The Carolina Panthers enter the 2023 season as a brand new offense from a Fantasy Football standpoint. The Panthers hired Frank Reich to revamp the offense and he had the opportunity to handpick any quarterback in this 2023 draft class -- he went with Bryce Young. In early OTAs, Young has already moved up the depth chart and he's working with the first-team offense. D.J. Moore is out and rookie Jonathan Mingo is in at wide receiver, but for now, it's anyone's guess which receiver will separate as Young's favorite target early. The Panthers also have a new look in the run game with Miles Sanders in the mix.

Below the CBS Sports Fantasy staff will take a look into the Panthers' entire team outlook, including a burning question for Fantasy Football managers that needs to be answered, key player projections, a review of their draft class, strength of schedule, and individual player outlooks for notable Panthers players who may end up on your Fantasy rosters.

Panthers 2023 team outlook

By Chris Towers

The Panthers have been searching for their QB of the future, and they think they found him in Bryce Young, the No. 1 pick in this year's draft. They're still deep in rebuilding mode, but they made a few splashes in free agency that should help him out. Still, this will likely remain a pretty middling offense for 2023, at least.

Burning question: Is Sanders a three-down back?

He hasn't been one since his second season, when issues with drops saw his passing game role disappear, and it's made him a pretty middling Fantasy option as a result -- he was RB22 in points per game last season despite nearly 1,300 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns. Sanders should get a ton of carries as the Panthers' lead back, but if he can get back to being a 50-catch guy, there's still top-12 upside here. 

Panthers player projections

QBBryce YoungPA: 493, YD: 3354, TD: 20, INT: 12; RUSH -- ATT: 47, YD: 189, TD: 2
RBMiles SandersCAR: 283, YD: 1218, TD: 10; TAR: 40, REC: 32, YD: 253, TD: 1
RBChuba HubbardCAR: 142, YD: 567, TD: 5; TAR: 35, REC: 28, YD: 221, TD: 1
WRAdam ThielenTAR: 114, REC: 79, YD: 824, TD: 5
WRJonathan MingoTAR: 79, REC: 41, YD: 575, TD: 3
WRD.J. CharkTAR: 94, REC: 51, YD: 659, TD: 5
WRTerrace MarshallTAR: 40, REC: 26, YD: 467, TD: 2
TEHayden HurstTAR: 59, REC: 45, YD: 451, TD: 3

2023 NFL Draft class

1. (1) Bryce Young, QB
2. (39) Jonathan Mingo, WR
3. (80) DJ Johnson, OLB
4. (114) Chandler Zavala, G
5. (145) Jammie Robinson, DB

Strength of Schedule rankings by Dave Richard

  • QB PSoS: 8th easiest
  • RB PSoS: 17th easiest
  • WR PSoS: 14th easiest
  • TE PSoS: 14th easiest
1Sep 10, 2023@Atlanta1:00 pmFOXMercedes-Benz Stadium
2Sep 18, 2023vsNew Orleans7:15 pmESPNBank of America Stadium
3Sep 24, 2023@Seattle4:05 pm
Lumen Field
4Oct 1, 2023vsMinnesota1:00 pmFOXBank of America Stadium
5Oct 8, 2023@Detroit1:00 pmFOXFord Field
6Oct 15, 2023@Miami1:00 pm
Hard Rock Stadium
8Oct 29, 2023vsHouston1:00 pmFOXBank of America Stadium
9Nov 5, 2023vsIndianapolis4:05 pm
Bank of America Stadium
10Nov 9, 2023@Chicago8:15 pmAMZNSoldier Field
11Nov 19, 2023vsDallas1:00 pmFOXBank of America Stadium
12Nov 26, 2023@Tennessee1:00 pmFOXNissan Stadium
13Dec 3, 2023@Tampa Bay1:00 pm
Raymond James Stadium
14Dec 10, 2023@New Orleans1:00 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
15Dec 17, 2023vsAtlantaTBABank of America Stadium
16Dec 24, 2023vsGreen Bay1:00 pmFOXBank of America Stadium
17Dec 31, 2023@Jacksonville1:00 pm
TIAA Bank Field
18Jan 7, 2024vsTampa BayTBABank of America Stadium

Panthers 2023 player outlooks

By Dan Schneier unless otherwise noted

QB Bryce Young

Young was handpicked by proven quarterback developer Frank Reich, and it's easy to see why. 

On game film, Young has it all – excellent ball placement, leadership, a quick release, arm talent to make all the throws, but most importantly, he throws with anticipation on a relatively consistent basis. Young's football IQ will hopefully outweigh his frame (5-foot-10, 204 pounds). Reich elevated Young to the QB1 role after the team's first few OTAs, which is an excellent indicator that he is well ahead of schedule from the mental standpoint and he makes for a better late-round gamble for your QB2 or a sleeper target in Superflex or two-QB leagues than the Derk Carrs and Desmond Ridders of the world. 

Young is worth a back-end first-round pick but more than likely an early second-round pick in rookie-only one-QB leagues. He should be grabbed within the top five in two-QB or Superflex formats.

QB Andy Dalton

Dalton ended up playing a much bigger role than most expected in 2022 as the primary starter for the Saints. Dalton finished as a top-12 QB in just two of his 14 games started. With no rushing upside and minimal aggressiveness as a passer, Dalton is unlikely to have any Fantasy value even in games he starts and even in Superflex and two-QB formats. While the Panthers maintained Dalton would start off as the starter and could keep that role into the regular season, coach Frank Reich elevated No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young to the QB1 role after the team's first few OTAs in June.

RB Miles Sanders

By Jamey Eisenberg

Sanders signed with the Panthers this offseason, and he's expected to be the lead running back in Carolina. Sanders is worth drafting as a No. 2 running back in all leagues as early as Round 4. 

Sanders is coming off a solid season in Philadelphia where he averaged 12.7 PPR points per game. He set career highs in carries (259), rushing yards (1,269) and rushing touchdowns (11), but he had career lows in targets (26), receptions (20) and receiving yards (78). With the Panthers, Sanders should be a three-down back, and the system and offensive line in Carolina should be favorable. However, the offense could struggle for the Panthers with rookie quarterback Bryce Young. 

If Sanders can see an uptick in the passing game -- he had at least 50 receptions in his rookie year in 2019 -- then he could emerge as a top-15 running back in all leagues, especially if he stays above 250 carries once again.

RB Chuba Hubbard

Hubbard was quietly efficient behind a Panthers offensive line that got into an excellent groove on the ground in the second half.

Hubbard averaged 4.9 yards per carry and even showed an evolved ability to impact the pass game (sixth-best yards per route run). He could operate in a similar role in 2023 if free agent acquisition Miles Sanders operates in a similar role to what D'Onta Foreman was for them in 2022, but there's also a chance Sanders eats into his role – specifically on passing downs. Hubbard is a middling dart throw in the final rounds given Sanders' injury history.

WR Jonathan Mingo

The Panthers targeted Mingo as their first hand-picked wide receiver to pair with Bryce Young's skill set as a passer in this new regime. 

That kind of draft capital tells a story, and the Panthers obviously liked what they saw on film from Mingo because his production was inconsistent at best and nonexistent at times during his collegiate career. If Mingo develops a great rapport with Young in training camp and preseason, he will be worth the mid-to-late round gamble. 

Mingo should come off the board in the back end of the first-round in rookie-only one-QB drafts and the early second round in two-QB and Superflex rookie drafts.

WR Adam Thielen

By Dave Richard

Thielen should wind up being a reliable short-area target for Panthers rookie QB Bryce Young, making him a volume-dependent bench receiver. 

His role is yet to be determined, but a receiver with his still-strong route-running traits has a place in an offense with a polished rookie like Young. Just remember there's a reason why the Vikings let Thielen go; over the past three seasons his numbers began sliding, especially when it came to touchdowns, which was the one stat he kept delivering for Fantasy managers. Given the Panthers will be more run-leaning, the chances of Thielen seeing 120 targets or eight touchdowns seem slim. 

But he can still lead this squad in receptions, which is why he's OK to take in Round 10 in full PPR and after Round 10 in non-PPR.

WR Terrace Marshall

Marshall is starting to receive some early buzz entering his third season, but the former second-round pick finished as a top-24 WR just once in 2022, so that buzz is certainly not based on production. It's all about projection for the 23-year-old Marshall, and at the very least he should be part of a healthier passing game overall with Frank Reich running the show and talented passer Bryce Young at quarterback. Marshall makes for a fine dart throw in the mid-to-late rounds, but if his price tag continues to rise, the juice might not be worth the squeeze.

WR Laviska Shenault

There is early discussion that the Panthers will try to use Shenault as the Deebo Samuel of their offense, but we've heard these hopeful wishes before. Shenault is best left undrafted until he receives consistent volume.

WR D.J. Chark

Chark actually has an opportunity to be among the target leaders in Carolina's new offense. That's enough to make him worthy of a bench spot in seasonal leagues. His biggest issue, unfortunately, is health - he missed six games in 2022 and 13 games in 2021. However, he's now nearly two full years past a fractured ankle and showed as recently as Week 16 last year that he can be a big-play receiver. Working with rookie Bryce Young shouldn't be a serious detriment as Young was among the most polished QB prospects over the past five years. You could draft Chark as soon as Round 13 and if you're unhappy with his numbers after Week 2 or 3, you could dump him for someone else.

TE Ian Thomas

Thomas didn't finish as a TE1 once in 2022 and only had one week inside the top 24 overall. He is best left undrafted.

K Eddy Pineiero

Pineiro finished with the ninth-most Fantasy points per game last season with a Panthers offense that struggled to find consistency from its quarterbacks. If you believe in Bryce Young's ability to move the offense in Year 1, target him with a last-round pick to deliver an even better finish in 2023.

Panthers DST

The Panthers DST averaged the 26th-most Fantasy points per game last season, and their biggest additions this offseason include Von Bell and Deshawn Williams. Trading up to No. 1 to select a franchise QB and then coming back in Round 2 for a receiver also left them with little help for this side of the ball in the draft. The Panthers DST is not worth rostering at the start of the 2023 season, even with a relatively easy start against the Falcons and Saints.