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9 months agoAs a rookie backup to Greg Olsen, not much was expected from Panthers tight end Ian Thomas in 2018. In 16 games, he caught 36 balls for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Not impressive by any means. But with Cam Newton hopefully healthy after offseason shoulder surgery and the big-bodied Devin Funchess now with the Colts, Ian Thomas could be in for a heap of work in 2019. Greg Olsen, coming back from a foot injury suffered in 2017 only managed to play in nine games again in 2018. Heading into what will be his age-35 season, health is not his friend and Thomas at 23 is the next man in line. We have seen in recent seasons how Newton likes to use the tight end with Olsen having fantasy finishes as high as TE2 overall and no worse than TE7 in the five seasons from 2012 until 2016 before his injuries started to compile. As the backup to start and without a healthy quarterback to finish, Thomas was set up for failure last season. A set up which is now less likely as D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel and Christian McCaffrey all look to make things a lot easier on him by taking their own steps forward in the offense. If Thomas gets a chance to shine this season he will. But this is far from a certainty, which is why he shouldn’t be drafted in single-season leagues besides best-ball as an 18th-round option. In dynasty leagues, he should have much more value and can be considered a solid stash.--Dominick Petrillo - RotoBaller

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