Era Adjusted Fantasy Football Player Rankings: Wesley Walls, Cam Newton Top Cats for the Carolina Panthers

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the birth of fantasy football, the athlete reviews the best fantasy players and fantasy seasons in NFL history.

A detailed overview of the system used to rank historical fantasy achievements can be found on our introductory page on the greatest fantasy players of all time, but here’s a quick summary.

Fantasy player performance is adjusted by epoch, allowing players who dominated lower-scoring epochs to compete against players who racked up huge scores in higher-scoring epochs.

After making these adjustments, players will be credited with a Starter Season (1 point), Quality Season (1 point), Impact Campaign (1.5 points), or Elite Starter (2 points). These points are cumulative and measured in both non-PPR and PPR, and are used as the basis for determining who are the best fantasy players in NFL history.

Now that we’ve got prelims done, let’s look at the best fantasy players in Carolina Panthers team history!

(Note: the numbers below reflect the player’s performance with the Panthers.)

All-Time Fantasy Starting Lineup

QB: Cam Newton

RB: Christian McCaffrey

RB: Jonathan Stewart

WR: Steve Smith Sr.

WR: Muhsin Muhammad

TE: Wesley Walls

SuperFLEX: Greg Olsen


Quarterback—Cam Newton

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
6 3 1.5 2 6 3 1.5 2 25

Newton had one of the best three-year starts by a fantasy quarterback, finishing third or fourth in QB fantasy scoring every season from 2011-13 and averaging 17 career points during those years. Only Drew Brees had a higher career score during that span (19). Newton showed that these campaigns were not anomalies by finishing first in QB points in 2015 and second in QB points in 2017. His 389.1 fantasy points in 2015 was the 5th highest QB fantasy point total ever when they performed and is still ranked as the 9th highest QB fantasy point total.

Running back—Christian McCaffrey

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
3 2 3 2 3 2 3 4 22

McCaffrey was the RB guy who was able to win leagues in 2018 and 2019 as he had a total of 20 career points over those two years. His 2019 season was a rare perfect 11 career point campaign, as his 471.2 PPR points that season is the second-highest overall PPR season by a fantasy running back, behind only LaDainian Tomlinson’s 481.1 PPR points in the year 2006. “Run” CMC has only had one starting season outside of those two great years as injuries have shattered his fantasy value over the past two years, but if he can rise back to his former level McCaffrey will begin to take everyone’s RB career points Times to improve chart in a hurry.

Running Back—Jonathan Stewart

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
6 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 9

The man nicknamed “The Daily Show” ranks second among all Carolina players in non-PPR starter caliber campaigns. Stewart was never able to run a quality campaign as his highest rank in a 2009 season was a 12th place in non-PPR leagues, but producing RB2 or Flex stats on a consistent basis brought Stewart to the second RB role on this list.

Wide Receiver – Steve Smith Sr.

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
8th 5 1.5 0 8th 2 0 0 24.5

Longevity was Smith’s calling card, as injuries often dropped him from starter status during his 13-year tenure with the Panthers, but he always returned to fantasy relevance. This trend is why Smith leads all Carolina players in number of starter seasons in both non-PPR and PPR formats. Smith also ranks first among Panthers players for the number of quality non-PPR seasons as no other Carolina player has more than three.

Wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
5 1 0 0 5 2 0 0 13

Muhammad poured much of his fantasy value into a 2004 campaign in which he led all wide receivers in both non-PPR and PPR points. Muhammad is still one of only two Carolina wide receivers to ever surpass 300 PPR points in a single season, as his 329 PPR points this campaign is only second to Steve Smith Sr. in 2005.

Tight End – Wesley Walls

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
5 3 3 2 5 3 3 2 26

It may come as a surprise that Walls is considered the greatest Carolina Fantasy player of all time, but that surprise diminishes when you reflect on his great run from 1996-99. Walls was second in non-PPR and PPR-TE points in 1996, fourth in those categories in 1997, and seventh in 1998, but he saved his best for last by finishing second in TE-PPR points in 1999 and first in non- PPR points was this season. That campaign was the best ever by a Carolina tight end and resulted in a perfect 11 career point season that put Walls at the top of that list.

SuperFlex—Greg Olsen

Starter quality influence elite PPR-Str PPR Qual PPR impact PPR Elite career points
5 2 0 0 5 1 0 0 13

Olsen was one of the most consistent TE point earners from 2012 to 2016, failing to finish eighth in non-PPR and PPR points in either of those campaigns and placing in the top 5 three times in both categories.


Best Era-Adapted Fantasy Seasons Ever

QB: Cam Newton, 2011 (370.3 points)

RB: Christian McCaffrey, 2019 (355 non-PPR, 471.2 PPR)

WR: Steve Smith Sr, 2005 (235 non-PPR, 337.8 PPR)

TE: Wesley Walls, 1999 (152 non-PPR, 215.2 PPR)

SuperFLEX: Christian McCaffrey, 2018 (279 non-PPR, 385.5 PPR)

(Photo above: Erik Perel/ALLSPORT)

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