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Projected Depth Chart, Rosters, and Predictions



The Carolina Panthers are starting fresh with a new head coach and a franchise quarterback in tow. Playing in one of the NFL‘s weakest divisions, can the Panthers contend for a playoff spot next season? Or are they still a year away?

Let’s take a look back at Carolina’s offseason moves as we preview the Panthers’ 2023 campaign.

Everything You Need Ahead of the Carolina Panthers 2023 NFL Season

The Panthers began last season 1-4 under Matt Rhule before going 6-6 under interim head coach Steve Wilks. With Frank Reich joining holdover general manager Scott Fitterer as Carolina’s primary decision-makers, the Panthers reshaped their roster over the offseason.

Carolina Panthers Roster Changes

  • Players Signed
    • QB Andy Dalton
    • RB Miles Sanders
    • WR Damiere Byrd
    • WR DJ Chark
    • WR Adam Thielen
    • TE Hayden Hurst
    • C Bradley Bozeman
    • DL Henry Anderson
    • DL Shy Tuttle
    • DL DeShawn Williams
    • LB Kamu Grugier-Hill
    • S Vonn Bell
    • DB Eric Rowe
    • K Eddy Pineiro
  • Players Drafted
    • QB Bryce Young
    • WR Jonathan Mingo
    • EDGE DJ Johnson
    • G Chandler Zavala
    • S Jammie Robinson
  • Players Lost
    • QB Sam Darnold (49ers)
    • QB P.J. Walker (Bears)
    • RB D’Onta Foreman (Bears)
    • OL Pat Elflein
    • DT Matt Ioannidis
    • LB Cory Littleton (Texans)
    • LB Damien Wilson
    • CB Myles Hartsfield (49ers)
    • S Juston Burris

One of the most critical moments in Panthers franchise history occurred in early March when Carolina sent a package of picks and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Bears in exchange for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Panthers used that choice on Alabama’s Bryce Young, giving the team the franchise QB they’ve been searching for since Cam Newton’s departure.

Trading Moore to Chicago was necessary in order to land the draft’s top pick. But rather than try to replace Moore with a single player, Carolina is attempting to recreate his production in the aggregate. Adam Thielen, DJ Chark, and Hayden Hurst aren’t stars, but they’ll provide enough of a baseline for Young in his rookie campaign. If Young is as talented at the NFL level as he was in the collegiate ranks, he should be able to elevate the receivers around him.

MORE: Carolina Panthers 2023 NFL Schedule

Aside from players who received the franchise tag, Miles Sanders secured the largest contract among running backs this offseason. Sanders might not be as effective behind Carolina’s line as he was with the Eagles, but he’ll help the Panthers’ offense check another box in the competency department. With Bradley Bozeman back at center, Carolina’s front five projects as a league-average unit, even if left guard Austin Corbett isn’t ready to start the season after tearing his ACL.

New addition Shy Tuttle should help the Panthers’ run defense, but safety Vonn Bell was the club’s most significant defensive signing. Paired with Xavier Woods, Bell will give Carolina two steady veterans in the back end who can help limit explosive plays. Bell’s presence also means Jeremy Chinn can continue to spend most of his time in the slot.

Carolina Panthers Coaching Staff in 2023

  • Head Coach: Frank Reich
  • Offensive Coordinator: Thomas Brown
    • QB coach: Josh McCown
    • RB coach: Duce Staley
    • WR coach: Shawn Jefferson
    • TE coach: John Lilly
    • OL coach: James Campen
    • Senior assistant: Jim Caldwell
  • Defensive Coordinator: Ejiro Evero
    • DL coach: Todd Wash
    • LB coach: Peter Hansen
    • OLB coach: Tem Lukabu
    • CB coach: Jonathan Cooley
    • Safeties coach: Bert Watts
  • Special Teams Coordinator: Chris Tabor

Reich was perhaps unfairly chosen to bear the blame for the Colts’ putrid 2022 season, but he remains one of the more respected offensive play-callers in the league. And given his lengthy history as a player and coach, Reich had the contacts to build an elite staff in Carolina.

Thomas Brown should bring some of Sean McVay’s offensive concepts to the Panthers, even if he won’t be calling plays (Reich will handle those duties). Jim Caldwell has a 62-50 record as an NFL head coach, while Josh McCown has drawn head-coaching interest despite his limited coaching track record.

MORE: NFL Power Rankings (Post-Schedule Release)

There is no cap on staff salaries, and David Tepper wasn’t afraid to shell out the big bucks for Ejiro Evero, who was considered for numerous head-coaching jobs and was one of the most-coveted coordinators on the market. It won’t be a surprise if Evero lands an HC role in 2024, forcing Reich to find a replacement at DC.

Predicting the Carolina Panthers Depth Chart

Carolina Panthers Season Preview: Projected Depth Chart, Rosters, and Predictions

Offensive Depth Chart

  • QB: Bryce Young, Andy Dalton, Matt Corral
  • RB: Miles Sanders, Chuba Hubbard, Rasheem Blackshear, Spencer Brown
  • WR: Adam Thielen, DJ Chark, Jonathan Mingo, Terrace Marshall Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., Shi Smith, Damiere Byrd
  • TE: Hayden Hurst, Ian Thomas, Tommy Tremble
  • LT: Ikem Ekwonu, Larnel Coleman
  • LG: Brady Christensen, Justin McCray
  • C: Bradley Bozeman, Sam Tecklenburg
  • RG: Austin Corbett, Chandler Zavala
  • RT: Taylor Moton, Cameron Erving

Defensive Depth Chart

  • DT: Derrick Brown, Shy Tuttle, DeShawn Williams, Henry Anderson, Bravvion Roy, Marquan McCall
  • EDGE: Brian Burns, Yetur Gross-Matos, DJ Johnson, Marquise Haynes, Amaré Barno
  • LB: Shaq Thompson, Frankie Luvu, Brandon Smith, Kamu Grugier-Hill
  • CB: Jaycee Horn, Donte Jackson, Jeremy Chinn, C.J. Henderson, Eric Rowe, Keith Taylor Jr.
  • S: Vonn Bell, Xavier Woods, Sam Franklin Jr., Jammie Robinson

Special Teams Depth Chart

  • K: Eddy Pineiro
  • P: Johnny Hekker
  • LS: J.J. Jansen
  • KR: Rasheem Blackshear
  • PR: Shi Smith

2022 Results and Standings

The Panthers fired Rhule after Carolina got demolished by the 49ers in Week 5, and it looked like the club’s season was over. But the Panthers didn’t pack it in under Wilks.

Carolina beat the Buccaneers in Week 7 in one of the biggest upsets of the year, took down the Seahawks in Week 14, and ran all over the Lions in Week 16. Heading into a Week 17 rematch against Tampa Bay, the Panthers needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

However, the Buccaneers won that game 30-24, ending Carolina’s dreams and eliminating them from postseason contention. Many players voiced their support for Wilks to be promoted to head coach on a full-time basis, but he eventually became San Francisco’s defensive coordinator after the Panthers hired Reich.

2023 Power Ranking and Season Outlook

The Panthers rank 16th in Dalton Miller’s post-draft NFL Power Rankings, putting them squarely in a tier with other fringe playoff contenders.

Even if Young takes a while to get acclimated to the NFL, he should represent a clear improvement over the Baker Mayfield/Sam Darnold/P.J. Walker QB triad that started all of Carolina’s games in 2022. Young won a Heisman at Alabama and is one of the most accomplished college quarterbacks in recent memory. His size concerns are real, but his playmaking ability — both inside and outside structure — gives him plenty of upside.

Young won’t have a true WR1 with Moore gone, but the Panthers’ receiving corps may now be more well-rounded. Aside from Moore, no other Carolina pass catcher received more than 50 targets last season. A group of Thielen, Chark, Mingo, and Hurst might not be uber-explosive, but they’ll offer Young stability as he develops in Year 1.

MORE: 2023 NFL Schedule

The Panthers’ defense was just as woeful as the club’s offense last season. Veteran additions like Tuttle and Bell are solid, but Carolina needs to see significant leaps from young players like Jaycee Horn, Chinn, and Yetur Gross-Matos. Evero should be able to put the Panthers’ defensive playmakers in a position to succeed.

The composition of their roster aside, Carolina’s biggest advantage in 2023 might be the shortcomings of the NFC South. The Saints are the betting favorite, but any team in the division could claim the crown. If Young can play like a top-15 quarterback in his first NFL campaign, the playoffs could be within the Panthers’ reach.

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Fade Cincinnati if Joe Burrow Is Out?




Although QB Joe Burrow is currently listed as questionable for tonight, it seems more likely than not that he will not be playing tonight in the Cincinnati Bengals‘ Week 3 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. League sources have confirmed to PFN’s Bengals reporter Jay Morrison that Burrow’s teammates expect him to be inactive.

When the betting odds for Rams vs. Bengals first opened after Week 2, Cincinnati was a 6.5-point favorite. As it became clear that Burrow might not be playing, the line quickly began to drop. It’s now all the way down to Bengals -2.

Burrow’s injury obviously has played the biggest factor in the point spread dropping 4.5 points, but the Rams have been better than expected so far this season. It starts with rookie WR Puka Nacua, who has filled in for an injured WR Cooper Kupp wonderfully.

After Week 2, the fifth-round draft pick was leading the NFL in receptions. Yes, not just rookies — all players. Nacua is also questionable for tonight, but he is expected to play.

If the Bengals signal-caller is inactive tonight, Jake Browning will get the start at quarterback for the Bengals. This is his third season with the Bengals, but he has yet to attempt a pass in his NFL career since going undrafted in 2019.

Can Browning help the Bengals avoid going 0-3 in his first career start? Let’s check out the Rams vs. Bengals predictions, picks against the spread, player prop bets, and more from the PFN betting team.

Our Betting Lines page has the freshest lines and promos to get BANG for your buck. PFN’s FREE Parlay Calculator and Betting Odds Calculator are also available for your betting process! New to sports betting? Check out our guide on How to Bet on the NFL. Visit our Sports Betting Legal Tracker on how to bet legally in the U.S.

Rams vs. Bengals Betting Lines, Start Time, and More

All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook unless stated otherwise.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals Prediction

  • Spread
    Bengals -2
  • Moneyline
    Rams +105, Bengals -125
  • Total
  • Game Time
    8:15 p.m. EST
  • Location
    Paycor Stadium
  • How To Watch

Soppe: WR Tutu Atwell has 17 targets so far to go along with a 14.4-yard aDOT (Nacua: 7.8 yards). That gives him the quantity/quality target profile that we love.

MORE: Live Betting Odds and Newest Promos

The Bengals have allowed a 30-yard catch to the secondary option in the opponent’s pass game in both games this season (Cleveland WR Elijah Moore in Week 1 and Baltimore WR Zay Flowers in Week 2), a fact that only solidifies my confidence in Atwell if Nacua suits up.

Pick: Tutu Atwell over 54.5 receiving yards (-114 at FanDuel)

Katz: Through two weeks, Puka Nacua leads the NFL with nearly a 40% target share. Despite catching 25 passes for 266 yards, he’s yet to find the end zone. That’s because 80% of the Rams touchdowns have come via the ground. Simply put, that won’t continue. The run/pass TD ratio will regress to the mean.

Based on his yardage total, Nacua should have about two touchdowns this season. How about one on Monday night?

Pick: Puka Nacua anytime touchdown (+195 at DraftKings)

Longshot Pick: Puka Nacua first touchdown (+1100 at DraftKings)

Blewis: I got the Rams at +6.5, as that line seemed too high to me, even if Burrow was playing. Now, it has obviously come way down and is not available. That also wasn’t very helpful at all, so here’s a suggestion that you can actually still bet on.

This week, the Rams traded away Cam Akers, who had fallen out of favor with HC Sean McVay and was nearly traded last year. In our first look at this Rams’ rushing offense without Akers, it was the Kyren Williams show, who was the only running back to get a carry last week.

MORE: NFL Week 4 Betting Lines

If Burrow is officially out tonight, that improves the Rams’ chances of winning this game immensely. With a greater chance of a positive game script, Williams’ rushing props look awfully tempting after seeing how much usage he got last week — especially against a Bengals defense that was 31st in rushing yards allowed per game entering Week 3.

His rushing yards prop is 61.5 at FanDuel, but you can bet the over at 56.5 with DraftKings. This is why you sign up with multiple sportsbooks — so you can line shop.

Pick: Kyren Williams over 56.5 rushing yards (-115 at DraftKings)

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Dak Prescott Explains How the Dallas Cowboys Will Move Forward After a Humbling 28-16 Loss




The Dallas Cowboys are now 2-1 after a deflating loss to the Arizona Cardinals, who went into the game with no wins on the season. QB Dak Prescott described the loss as humbling and broke down what led to the team’s downfall.

How Penalties Kept the Cowboys From Secuing a Victory

An undisciplined and sloppy game on all sides of the ball showed all of the Cowboys’ weaknesses on full display. One of the biggest downfalls of the game was the amount of penalties the Cowboys had, racking up 13 for 107 yards.

MORE: NFL Week 3 Winners and Losers

According to the Fox broadcast, that was the most by an NFC team in 11 years.

Prescott acknowledged the self-inflicted wounds that the penalties created for the team, saying, “We’re able to overcome some of them. But even when you’re able to overcome them, I think that’s just you’re making it hard on yourself, and you’re taking yourself out of that rhythm. And it was tough, and obviously, we couldn’t overcome it.”

Red-Zone Struggles Continue

Another domino effect of the penalties was keeping Dallas behind the chains, which made it hard enough to get down to the red zone.

However, the Cowboys’ offense was one of five for successful trips to the red zone.

Prescott acknowledged this as being a reoccurring issue for the team, noting, “Obviously, that’s an area that we haven’t been good in these last two weeks. And even with the win last week, that was the sore spot in the win. And obviously, look at this loss. Move the ball up and down the field and just couldn’t score. And so that’s your reason for this loss.”

The quarterback said they need to get back to the drawing board to figure it out, but it starts with him making plays, big throws, and being more mobile.

The only receiving touchdowns the team has is with tight ends and running backs. No receivers have caught a touchdown this year.

When asked about it, Prescott stated, “We’re taking attempts. We just have to convert, simple as that.”

Dak Prescott Did What He Could With What He Had

Prescott had a decent game, considering three of his starting offensive linemen were inactive.

“They fought their asses off. I thought they did a great job, gave me enough time, allowed us to move the ball up and down the field. We didn’t convert in the red zone. That’s the story of this game, period,” Prescott said when asked how Chuma Edoga, T.J. Bass, and Brock Hoffman played in this game.

The offensive line changes led to Prescott releasing the ball as quickly as possible. He finished with 255 passing yards on 25 completions of 40 attempts, which gave him a 78.0 rating.

After weeks of the critics staying quiet about interceptions, Prescott recorded his first of the season, which ended the game.

MORE: Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

He said he knew it would be a tough throw, as he tried to get the ball behind Arizona LB Kyzir White’s ear.

He said that the team was well aware of the adversity they were facing, but ultimately, they didn’t get the job done. He blamed himself and the offense in the red zone.

How the Cowboys Move Forward Now

Regarding how the team moves forward, the quarterback said they’re staying in the moment because that’s who they are as a team.

“Obviously, we’ve had a lot of adversity just throughout the week, and it wasn’t easy. Nobody was making excuses. We thought we had a great opportunity to come in here, even with the adversity, and get a win. And we didn’t,” said Prescott, who admitted resetting after a loss is easier than resetting after a win.

When asked if this was a wake-up call after everyone built them up within the first two weeks of the season, Prescott said the media did that, and they always knew who they were.

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Targets Include Matt Gay, Ka’imi Fairbairn, and Others




Week 3 isn’t even officially in the books yet, but it’s time to start looking ahead to the next week and identifying the players that can help us win our fantasy football matchups!

With that in mind, here are my top Kicker streaming options for Week 4 and early rankings!

Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer and Start/Sit Optimizer to help you make the right decision!

Top Kicker Streamers For Week 4

Matt Gay, Indianapolis Colts – 9% Rostered

It’s now been two back-to-back weeks of solid production for Matt Gay here in Indianapolis, and he had a dominant performance in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.

MORE: Fantasy Buy Low, Sell High Week 4

Gay had 4 50+ yard field goals this past week, and he now gets a matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. He’s already a solid pickup based on what he just did, but a little revenge narrative never hurt anyone, right?

Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans – 1% Rostered

We’ve seen Ka’imi Fairbairn have his stretches of being a solid fantasy asset, but no one anticipated that being the case here in 2023 for the Houston Texans. This offense just may end up being better than we anticipated, and Fairbairn’s getting onto the field.

In a matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense in Week 4, we could see the Texans settle for field goal opportunities over touchdown drives, which will put the veteran kicker onto the field quite a bit.

Dustin Hopkins, Cleveland Browns – 2% Rostered

AFC North matchups always come down to field goals. These are tightly contested games that feature defense, running the football, and low-scoring outputs. This means that kickers have a greater opportunity to get onto the field and make a long attempt to fall.

Dustin Hopkins is coming off of a solid performance against the Tennessee Titans, and his momentum could continue into this one against the Baltimore Ravens.

Early Kicker Rankings for Week 4

These are my very early Kicker rankings for Week 4, but make sure to check in on our PFN Consensus Rankings throughout the week to see how these shifts and change as we get closer to kickoff.

1) Harrison Butker | KC | (@ NYJ)
2) Justin Tucker | BAL | (@ CLE)
3) Jake Moody | SF | (vs. ARI)
4) Cameron Dicker | LAC | (vs. LV)
5) Jake Elliott | PHI | (vs. WAS)
6) Tyler Bass | BUF | (vs. MIA)
7) Brandon Aubrey | DAL | (vs. NE)
8) Brandon McManus | JAX | (vs. ATL)
9) Younghoe Koo | ATL | (@ JAX)
10) Jason Myers | SEA | (@ NYG)
11) Riley Patterson | DET | (@ GB)
12) Jason Sanders | MIA | (@ BUF)
13) Greg Joseph | MIN | (@ CAR)
14) Matt Gay | IND | (vs. LAR)
15) Daniel Carlson | LV | (@ LAC)
16) Evan McPherson | CIN | (@ TEN)
17) Dustin Hopkins | CLE | (vs. BAL)
18) Ka’imi Fairbairn | HOU | (vs. PIT)
19) Brett Maher | LAR | (@ IND)
20) Wil Lutz | DEN | (@ CHI)
21) Blake Grupe | NO | (vs. TB)
22) Nick Folk | TEN | (vs. CIN)
23) Chase McLaughlin | TB | (@ NO)
24) Anders Carlson | GB | (vs. DET)
25) Chris Boswell | PIT | (@ HOU)
26) Graham Gano | NYG | (vs. SEA)
27) Joey Slye | WAS | (@ PHI)
28) Eddy Pineiro | CAR | (vs. MIN)

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Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.

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