The Eagles’ decision to sign Rashaad Penny signaled the end of Miles Sanders‘ tenure in Philadelphia, but the 25-year-old wasted little time finding a new home, signing a four-year deal with Carolina on Wednesday evening. Sanders should immediately assume the starting gig for an upstart Panthers team that holds the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. There’s still so much uncertainty surrounding what this offense will look like come September, but Sanders should at least have a solid clasp on lead rushing duties. Let’s dig into how this signing affects his fantasy outlook.
Old projection: N/A (projected as free agent)
- Sanders will immediately be the RB1 in Carolina. Chuba Hubbard and/or a rookie will likely factor in behind him, but Sanders could easily get 200+ carries as the unquestioned lead back in this offense. He’s also familiar with RB coach Duce Staley from their time together in Philadelphia. The Panthers have used Hubbard in a pass-catching role before and could add a satellite back in the NFL Draft, so Sanders’ pass-catching upside is murky right now. Regardless, he should have a solid rushing workload to fall back on.
- The Carolina offense might struggle on the whole with a rookie QB presumably under center, so it’s fair to wonder how valuable Sanders’ workload will be if he’s not racking up many goal-line carries and will likely be at best an average factor in the passing game. Still, he can post a viable fantasy season on volume alone. We’ll see what happens with the Panthers’ offense over the next few months; that will have a significant impact on Sanders’ outlook.
- Panthers beat writer Joe Person tweeted that the Sanders signing means the Panthers will not be bringing back D’Onta Foreman. He then corrected himself to say that a source with knowledge of the situation says Carolina has not completely ruled out re-signing Foreman. Foreman has some juice in the tank as a guy who can eat up early-down carries, but his lack of pass-catching ability likely rules him out as a fantasy option barring a perfect landing spot.
Panthers have not completely ruled out bringing D’Onta Foreman back, per league source with knowledge of the situation. So we’ll see. Double Trouble Redux? https://t.co/kLzyMnn8Al
— Joe Person (@josephperson) March 15, 2023