by Ray Kuhn
Entering the 2016 season things were looking up for Teddy Bridgewater… Way up in fact. Unfortunately that crumpled pretty quickly thanks to a serious knee injury, and he has been working to get back to that level ever since.
After essentially missing two full seasons (he only attempted two passes in 2017), Bridgewater has been a back-up to Drew Brees for the last two seasons. The 2018 season was another lost campaign as he threw for just 118 yards, but last season we saw some flashes. Bridgewater parlayed that into a $63 million contract with Carolina this winter to replace Cam Newton, so while it took a few seasons to get to this point it appears that the ship has been righted.
From a fantasy perspective, what does this mean? The market hasn’t bought into Bridgewater in the same way the Panthers have, as he is currently the 29th quarterback coming off the board with an ADP of 153. And while the Panthers did commit to Bridgewater, it still remains unclear as to whether or not your fantasy team should.
Prior to his injury the best we saw out of Bridgewater was his 2015 season, where he had a completion percentage of 65.3% while throwing for 3,231 yards and 14 TD. Despite his athleticism he really didn’t show much in the running game in either season (he averaged 45.5 carries for 200.5 yards). Last year Bridgewater did “carry” the ball 28 times but he gained just 31 yards, and there will be a significant downgrade for Carolina in that department as they move on from Newton.
So what can we expect from the seemingly one dimensional quarterback?
As he filled in for Drew Brees last year, five starts, we did get a good idea as to what we can potentially expect from Bridgewater moving forward. We do need to give this a little discount as there will likely be an adverse effect compared to the offensive situation in New Orleans. Still he threw for 1,370 yards and 9 TD (against 2 INT) with a 67.7% completion percentage.
The weapons are there for Bridgewater, it doesn’t get any better than Christian McCaffrey in the running game, while D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel and Robby Anderson make for a solid trio in the passing game. However filling in over a third of the season is vastly different than carrying the load for a full season (assuming Bridgewater can remain healthy).
Just because the Panthers think he is a worthy replacement for Newton, it doesn’t mean you should do the same. He is a one-dimensional quarterback that has yet to prove he can be a prolific passer on a consistent basis, and there are still more questions than answers as he hasn’t played a full season since 2015.