Analyzing David Gettis’s 2012 Fantasy Value
The Carolina Panthers somehow evolved into more of a passing offense in 2011 with the upgrade at quarterback via rookie Cam Newton. Because of Newton’s lively arm, unexpected accuracy and willingness to take shots down the field, the Panthers saw their first 4,000-yard passer in some time, and saw the team’s top weapons benefit because of it.
In Newton’s second season, no one knows quite what to expect. Is he going to rush for 14 touchdowns again? Probably not. Is he going to top 4,000 passing yards again? Who knows?
The exact numbers can’t be known, but from the tape and Newton’s sheer talent, an educated mind can assume progress is coming. And for the rest of the NFL, that’s a scary thought. But for Newton’s own weapons, it offers a lot of promise.
Steve Smith has the number one receiver spot nailed down, and barring some freak injury, that won’t change. Greg Olsen looks to be the team’s top tight end all by his lonesome in 2012, provided the team doesn’t bring back veteran Jeremy Shockey (which doesn’t seem likely). Then you have the battle for the number two receiver spot, the only thing in Carolina these days that really seems to be in question on offense.
Will Brandon LaFell take the next, expected leap toward showing he can be a quality number two receiver in the NFL, or will David Gettis give the league an unforgettable story by returning from a devastating knee injury to pick up where he left off as a rookie in 2010? Or will we all be shocked as we watch rookie Joe Adams steal the spotlight?
My first guess is that LaFell holds onto the number two gig, as he made some nice plays in that spot in 2011, and figures to only improve. Gettis working his way back from a serious knee injury only helps LaFell, while Adams should be the team’s number four wideout behind Gettis, as long as Gettis can get back to full strength and show he still has the goods.
Gettis certainly showed promise as a rookie in 2010, catching 37 passes for 508 yards and three touchdowns. And he did this while getting targets from the inept Jimmy Clausen.
With great size and good speed, Gettis figures to be the ideal third receiver in an offense that isn’t afraid to sling the rock these days. And even with LaFell clearly locked-in ahead of him (so it seems), Gettis could still have a decent shot at posting pretty solid numbers. Jeremy Shockey’s absence could clear up space for an extra 30-40 receptions with ease, while Carolina could operate with more three-wide receiver sets than usual, knowing that their young quarterback has the ability to carve up opposing defenses and that they have a reliable trio of receivers to work with, as well.
Obviously Gettis has a ceiling heading into 2012. He’s working on a still bum knee that will likely require a knee brace for most (if not all) of the year. He won’t be the exact same player. He won’t be as fast or as explosive, and there is always the mental aspect to get around. All of that, plus LaFell’s talent and clear rise in the eye’s of the coaches, tells us Gettis will be the team’s third receiver. I think he beats out Adams just because he knows the system better and Adams is still pretty raw. He’ll also have to worry about Louis Murphy, who the team just traded for, but I still think he has the leg up, there, too.
It may not mean much fantasy success, but in an improving system that looks plenty explosive, Gettis borders on WR4 value in fantasy football, and that could quickly rise if LaFell falters or someone ahead of Gettis gets hurt. Don’t draft him, but be sure to monitor him and the Panthers offense heading into the 2012 season.