Is Terrace Marshall Jr. the Panthers WR to Target in Fantasy Football Drafts?

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Terrace Marshall Jr. is currently being drafted with an ADP of 15.05 (in 12 team half-point PPR leagues). With Marshall, you get an unpolished gem of a receiver who has the potential to be a PPR monster. His ADP has actually gone down since I started this article. Marshall gets my nomination for the best value on the Carolina roster.

Editor’s Note: For a full look at Marshall as a prospect combining both film and production metrics, check out his Rookie Profile.

The Carolina Panthers drafted Marshall in the second round (59th pick overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. With Marshall joining the Panthers, he reunites with his former LSU passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. Joe Brady is the new Offensive Coordinator for Carolina, giving Marshall more comfortability as a pro.  

The Panthers drafted Marshall due to his speed off the line of scrimmage and his ability to make big plays. His 2020 college campaign was shortened, seeing him catch 48 balls on 70 targets for 731 yards and ten scores. On November 29, 2020, Marshall opted out of the remainder of the season as he declared for the NFL Draft.

The Panthers’ selection puts Marshall in a good situation as wide receiver Curtis Samuel now plays for the Washington Football Team. In 2020, Samuel tallied 97 targets in 15 games, following a 2019 season where he saw 105 targets in 16 games.  Carolina brought in David Moore during the early part of the offseason, but Marshall is an upgrade in that WR3 spot.  

The Panthers were not efficient in the red zone for the 2020 season, with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater only completing 56.4% of his passes while in this area. Additionally, he only threw nine touchdowns within the red zone. New Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold had red zone woes himself completing only 37.8% of his red-zone passes.  

Marshall finds himself in a position to be that red zone threat Carolina has needed since the departure of Greg Olsen. Quarterback play may not be ideal, but they drafted Marshall because he can stretch out to get the ball. He’ll need to be able to do this at a pro-level with Darnold behind center.

The Tight End position has been lackluster since Olsen dominated, and current starting TE Ian Thomas is not knocking anyone’s socks off, even if there was a point in time where I wanted him to be a thing. Dan Arnold is a veteran presence, but he hasn’t ever been a fantasy threat. Rookie Tight End Tommy Tremble is known for his blocking ability, so you won’t have to worry about him stealing targets from Marshall. Last year, the Panthers’ tight ends were thrown to 8% of the time, while WR found themselves targeted 71% of the time.

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Yes, D.J. Moore and Anderson are both wide receivers in Carolina ahead of Marshall on the depth chart, but Marshall is still an intelligent grab in later rounds of your draft, being on an offense that can roll. A healthy Christian McCaffrey will be the focal point of the Carolina offense, but with defenses focused on McCaffrey, the wide receivers should put up numbers. Both Moore and Anderson went over 1,000 yards last season, and Samuel found himself tallying 851 yards and five total touchdowns.

2020 was a bizarre year for the Panthers as an injured McCaffrey missed most of the season, only playing in three games. Running back Mike Davis was thrust into the starting role, doing an admirable job in McCaffey’s absence. He had six rushing touchdowns and two scores through the air. Now that Davis is an Atlanta Falcon, the Panthers will rely on rookie Chuba Hubbard to take over the RB1 spot if McCaffrey were to miss time.  

You aren’t drafting Marshall to be your WR1 or WR2, but he is a valuable bench player that will pay off in the season. He will be a consistent player out of the slot that you can plug and play when need be.

I wanted to look at how people value Marshall compared to two other wide receivers I have found intriguing as of late (Nico Collins, whom I previously spotlighted, and Tre’Quan Smith). Smith has been taken with an ADP of 14.11. Collins is currently drafted with an ADP of 19.12. I took to Twitter to see how people viewed these players in both redraft and dynasty at the moment to test those waters.

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As you can tell, ADP and Twitter feedback are all basic tools, and you should use them in conjunction with other draft tools, including The Ultimate Draft Kit. With all of your #FootClan knowledge, let’s make this the best season yet!

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