So much promise seem to follow Greg Olsen as he was selected as the Bears selected him 31st overall, considered a high draft choice to spend on a tight end. Olsen had Jay Cutler throwing to him and he was teasing double digit touchdowns with 8 and 60 receptions. Olsen had a career year in 2009 and he seemed prime for a breakout. Unfortunately, the optimization of Greg Olsen’s talent has seemed to stall. He was shipped out of Chicago soon after Mike Martz’s arrival.
Olsen is still young at his position, 27 and hasn’t suffered a major injury. So should we expect more from him in the 2012 season. Yes and no. Olsen plays in a tight end friendly offense. He had a solid year in 2011, splitting targets with veteran Jeremy Shockey. After Shockey’s departure, coach Ron Rivera made the proclamation that Olsen was ready to join the class of Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. In fantasy football, such speculation fuels draft value. However after three games we see a snapshot of Olsen’s value. He has compiled 14 catches, 167 yards and 0 touchdowns. That is nearly 5 catches a game for Olsen, but the 0 touchdowns for a tight end is troubling. The red zone pecking order seems to be in this order: Cam Newton up the middle, Deangelo Williams up the middle, Jonathan Stewart – when healthy – up the middle and even a “little” Mike Tolbert too. The Panthers have had 18 rushing attempts in the redzone compared to 10 passing attempts. And when the Panthers aren’t running in the red zone, they have struggle mightily through the air.
This leads us to our conclusion: Greg Olsen has the talent, but until Cam Newton shows improved accuracy, Olsen will be getting the bulk of his value in a PPR league – and especially when Carolina is playing from behind and willing to abandon the run game.