The political climate has been at a fervent pitch in the US of A, as leadership has been….well, suspect. As a result, the people spoke with their votes and displaced those in power. What if you ruled the world? What would you do? Promise everyone ice cream? Legalize DFS and weed in every state? Help the poor, educate the masses, and provide universal healthcare? Or would you be a racist [email protected]#!, divide, and look to hook up your boys? When these questions are asked, I must revert to an OG, Kurtis Blow, who gave us one of the greatest and most sampled songs of all time. If I Ruled the World, he’d:
- make peace in every culture, build the homeless a home
- love all the girls
- sing a song that’s strong about right and wrong
- stop war, and use unity to fight crime and hunger and poverty
That’s what true leaders do. Through their individual actions to help others, the entire group benefits. Which is what Curtis Samuel of the Carolina Panthers has been doing for fantasy teams lately. On Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, Samuel caught a season-high 9 receptions on 9 targets for 105 yards with a touchdown. He also chipped in 3 rushes for 13 yards. Can he continue to provide the tunes and make us groove all night long?
Samuel is 24 years old, 5′ 11″, and 195 pounds. He played his college ball at Ohio State and, during his junior year, he rushed 97 times for 771 yards with 8 touchdowns while catching 74 passes for 865 yards and 7 touchdowns. That versatility, combined with the jets (4.31 40-yard dash), enticed the Carolina Panthers to select him with the 40th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
His first three professional seasons were underwhelming:
Yuck, especially the catch rate. But, but, but….the offensive coordinators over that period were Norv Turner, Scott Turner, and Mike Shula. In 2020, Joe Brady, the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach for one of the most prolific college offenses (LSU) in forever ever, is the offensive coordinator for the Panthers. Check out his numbers so far:
Now, keep in mind that Samuel was the number two receiver behind D. J. Moore last season. This year, he’s third behind Robby Anderson and D. J. Moore. As a result, the targets haven’t been as voluminous, but look at the rushing involvement and catch efficiency.
After opening the season with 8 and 2 targets, Samuel has received 4, 4, 5, 6, 5, and 9 targets. So there’s been both floor and access to ceiling.
More importantly, though, since Week 2, Samuel has carved out a consistent red zone role: 4, 1, 1, 1, 1, and a whopping 4 looks on Sunday. And this was with Christian McCaffrey garnering 28 total touches on the day.
Entering Week 9, Samuel was the 37th wide receiver in PPR leagues. After Sunday’s performance, he’s likely in the 20s. What’s even better is that he’s owned in 29% of Yahoo leagues and 42% of ESPN leagues.
Now, the schedule is mixed from a passing defense DVOA perspective: TB (1), DET (16), MIN (18), DEN (10), GB (25), and WAS (2) to finish the fantasy season. With that said, defenses need to focus their attention on CMC, Mr. Anderson, and Moore.
Samuel offers a decent floor, especially due to the rushing and red zone equity, with access to ceiling. If you need a wide receiver, get your groove on.