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TE Greg Olsen - Carolina Panthers

6-5, 255Born: 3-11-1985College: MiamiDrafted: Round 1, pick 31

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Week 12: at Dallas Cowboys

All TE vs DAL

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. Cam Newton set a career high with five passing scores against the Washington D last week (21/34 for 246 yards passing, five passing scores and zero interceptions thrown). Devin Funchess continues his maturation, with eight targets for 4/64/1 receiving vs. Washington and 15 targets for 10/184/2 since Week Eight - also scoring last week was Greg Olsen (six for 3/54/1); Ted Ginn (eight for 5/37/1); and running backs Jonathan Stewart (one for 1/12/1) and Mike Tolbert (two for 2/5/1). This offense is rocking and rolling entering Week 12 friends. The Dallas pass D coughed up 13/24 for 140 net yards passing, two TDs and one interception to the Dolphins last week, with three sacks for -48 yards generated. Jameis Winston was limited to 22/39 for 246 net yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions thrown (with two sacks taken for -18 yards) two games ago. Over the past four weeks (four games), this team has given up the eighth-least fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (17.6 on average); is in the middle of the NFL in fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends (8.6, 18th); and has been sixth-least in the league when it comes to fantasy points given out to opposing wide receivers (16.5 on average). This is a tougher-than-usual matchup for the undefeated Panthers.

Recent Stats and Projections

8 vs IND 75 6 79 1 0 13.9
9 vs GB 67 4 66 1 0 12.6
10 at TEN 68 8 80 0 0 8
11 vs WAS 70 3 54 1 0 11.4
12 at DAL 66 5 70 0 0 7
12 at DAL PROJ-Dodds * 5 * * * *
12 at DAL PROJ-Tremblay * 5 * * * *
12 at DAL PROJ-Bloom * 5 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 11 vs WAS (6 / 3 / 54 / 1 rec)

In the early stages, the Redskins made a concerted effort to remove Greg Olsen from the game plan. Olsen was constantly shadowed at the line of scrimmage and underneath zone defenders would shade to his side to force Cam Newton to go elsewhere. Olsen broke free on an intermediate crossing pattern, latching on to a beautiful touch pass from Newton over a linebacker in underneath coverage. Olsen was fortunate not to be the primary culprit for a pick six. Newton fired an ill-advised smoke pass out to his tight end, only for Olsen to be immediately and violently contacted by a Redskins defender. The hit on Olsen, who was ducking his head at the time of contact, was deemed to be high and dangerous, taking the subsequent fortuitous catch by the defensive back and touchdown off the board. Newton failed to connect with Olsen on a pair of high targets, leading him into a couple of bad hits. The two did connect on a well-timed post pattern for a touchdown in the red zone. Olsen ran a beautiful route set up as the middle receiver in the trips side of a three-by-one formation, stabbing outside before coming back inside and securing a bullet pass from his quarterback.

2015 Week 10 vs TEN (8 / 8 / 80 / 0 rec)

Greg Olsen riffed early with Cam Newton as the Panthers got into a nice rhythm. The Titans defense continued to allow Olsen free releases off the line, providing easy pitch and catch opportunities in the intermediate range, where the savvy veteran was able to gain separation with subtle moves. Second-half adjustments by the Titans - primarily based on exotic blitzes - bogged down the offense and took Olsen out of the equation. However, he made one of the most acrobatic and difficult catches of his career in the third quarter. Reaching back behind him for a back shoulder pass from Newton, Olsen managed to snag the football with one outstretched hand while falling down, finishing the impressive feat by cradling the ball to his body. Olsen was a fixture of the passing attack and should have been rewarded with a touchdown on a pick play in the red zone. Olsen crossed the formation from right to left and, with defenders lost in traffic, he caught a lofted pass from Newton only to be tackled just inches short.

2015 Week 9 vs GB (7 / 4 / 66 / 1 rec)

Greg Olsen excelled as a blocker at times against Green Bay, putting in his usual physical shift to seal the edge off for some key rushing yards. However, it was his effort in the passing attack that jumped off the screen. An effortless one-handed catch in the right flat on a sidearm pass from Cam Newton kick-started the veteran tight end's day, as he turned it upfield for a 23-yard gain. The Packers defense struggled to deal with Olsen's movement early, as the Panthers lined him up all over the formation to probe mismatches. However, later in the game they adjusted and began to bracket him more often to take away quick, easy throws in his direction. Newton missed Olsen on a seam route for what should have been a touchdown; Olsen broke free from his trailing defender and had nothing but green grass to run into, but his quarterback let him down. The pair did connect on a short touchdown pass, however, taking advantage of a Packers defense that looked all at sea. Set up inside the Green Bay five-yard line, Olsen released off the line quickly without any contact and got inside, giving Newton an easy pitch-and-catch throw for the score. Later, Olsen exploited rookie cornerback Damarious Randall on a deep route; the cornerback had expected a short route and seemed to settle his feet for a split-second, allowing the tight end to blaze past him. Randall had no choice at the catch point other than to commit a pass interference penalty, erasing what would have been a potential 40-yard gain for Olsen. Despite the Packers putting an emphasis on taking away Olsen from Newton's progressions, he still managed to get open with subtlety in his routes, excellent chemistry and timing with his quarterback and a well-developed veteran savvy.

2015 Week 8 vs IND (12 / 6 / 79 / 1 rec)

Despite the sloppy conditions, Greg Olsen managed to make his presence felt and contribute to another Panthers victory. Olsen was stymied on his first targets of the game, as excellent underneath coverage denied him. A subsequent end zone target from Cam Newton sailed a little high for Olsen to reel in. After committing a penalty for offensive pass interference on a pick play across the middle that freed up Ted Ginn Jr. for a big gain, Olsen redeemed himself with a 27-yard touchdown catch. Newton and Olsen went back to the play that had failed earlier, the seam pattern. This time, a well-executed play fake to crossing running backs in the backfield held the Colts linebackers and allowed Olsen to get a step on his defender. A nicely lofted pass by Newton was hauled in by a falling Olsen. As the game carried on into overtime, Newton went back to Olsen, who made an impressive one-handed catch with a defender draped all over him.

2015 Week 7 vs PHI (5 / 3 / 65 / 0 rec)

With the Panthers' rushing attack finding success in a patient offensive game plan, Greg Olsen was not as much of a factor as usual. The Eagles linebackers and safeties patrolled the middle of the field and often stayed tight to Olsen's hip in pass coverage, a strength of Philadelphia's secondary. Olsen managed to break free on a corner route early, using the defensive back's leverage against him to cut outside quickly and haul in a floated Cam Newton pass. Olsen found some room in the short range of the field with a pair of dump-off passes from his quarterback, one of which the tight end turned into a nice catch and run, finishing with a shoulder charge on a hapless Nolan Carroll. The Panthers did not get into many obvious red zone passing situations, and when they did the Eagles made certain to blanket Olsen.

2015 Week 6 vs SEA (11 / 7 / 131 / 1 rec)

It wasn't until late in the game that Cam Newton and Greg Olsen began to riff as they have been in recent games. However, the intent to get Olsen the football was there in spades. Olsen made a splash early with a diving catch on the left sideline, adjusting to a fast ball from Newton mid-air to snag it. Olsen could have made a play on a fourth and short pass from Newton, but the ball was lofted too much, allowing Earl Thomas to break it up. Olsen got into gear with a 22-yard catch and run on a shallow cross, Newton showing good patience to wait for the passing window to open up. Olsen came back a couple of plays later, beating a trailing Seahawks defender down the right sideline and hauling in a well-placed ball for another big gain. In the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, Olsen did his best work. He boxed out a defensive back on a quick in-cut from the left, securing the catch and falling down smartly to avoid contact. Newton found Olsen again on a seam pattern that allowed his tight end to run after the catch, only to be stopped at the 1-yard line. Olsen scored the go-ahead touchdown with 30 seconds to play as he ripped down the seam past Seahawks, who left him uncovered after a reported communication breakdown. In the end, it was a simple throw and catch with no Seattle defender in the vicinity.

2015 Week 4 vs TB (6 / 2 / 28 / 0 rec)

Despite the modest passing totals posted by Cam Newton, a pair of "almost" catches by the ever-reliable Olsen could have changed that dramatically. Olsen showed excellent route-running skill and soft hands early on a seam pass and could have scored with one more block on an inside screen pass in the red zone. Olsen continued to get open, and Newton was just inches away on a pass to the corner for his tight end a few plays later. Olsen almost hauled in an improbable pass with the sun in his eyes just inches short of the goal line, but the ball managed to trickle away at the last moment. Newton and Olsen failed to connect on a fade route for what should have been a touchdown, the quarterback throwing the pass far too high for Olsen to even attempt to make a play.

2015 Week 3 vs NO (11 / 8 / 134 / 2 rec)

After failing to connect on an early sideline throw, Cam Newton and Greg Olsen took the game by the scruff of the neck and never put a foot wrong against a porous Saints defense. Olsen showed terrific hands and speed down the seam as he hauled in a 27-yard pass with a one-handed catch, beating man coverage easily. A red zone touchdown reception on a shallow crossing route was taken off the board due to pass interference, but the determined Olsen was not to be denied. Only two plays later, Newton found Olsen with a well-timed pass at the goal line. The two showed good understanding and timing on the play. Continuing to exploit the weaknesses of the New Orleans defense, Olsen blew past Brandon Browner, who had deep third responsibility, and produced a fine run after the catch after Newton found him with a perfect pass. Olsen added a second touchdown catch and set a career-high for yardage in a single game in the process on a similar play to his first. Posting up at the goal line between defenders, Newton knew exactly when and where to fire the pass in. Olsen could have had a third touchdown on a red zone target at the end of the first half, but the pass was squeezed into a tight window in the flat, and the trailing safety had good coverage to break it up.

2015 Week 2 vs HOU (14 / 6 / 70 / 0 rec)

After a quiet first week in Jacksonville, Cam Newton made it a point to get the football into Greg Olsen's hands. Houston countered with aggressive man coverage and single-high safety looks, taking away the seam throws. Undeterred, Olsen managed to find open spaces along the sidelines and hooked up with Newton on several timing throws that showed the kind of chemistry these two players have. Olsen later bailed out his quarterback on third down, leaping high to reel in an errant pass with a defender in his zip code. Olsen got open for his biggest gain of the game off play action after faking a block before releasing into a shallow cross pattern. Newton found him on the backside after having rolled right, and Olsen had nothing but open field to run into for a 27-yard completion.

2015 Week 1 vs JAX (3 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)

With a dearth of quality options at the wide receiver position, it came as no surprise that Greg Olsen was as so often happened last season asked to block in '12' personnel sets, or two tight end formations. He did this capably and provided extra time for his quarterback to pick his targets, but it affected his production against a stout Jacksonville front seven. When flexed out as a receiver in more obvious passing situations, Olsen showed his value, converting on a red zone target with a precision out pattern on 3rd and 10. A few plays later Olsen had the football in his hands in the end zone after Cam Newton lofted a beautiful pass over the trailing defender's clutches. Unfortunately for Olsen, he was called for offensive pass interference after the officials spotted a small push off with the right arm. Newton and Olsen were unable to riff as usual, but connected on a couple of nice timing throws in the short range late on as the Panthers salted away the game.


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12@ Dallas Cowboys
13@ New Orleans Saints
14vs Atlanta Falcons
15@ New York Giants
16@ Atlanta Falcons
17vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers