As we close in toward a new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy football values constantly on the move, and nothing shakes up the league like the recently finished NFL Draft, where young rookies begin their NFL careers.
Jonathan Mingo’s Dynasty Outlook and Value
When making significant decisions in the NFL, it’s essential to have a solid plan in place. After the NFL Draft, it seems clear that the Panthers had such a plan when they traded for the No. 1 overall pick and selected QB Bryce Young.
As part of the trade, Carolina had to give up their top receiver, DJ Moore. However, they had a strategy in place. In addition to signing experienced players Adam Thielen and DJ Chark during free agency, they also drafted Ole Miss WR Mingo in the second round with pick No. 39 overall.
It’s essential to recognize that we’re dealing with a lot of unknowns here, starting with the fact that Young is a rookie quarterback who is still learning the ropes. Although he has impressive qualities such as accuracy, a quick release, and great poise in the pocket, it may still be challenging for him to start off strong as a quarterback.
Additionally, the Panthers have a new head coach in Frank Reich, who was hired this offseason after being let go rather unceremoniously from the Indianapolis Colts. While we have yet to see how things will look in Carolina, Reich’s strategy is flexible and quickly tailored to his team’s strengths. He can build an offense around Young’s exceptional skills.
The wide receiver room, as mentioned above, is also completely different. Mingo will lean on Thielen and Chark as a rookie, but I don’t expect him to play like one.
Carolina Needs Mingo To Be a Playmaker When Given the Opportunity
Mingo may not have had top-tier college stats, but he has the ability to make plays from anywhere on the field. Standing at 6’2″ and weighing 215 pounds, he possesses the physicality of a player of his size.
Although his ability to separate is not always consistent, he has the potential to make explosive plays once he has the ball in his possession. At Ole Miss, Mingo was frequently utilized in various ways, including receiving 18% of his targets through screen passes. Reich will surely take advantage of this versatility.
Additionally, Mingo has good hands — minus a few drops — and makes difficult catches in traffic. He can be utilized as a perimeter deep threat due to his ball-tracking skills or an intermediate option out of the slot while relying on his physicality to make plays after the catch.
This will be a bit of a flashback name, but there’s some Anquan Boldin and his play style. Boldin was one of the most physical receivers in recent memory. The difference is Mingo is over a quarter of a second quicker than Boldin, with a 4.46 40 time compared to Boldin’s 4.71. He also has massive hands that swallow the ball at 10 3/8 inches.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Mingo was more boom/bust in 2023 than some might like to admit, especially for someone who will flirt with first-round status in rookie drafts.
Jonathan Mingo’s Fantasy Ranking
Don’t take me saying that Mingo could be more boom/bust as a call to fade. My thoughts on Mingo and any lack of confidence in him have more to do with the Panthers as a whole. If Carolina had a proven quarterback, I’d be all in on Mingo for 2023. I don’t mean any of this as a shot at Young, but it’s just what history has told us tends to happen.
That said, if Carolina finds itself behind the stick and down often, it could benefit Mingo, who I expect to sit closely with Chark for second or third on the team in target share behind Thielen. With screens and quick hitters, 90 targets are on the board for Mingo. I will take it all day long for his rookie year.
Given the questions about how the Panthers will look, and Mingo’s lack of elite production, I am being slightly more conservative in my rankings, with Mingo coming in as the WR40 for dynasty. He is the future of the position for the Panthers, even if he takes more of a WR2/3 role for them this year.
Mingo projects as a WR3 or Flex option in 2023 if he secures the No. 2 role, but he could be closer to outside the top 48 at the position if Young is only able to reliably facilitate two pass catchers, with those being Thielen and Chark. But if there is any injury to either, Mingo could be in line for a blowup game if the matchup fits.
There’s every possibility he comes out firing in 2023, but I believe Mingo will be a better player in Year 2 as a bigger-bodied version of Brandon Aiyuk. That’s something I want on my dynasty roster, especially given the projection of Young as one of the league’s elite throwers.
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.