Monday night was a good time to start any one of the Carolina Panthers' starters in standard fantasy football leagues, as the Panthers routed the Miami Dolphins 45-21 at Bank of America Stadium.
Cam Newton delivered his biggest fantasy outing of the season, as he finished with 254 yards and four touchdowns through the air and ran for 95 yards.
Jonathan Stewart, Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess joined in on the fun, and a number of fantasy owners likely ended Week 10 on a high, as the three players likely swung more than a few games.
Below are the respective fantasy outlooks going forward for Stewart, McCaffrey and Funchess, as well as a Dolphins player who delivered more than expected Monday.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
Stewart was the game's leading rusher with 110 yards on 17 carries. CBSSports.com's Heath Cummings didn't think his performance reflected well on the Dolphins defense:
Based purely on his numbers this year, Stewart shouldn't be worth keeping on your roster in standard leagues. He entered Monday night having run for 350 yards and a touchdown on 121 carries. He's next-to-last in yards per carry (2.9), with McCaffrey the only player ranked lower.
Monday night was a perfect reason why dropping Stewart would be ill-advised.
Until the Panthers prove otherwise, Stewart remains the team's primary option on the ground, which gives him a baseline nobody else on the waiver wire will likely offer.
Against the New York Jets—who rank 18th in Football Outsiders' run defense DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average)—in Week 12, Stewart could be worth starting for owners who are starved of alternatives at running back.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey only had 50 yards from scrimmage Monday night, but a pair of touchdowns padded his fantasy output. The No. 8 overall draft pick had 23 rushing yards and a touchdown on five carries and caught three passes for 27 yards and another score.
ESPN.com's Cian Fahey argued the Panthers offense has restricted McCaffrey somewhat in his rookie year:
It seems like Carolina may be figuring out how to maximize McCaffrey.
In the team's Week 9 win over the Atlanta Falcons, he had 66 rushing yards, 28 receiving yards and a rushing touchdown. Compare that to his first eight games, when he averaged 15 rushing yards, and his increased involvement in the running game is a source of optimism.
If you don't have him there already, McCaffrey is a solid flex option in standard leagues.
Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins
After a forgettable Week 9, Kenny Stills didn't move the needle too much but had five receptions for 67 yards on eight targets to finish as Miami's leading receiver.
Stills' showing in Week 7, when he had six receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets, illustrated he's capable of putting together a monster performance. However, there's nothing that should lead fantasy owners to expect him to offer any consistency from week to week.
Stills is hit by the double whammy of having Jay Cutler as his quarterback and competing with Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker for targets.
Even fantasy owners who are desperate for help at receiver would do well to keep Stills on the waiver wire.
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers
It's quite the coincidence Funchess' best games have come after the Panthers dealt Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills. Funchess had five receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns on six targets against the Dolphins.
The NFL shared a replay of his second touchdown grab:
Not surprisingly, Funchess was a topic of discussion on social media:
While Benjamin's departure meant Funchess would take a larger role in the offense, there was still some skepticism as to whether that would result in an actual bump in his numbers. The third-year wide receiver didn't show a whole lot in his first two seasons, and it remained to be seen whether losing Benjamin would be a net negative for Carolina's offense as a whole since he was one of the few proven wideouts on the roster.
However, Funchess has put many of those doubts to bed over the last two weeks. He's firmly entering WR2 territory and is a must-start in standard leagues.