet career-high) 56.8 percent catch rate with just 4 of 22 passes caught on 20-plus yard throws. He had only one game with more than 100 yards and two with more than 90 yards. Funchess will not only play alongside Olsen this year, but rookie D.J. Moore will also take targets away from him. It makes Funchess appear as a touchdown-needy Fantasy wideout, which is what he basically was last season. His size gives him a chance against anyone in the red zone, but Fantasy owners will never feel good about starting him. If you decide to draft Funchess, do so with a pick in Round 9 or later - if someone else takes him sooner, they're doing you a favor.
Funchess is anticipated to maintain his No. 1, or 'X', receiver role in the Panthers offense despite last week's first-round selection of D.J. Moore, Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer reports. Funchess overcame injury and benefited from the trade departure of Kelvin Benjamin to turn in a career-best campaign in 2017, finishing with 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. On the back of that production, the 23-year-old is expected to remain in the highly valued 'X' role going forward, likely leaving Moore to operate opposite him or in the slot. While Moore's presence figures to give quarterback Cam Newton a shiny new toy, Funchess' stock still seems to be on the rise from last season's success in an expanded role, and the fact he's currently entering a contract year only figures to motivate him more.
Funchess (shoulder) caught four of eight targets for 79 yards in Sunday's 31-26 NFC wild-card loss to the Saints. Funchess was noticeably impacted by the shoulder injury he's carried for the past few weeks, and although he also rolled his ankle early on Sunday, he still soldiered his way to a productive performance. In fact, Funchess' yardage total marked his most since Week 12 of the regular season. On that day, which came in the midst of a strong stretch following the departure of former top wideout Kelvin Benjamin, Funchess topped 100 yards for the only time this term. On the whole, Benjamin being dealt to Buffalo helped result in a career-best campaign from Funchess, who finished with 63 receptions on 113 targets for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. As long as he gets his shoulder healthy, Funchess could well enter next season -- the last under his rookie contract -- as Carolina's No. 1 wideout. That pegging would obviously portend fantasy success, making Funchess someone to monitor over the course of this offseason.
Funchess (shoulder) is listed as active for Sunday's NFC wild-card game against the Saints. The wideout, who caught two passes on six targets for 48 yards and a TD in Week 17's loss to the Falcons, has logged modest yardage totals over the Panthers' last three games as the team's top receiver. That said, the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder has at least maintained a degree of fantasy utility in TD-heavy formats by scoring five times over his last seven contests.
Funchess (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Sunday's playoff game against the Saints after logging a limited practice Friday. We'll verify the wideout's status as Sunday's 4:40 ET kickoff approaches, but he's fully expected to be in uniform. Funchess, who logged two catches on six targets for 48 yards and a TD in Week 17's loss to the Falcons, has racked up modest yardage totals of late as the Panthers' top wideout, but he's maintained a degree of fantasy utility by scoring five TDs over his last seven outings.
Funchess (shoulder) took part in Friday's practice, Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer reports. Funchess did not practice either of the previous two days, but he was able to get back on the field Friday. It won't be clear until after practice how much work he was able to get in, but his participation alone bodes well for his chances of playing in Sunday's wild-card matchup with the Saints.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|5||10/07||New York Giants||25||20.75|
|9||11/04||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||23.75|
|13||12/02||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||23.75|
|15||12/18||New Orleans Saints||20||20.00|
|17||12/30||@New Orleans Saints||20||20.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||78||39||561||6||28||14.38||92|