With the loss of Cam Newton’s safety blanket, Greg Olsen, and defenses adjusting for the dynamic Christian McCaffrey space has opened up for another offensive threat to step up in the Carolina offense. So far, that player has been Devin Funchess. From Weeks 2 through 8 (post-Olsen injury), Funchess has averaged 8.1 targets per game. At times, this hasn’t translated into notable production, but he was solid in Week 2 and Week 3 with 4 catches for 68 yards, and 4 catches for 58 yards, respectively.
In Week 4, we saw what he could be when he and Cam connect in a favorable matchup. On 9 targets they connected 7 times for 70 yards and 2 TDs. He was easily the most targeted WR on the team over that span (26) with the next closest player being the RB McCaffrey with 22.
After another productive game in Week 5 (7 catches, 53 yards, and 1 TD on 8 targets), he has been pretty quiet since. This may lead some fantasy players to think the production we saw from Funchess in Weeks 4 and 5 were outliers. I’m here to tell you that it’s not. It’s no fluke that he produced more during those weeks. Take advantage of this lack of faith in Funchess from his owners. He has seen very good opportunity in this Carolina offense and is about to get a bit more. With Kevlin Benjamin now in Buffalo, Funchess will now be the most targeted WR on the team by a large margin.
If for some reason you’re still nervous about Funchess, I’ll leave you with this – take away Week 1 and Funchess’s targets per game (8.1) would make him the 15th most targeted WR in the league (just ahead of Julio and just behind Demaryius). If you count his 2 target game in Week 1, he still ranks 19th. Now add in just 2 more targets per game without Benjamin on the team, and Funchess is top 5 in the league in targets per game.
Give me that opportunity at a WR3/4 price every time. I’m not saying that Funchess has turned his career around and that he’s a stud WR for the next 5-10 years – but if you’re a contender or your team needs immediate help, Funchess is the perfect guy to buy low on. I’d feel comfortable offering a 2nd round pick to acquire Funchess, and you should be able to get him for that.