Curtis Samuel / Wide Receiver / Age 22 / Year 3
Curtis Samuel is an electric wide receiver on the outside. With blazing speed and incredible deep-threat ability Samuel has weekly upside. However, through two seasons in the NFL he has yet to play a full sixteen games, and has only started in 12 total. With Devin Funchess in Indianapolis, the main outside position becomes up for grabs. Samuel is primed for it.
Curtis Samuel’s 2018 season was quite disappointing. He only saw 7+ targets in four of thirteen games played. The most yards he caught in a contest was 88. The Panthers failed to utilize him to his skillset which crippled his fantasy value. Samuel, a DeSean Jackson-esque receiver had a yards per reception of 12.67. His teammate, DJ Moore, had a YPR over 14. That is inexcusable for someone with Samuel’s abilities. The one bright spot in Samuel’s 2018 season was that he scored a total of seven times, five through the air and two on the ground.
Samuel’s 2018 stat line: 65/39 (60%), 494 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns, 84 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns
As mentioned previously, the main outside slot is up for grabs and is for Curtis’ taking. I expect DJ Moore to be utilized everywhere as he was last season, and Samuel to see all of his work on the outside. Through just a few days at training camp, Samuel has been the star of camp. Each day he has hauled in multiple deep throws and the team seems determined to use him the way he should have been used all along. That said, deep threats are often associated with boom-bust weekly potential in fantasy, and he is no different. Many experts and myself expect that this season could be a breakout year for Samuel. With Funchess gone, Samuel should absolutely see an uptick in targets and the combination of himself and Moore could be a nightmare for secondaries.
Per Fantasy Football Calculator (in half PPR), Curtis Samuel is being drafted in the back of the eleventh round and is wide receiver 45 off the board. This feels like an absolute steal for a guy who could break into the top 36 at the position, and is closer to a WR2 (top 24) than a WR3 (top 36). Wide receivers going before Samuel are Dede Westbrook, Courtland Sutton, and Keke Coutee. Players going after him are DK Metcalf, Golden Tate, and DeSean Jackson. The only player mentioned that I am taking ahead of him is Dede Westbrook. In the 11thround, you’re throwing your darts on guys and this seems like an easy one.
The interesting debate actually comes from the question, “DJ Moore in the 6th or Curtis Samuel in the 11th?” In terms of value, it’s Samuel. You’re getting a player who could turn into the team’s number one option extremely late. However, I believe this question really comes down to team construction. I view Moore as a possession receiver (great for PPR) who will see a ton of work in between the twenties and Samuel as the scoring threat. If you want a high floor, go Moore. If you want high weekly upside with bust potential go Samuel.
Projected 2019 stat line: 90 targets, 57 catches (63%), 850 yards, 8 touchdowns