In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Matt Harmon and Andy Behrens break down the news that Baker Mayfield has been named the Week 1 starting QB for the Carolina Panthers, and how that decision impacts other players on the Panthers like DJ Moore and Christian McCaffrey.
MATT HARMON: This morning, I mean, as expected, I think Tom Pelissero tweeted it out. And, like, as we frickin' hoped for, the Panthers have named a week one starter, and it is Baker Mayfield. We were hoping this was the case. I always have a little bit of Panthers dread that, like, they might have done some stupid shit and really let this be-- let this be like a true competition.
I remember the first week of training camp, there was, you know, oh, Sam Darnold's like this and that. You know, he's doing pretty well the first practice. Baker Mayfield, kind of, he's like 6 for 19 or something. Like, no, please, please, please, no. So this was good news for everybody involved with the Carolina Panthers.
ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah, it's wild that they even pretended for a little bit that Sam Darnold was involved in a competition because it just, I don't know, stuff like that just wastes time. I get that you want to pretend that there's competition at every spot. But, I mean, such a low bar to clear for Baker Mayfield. My ranks had assumed this all the time. So I'm not-- like, there's not some major reranking that has to happen after the announcement that Baker Mayfield is the guy.
MATT HARMON: Right.
ANDY BEHRENS: And he's obviously-- I think he's the right choice for this offense. Not that he's so spectacular, not that you should be racing out to upgrade him or anything like that or to, you know, target him in late round. Nobody's saying anything like that. But he is a guy who has a couple of seasons with, like, 26, 27 touchdown passes. And that will support a couple of every week fantasy starters, right? So this is the right answer for DJ Moore. It is the right answer for the offense, generally. I don't think the Panthers are going to be a team that scores 30 a game or anything like that. But this gives them the best possible upside.
MATT HARMON: I really like the way that Baker Mayfield and DJ Moore's skill sets kind of overlap. And we've said it before, it's the gritted teeth thing of, like, Baker Mayfield is the best quarterback that DJ Moore's ever played with. Although, I think Baker Mayfield is, like, a league average starter. And you said support a couple of reliable fantasy options. That's basically all we're asking for here.
Nobody cares really-- from an ADP perspective, nobody cares about any pass catcher other than DJ Moore and obviously Christian McCaffrey. So I have-- I took the coward's way out, I think, in my wide receiver preview last week, and I think I put AJ Brown as my wide receiver 12. But I flip-flop him and DJ Moore at 12 and 13 all the time just because there's sort of, like, 12 is the cutoff for a true wide receiver one. And I think DJ Moore's got a shot to get there this year.
So this is-- I'm taking this as really welcome news because we basically just need DJ Moore, I think, to maintain the target-- the target volume that he had from last year. And I think there's a pretty good shot he does that. And then just bake in a little more efficiency and maybe score seven touchdowns. Like, can we get to seven? I think he has a top 12 wide receiver season in his range of outcomes, and I kind of want this to be the year that I buy into that.
ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah, that's what I was going to say, just a seven to nine touchdown season from DJ Moore makes him an absolute fantasy star, right? Because he's already-- like, he's clearing 1,100 yards a year. He's vacuuming up all kinds of receptions. So he just needs this offense to be not like a bottom third group, which I think with a healthy Baker Mayfield, they can be. I agree with you. He's basically a-- he's basically a league average passer. That's plenty fine. That's good.