Many, including this writer, expected Olsen to become a dominant tight end in 2011. Jeremy Shockey was on the downturn of his career, and Olsen would be working with Rob Chudzinsky, the Panthers offensive coordinator.
Chudzinsky is known for having helped Antonio Gates and Kellen Winslow, Jr., have their best years. He is called the “Mad Scientist” by the Panthers because of the constant variables he throws into the offense.
But there was a monkey wrench thrown into those plans: an injury-plagued offensive line. They lost four linemen for the season by mid October, including right tackle Jeff Otah, who, despite being labeled an excellent talent, just cannot stay on the field. Because of this, Olsen had to block more often than he typically would.
According to Mike Clay, Olsen was kept in to block 45 percent of the time for the season. That number increased to 55 percent in the final five weeks.
The team is hoping to have Otah back for the preseason, and they spent a second-round pick on Midwestern State tackle Amini Silatolu to help at the position. If these guys can stay on the field, then that should free up Olsen to have his best year as a pro.
He is currently being drafted as the 19th-ranked tight end, but has a shot at landing in the top 12 with Chudzinsky’s help.
These are all players worthy of consideration in fantasy drafts and can be had in the later rounds of drafts. Take advantage of these values on draft day, and a championship may follow.
You can read more of Jim Day’s work at Fantasytaz.com.
Jim Day is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.