We are only a few days away from the start of the 2023 regular season. As we gear up and get our lineups set for Week 1, we have to always be on the lookout for those players entering the season with injuries.
Unfortunately for Adam Thielen managers, the veteran wide receiver is on that list. What is the latest news on the Carolina Panthers‘ free agent signing? And what fantasy football impact could his availability have on the rest of his team? Let’s dig in and find out!
Latest News Surrounding Adam Thielen
A bit out of the blue, Thielen appeared on the Panthers’ first official injury report on Wednesday afternoon. He was listed as limited with an ankle injury.
The Panthers were thin enough at wide receiver, and now starter Adam Thielen shows up on the injury report as limited with an ankle injury.
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) September 6, 2023
The designation came as a bit of a surprise as Thielen has been in uniform and practicing with the team all week, including Wednesday. The news comes at a tough time for Carolina as their other free agent wide receiver signing, DJ Chark, is also questionable to play Sunday with a hamstring injury.
If all of that wasn’t enough, third-year Panthers receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. has missed several weeks with a back injury. His status is also uncertain for Sunday.
The news about Thielen, along with his injured teammates in the wide receiver room, is especially tough for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, Bryce Young. Young will start his first game of his NFL career away in Atlanta with possibly three of his receivers on the sideline.
Will Thielen Play This Week?
Right now, Thielen’s status for Week 1 is up in the air. While the receiver was listed as limited, he was able to practice on Wednesday. We will have to wait until further in the week for an official word before we can have full confidence in his availability.
While this is certainly something to monitor, I am not convinced that Thielen will miss time yet. Teams are required to note all injury statuses in their official reports to the league. This ankle issue could be very minor, and Thielen could be in fine shape to suit up on Sunday.
And with a divisional matchup against the Falcons, the Panthers could use the veteran’s services. They likely will not hold Thielen back if he says he is good to go.
What Does This Mean for Thielen’s Fantasy Ranking?
In redraft, Thielen wouldn’t move too much on draft boards. He is currently being selected as WR54, which means he actually may be available on waivers in most redraft leagues.
If Thielen is available, I would wait a bit before making any bids on him. You will want to see if this ankle issue clears up before investing a roster spot on the veteran wide receiver. But if he is healthy, there is certainly a limited number of players that Young can target early in the season. He is a sneaky option in that sense.
While in a completely different offense this season, Thielen ended his Vikings career with 70 catches, 716 yards, and six touchdowns a year ago. He was able to play in all 17 games. Those numbers are nothing to scoff at, and he could be a solid Flex option as the season progresses.
From a dynasty point of view, Thielen is hard to invest in. At 33 years old, it is hard to know if the veteran has more than a year or two left in the league. If you are a contending team and you have Thielen on your roster, he is a solid depth piece in 2023 for bye weeks and injuries that pop up.
But I would not go out and try to acquire Thielen. At this point in his career, his value is very limited. In a dynasty format, you would likely be buying an asset that is nearly unsellable after acquiring him.
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