As a die-hard Panthers fan I am a big supporter of tight end Greg Olsen.
But as a fantasy football fan I am scratching my head at the love coming from the Greg Olsen Hype Machine.
As much as I value what Olsen brings to the table for the Panthers, he will not be a fantasy breakout player in 2012.
The Greg Olsen Hype Machine
Whoa! Slow down, Ronny boy! Graham and Gronk had legendary - legendary! - fantasy seasons a year ago.
Yahoo's Juggernaut Index kept the Hype Machine rolling along by saying Olsen is "set up for a big year" and is "looking like an excellent draft value right now."
Sorry guys, but an "excellent draft value" is getting Darren Sproles in the 12th round last year, not nabbing the Carolina's statistically average tight late in this year's draft.
The Misguided Love for Olsen
Most of the fantasy gurus have jumped on the Olsen Hype Machine because of the departure of TE Jeremy Shockey.
The biggest fallacy on the Olsen Hype Machine is that Olsen will assume the lion's share of Jeremy Shockey's 37 catches for 455 yards and four TD's.
Their logic goes like this: Add Greg Olsen's numbers (45-540-5) to Shockey's and the Carolina TE position went for 82-995-9 last year. Again, I like Greg Olsen a great deal, but he will come nowhere close to those numbers.
No Shockey? No Matter
New Panthers' RB Mike Tolbert is a pass-catching weapon out of the backfield. Tolbert caught 54 passes in San Diego last year and will undoubtedly get some of Shockey's touches.
Carolina should also get WR David Gettis back after missing 2011 due to injury. As a rookie in 2010 Gettis went for 37-508-3 in one of the worst passing games in modern NFL history and should only improve with Cam Newton under center.
Lastly, newly-added WR Louis Murphy, a capable receiver who went for 41-609-2 with the Oakland Raiders in 2010, should also compete for balls and give Newton another option.
In 2011 Greg Olsen played one game without Jeremy Shockey, who was injured. Facing the Detroit Lions as the featured tight end Greg Olsen caught just three passes for 23 yards and no scores despite Cam Newton going for 22-38 for 280 yards. True, it is only one game, but it is the only reference point we have of Olsen as the go-to tight end in Carolina.
My prediction for Greg Olsen's 2012 season: 58 receptions, 680 yards, 5 TD's
Good stats, but not great.
Sorry, Hype Machine, but somebody had to say it.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Panthers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles:
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Jeremy Shockey
- Hype Machine