- Steven Pintado
Draft Bargains Part 3: Curtis Samuel
I hope everyone has enjoyed the first two articles so far! Now we switch our attention over to wide receivers after highlighting Kenyan Drake and Dak Prescott in my first two articles.
The Carolina Panther’s up and coming wide receiver (not D.J. Moore) but Curtis Samuel, is my next draft bargain for your fantasy season.
Both players are currently being hyped in the fantasy community as must draft players in your leagues. It seems teammate Moore is being taken in the fifth round in most leagues, while Samuel is still being drafted in the 11th round.
I’m sure at this point, everyone is wondering, why Samuel?
Samuel was drafted during the second round of the 2017 draft, where he was coming off an impressive junior season with 1,600 all-purpose yards and 15 total touchdowns at The Ohio State University. His position at the time he was drafted was running back, but quickly converted to receiver.
During his rookie year, he showed flashes of athleticism and speed, just as he had at Ohio State but an ankle injury in Week 10 ended his season early.
Going into 2018, Samuel wasn’t a major topic of discussion, as he spent the first quarter of the season recovering from the 2017 injury. At the start of Week 5, Samuel finally got on the field and he made the most of it, scoring his first touchdown of the season.
If you take away the first four games of the season that he didn’t play, he actually finished as the 25th wide receiver in fantasy, one spot ahead of his teammate Moore in 2018.
He finished the year with 494 receiving and 7 total touchdowns, while making key runs in the rushing game.
Samuel was the team’s best route runner, as he finished the year with a 76.7% success rate versus man coverage per Fantasy Footballer’s Reception Perceptions.
Samuel has a huge opportunity waiting for him in 2019. He is going to see more targets due to the Panther's decision to not resign Devin Funchess, vacating 79 targets from a season ago.
He is entering his third season in the league, where many wide receivers tend to breakout. He will also be one more year familiar with the playbook. Additionally, to his advantage, he is going to have a healthy Cam Newton back under center after getting shoulder surgery during the off-season. They are in a division where they are going to have to air it out.
When you’re sitting there during your draft and you filled out your starting lineups, take a shot on Curtis Samuel. I highly recommend both Panther’s wide-outs, but why draft D.J. Moore in the 5th round when you can take Samuel in the 9-to-11 range of the draft and have yourself a strong low-end WR2 for the season.
If Samuel can get close to 100 targets, which is very possible as the number 2 option for a health Newton, on the season while being drafted in the double-digit rounds, well, you just found your next draft bargain.