We look at this game from a fantasy football perspective and consider the players from both sides that should be placed in the lineup or benched.
The Carolina Panthers cut the face of the franchise, Steve Smith, and let the only other three wide receivers on the roster that caught a pass last season leave as free agents. Tight end Greg Olsen is the only proven receiver returning from last season’s squad. Olsen should be Cam Newton’s favorite target this season.
Steve Smith was officially released by the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, making the veteran receiver a free agent.
The Panthers are reportedly trying to trade wideout Steve Smith, 34, by the start of free agency, and if they can’t reach a deal to ship him out of Carolina they’ll likely cut him and his $7 million cap number.
The Carolina Panthers really weren’t even expected to contend for a playoff spot this season, but they surpassed all expectations and then some. Unfortunately, a team they got the better of during the regular season got the better of them in the playoffs.
The Carolina Panthers were thrilled to get the first-round bye in the NFL playoffs because it meant one less game between them and the Super Bowl. They were also very grateful for it because it allowed a number of players to fully heal up.
The only two notable names that could miss this Sunday’s game between the 49ers and Panthers are Steve Smith and Carlos Rogers. While it’s unlikely that Smith will sit, it would not be a surprise to see Rogers not dressed. Regardless of what happens, both teams will be fine, and shouldn’t have to make any major adjustments.
The Carolina Panthers have not been to the playoffs since 2008. The upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers will mark just the fifth time in franchise history that the Panthers have been to the playoffs, and that means the team is severely lacking in playoff experience.
Up next for the 49ers are the Carolina Panthers. Although the Panthers came to Candlestick earlier this season and beat San Francisco, the 49ers are the better team and have a very good shot at winning their second straight road playoff game.
The Carolina Panthers have a first-round bye in the upcoming playoffs and they have an extra week to prepare for whatever team may end up facing them in Bank of America Stadium. Cam Newton recently said that they don’t care who their opponent is, but the key to winning is forgetting about egos and focusing on their opponent.