31-Year-Old Tight End – Carolina Panthers
2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
Olsen topped 1,000 yards last year for the first time in his career, largely because of Carolina's lack of viable receivers. Olsen's only competition for targets was rookie wideout Kelvin Benjamin, wh...
Greg Olsen Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $22.5 million extension with the Panthers in March of 2015, with the contract running through 2018. Deal includes a $12 million signing bonus.
Olsen secured four of nine targets for 41 yards in Sunday's 24-10 Super Bowl loss to the Broncos.
To instantly reveal our fantasy analysis of every player – including Greg Olsen – simply subscribe now.
|Receiving||Rec Distance||Big Rec Games||Rushing||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2015 Proj||30||CAR||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Greg Olsen|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs|
|2015 Proj||30||CAR||Subscribe now to see our 2015 projections for Greg Olsen|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Receiving||Rec Distance||Rushing||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Targets||Red Zone Runs|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Greg Olsen: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)At the outset of Week 15 prep, head coach Ron Rivera predicted that Olsen would increase his reps as the week unfolded, and the nine-year pro upheld his end of the bargain, culminating with a full practice Friday. Olsen will attempt to join Charles Clay (back), Benjamin Watson, and Rob Gronkowski, who have all burned the Giants for at least 100 yards through the air this season.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Olsen missed Wednesday's practice and was limited Thursday, but he returned to full participation for Friday's session. With no indication that his injury is serious, he should be in line to handle his usual workload, though the Panthers might be inclined to play things safe in the event of an aggravation.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)It's not clear how much work Olsen got in Friday, but he helped his chances of playing in Week 15 by getting on the practice field for the second day in a row. The Panthers will clarify Olsen's status when they release their injury report following Friday's session.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Following head coach Ron Rivera's prediction that Olsen would build up his practice reps as the week progressed, the tight end took part in individual drills Thursday, leaving the team portion as the final hurdle to proving his health. As long as he avoids a setback with his knee, expect Olsen to suit up Sunday against the Giants in New York.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Although Olsen suited up Wednesday, he didn't participate in any drills, but head coach Ron Rivera told David Newton of ESPN.com that he expects the tight end to build up his reps as the week continues with the aim of playing Sunday versus the Giants in New York.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Olsen's level of participation will not be revealed until after practice concludes, but his presence on the practice field alone moves him closer to playing Sunday against the Giants.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Olsen's production last season practically mirrored his stats from 2012, despite the decline of Steve Smith and a new offensive coordinator. Smith had 28 fewer targets last season, but Olsen's only increased by seven. And Olson's red-zone use did not change much with the arrival of play-caller Mike Shula, who showed the same penchant for running in the red zone as his predecessor -- the Panthers passed on just 40.1 percent of their red-zone plays last season, third lowest in the league. The changes this year, though, could have a bigger impact on Olsen, who led the Panthers in receiving last year, using his athleticism and speed to make plays downfield (12 catches of 20-plus yards). Not only is Smith gone, but the Panthers do not return a wideout who caught a pass last season. The team signed Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood and drafted the 6-5 Kelvin Benjamin. The lack of a true No. 1 receiver could bring more defensive attention to Olsen, who also figures to spend less time split wide or in the slot. What's more, the addition of tight end Ed Dickson makes two-TE sets likely and could cost Olsen some targets. The last time he shared the position, in 2011 with Jeremy Shockey, he finished with 89 targets.
Olsen set career highs of 69 catches and 843 yards last year, but his five touchdown catches were no better than his tally from 2010 or 2011. Olsen was also used more downfield last season, as he has the speed to get to the second level. He posted a career-high 8.1 yards per target, two yards more than his 6.1 mark in 2011. He also had 11 receptions of 20-plus yards after totaling nine the previous two years combined. Olsen benefits from the lack of playmakers in the Carolina passing game, but is hurt by the offense's penchant for running at the goal line. Olsen's 14 red-zone targets tied Steve Smith for the team lead, and Louis Murphy, who had 13 red-zone targets, left for the Giants. That said, the Panthers completed only eight touchdown passes in the red-zone last year (29th) while scoring 18 times on the ground, (3rd). Even with a new offensive coordinator this year that's not likely to change with the team’s bevy of goal-line running options in the backfield.
Olsen had completely different halves to last season, starting strong before fading down the stretch. Shut out in the final two games, he recorded only 181 receiving yards and one touchdown in the second half after totaling 359 receiving yards and four touchdowns the first eight games. Part of his reduced role was due to Jeremy Shockey, who isn’t expected to return to the Panthers this season. Not the greatest blocker, Olsen is a polished route runner who uses his length to make himself a large target. With continued growth from Cam Newton, and no other tight end to steal targets, Olsen could be in for a surprising season. Combining his and Shockey’s stats last season produces 995 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, showing the possible production for a solo Olsen.
Olsen doesn’t have elite speed for the position but has good hands and runs precise routes. Unfortunately, he fell victim to the Mike Martz offense and was used more as a blocker than a receiver. The Bears offensive line was downright terrible at times last year as well, which also forced Olsen to stay in and max protect Jay Cutler. As a result, Olsen only saw 69 targets, a significant drop from the 108 he had in 2009. Chicago's playoff win against Seattle showed Olsen’s upside, though, as he hauled in three catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. Olsen will compete for TE looks in Carolina with Jeremy Shockey after his trade to the Panthers, but despite the potential for some form of time-share on that front, he's escaped the clutches of Mike Martz, whose offense in Chicago did not exactly favor tight ends in the passing game.
Olsen had the best season of his three-year career in 2009, catching 60 passes for 612 yards and eight touchdowns. Despite the career-year and establishing himself as Jay Cutler's favorite red zone target, Olsen's fantasy value took a hit this offseason when the Bears hired Mike Martz as offensive coordinator. Martz's offense tends to use tight ends as blockers more than receivers, which is exemplified by the fact that no tight end on a Mike Martz team has ever caught more than 38 passes. Olsen's role in the offense is still unclear, but using history as a guide, it appears unlikely that Olsen will be able to match his 2009 statistics.
With the Bears acquisition of Jay Cutler, Olsen heads into 2009 as one of the top sleepers at the position. Cutler helped make Tony Scheffler a productive tight end and has the arm to vault Olsen into the top five this season. Olsen has the trust of his offense around the goal line, getting 17 red-zone targets (tied for 5th) and 10 targets inside the 10-yard line (tied for 3rd). He also continued to improve as the season went on, scoring in three of the last four games. An exceptional athlete with size (6-5, 255), big things could be in store for the gifted route-runner in his third pro season.
The Bears' 2007 first-round pick shared duties with Desmond Clark, limiting Olsen's (and Clark's) value. The job-share was so even that the two had the same number of targets (66). As a result, Olsen was 21st among tight ends in fantasy points scored, even though the Bears were seventh in the league in using the tight end. Clark signed a two-year deal in the offseason, so there will still be some type of split in play, but expect to see Olsen, the more gifted route-runner and athlete, getting more targets.
Realizing Desmond Clark was not their long-term answer at tight end, the Bears used their first-round pick this year to draft Olsen, an extremely athletic TE out of Miami. Olsen is a big target who can stretch the field and also catch passes in coverage. While the team will expect him to contribute immediately, the fact that he'll likely split time with Clark this year limits his fantasy value. Expect Olsen to show flashes as a rookie while posting decent numbers.