Adam Thielen will be wearing a new uniform next season, as the veteran wideout inked a three-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. This is likely the first in a number of moves the team will make to improve a less-than-stellar receiving corps.
Thielen is coming off a down season in the stat sheets for fantasy fans, posting just 70 catches for 716 yards and six touchdowns. His end-zone visits have declined in each of the last three years, and he’s now entering his age-33 campaign. He’s still the best fantasy option the team has at receiver at this point, though some would argue Terrace Marshall Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. could be close in value.
The Panthers offense is going to look much different in 2023, led by a rookie quarterback (Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud or Anthony Richardson), a new top runner (Miles Sanders) and a new No. 1 tight end (Hayden Hurst). Thielen might be their current No. 1 wideout, but he doesn’t figure to be more than a low No. 3 in fantasy.
Age and impending questions at quarterback are the biggest reasons to have some hesitancy about his future fantasy value. In fact, fantasy fans might be better off passing on Thielen and grabbing Marshall or Shenault in the later draft rounds.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t again mention that Thielen’s absence in Minnesota is going to make K.J. Osborn one of the top breakout players in fantasy in 2023.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business to help you win a fantasy championship!