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| In recent years, the game plan for stopping the Panthers has been stuff the run up the middle and double team Kelvin Benjamin. Christian McCaffrey's presence on the field should help change that in 2017. Successful teams in today's NFL typically have multiple running backs that are capable of taking on double digit touches. Carolina has leaned heavily on its quarterback to fulfill that role in the offense but it seems they will begin to look for others to carry more of the burden in 2017. Carolina is prepared to use their new toy in a hybrid role that encompasses time in the backfield with work as a slot receiver. Comparisons to Tavon Austin are common in fantasy circles, but McCaffrey offers more fantasy potential as a running back. Jonathan Stewart should continue to see the bulk of the carries but the Panthers' run heavy scheme will likely afford the Stanford product enough touches to reach flex-worthy production even in twelve-team leagues. The elusive McCaffrey could become a PPR darling if Cam Newton gets better at finding receivers out of the backfield instead of running the football.
|Carolina to ride "hot hand"?|
HC: Game flow to determine playing time
By: Doug Orth | Thu Sep 21, 8:15 pm
|HC Ron Rivera said balance with playing time between Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Stewart is "about the flow of the game" and who is doing well. (Associated Press)|
FFToday's Take: It's unclear what exactly prompted Rivera to make this statement. McCaffrey and Stewart are two very different backs who complement each other well, which is pretty much how they have been used to this point. The Panthers would be silly to wear out an injury-prone back like Stewart or put too much on McCaffrey's plate when Stewart is around to be the hammer for this offense. Both players have a enticing matchup in Week 3 against New Orleans.
|McCaffrey a "special player"|
Jonathan Stewart calls rookie "pretty unstoppable" in passing game
By: Doug Orth | Mon Jul 31, 8:55 pm
|Before RB Christian McCaffrey has played his first exhibition game, the rookie continues to draw rave reviews from his teammates. The latest to praise McCaffrey was veteran RB Jonathan Stewart, who made a bold prediction regarding McCaffrey.
“He’s pretty unstoppable as far as coming out of the backfield running routes. I can tell you now there’s not going to be anybody in this league that can cover him 1-on-1. ... He’s a special player. Coach (Mike) Shula has definitely found some pretty good ways to put him in positions to win,” Stewart said. (The Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: If the Panthers get their way, the updated version of "Double Trouble" will be even more dynamic than the first. The challenge for Carolina will be remembering McCaffrey is a special runner as well and making sure he gets at least 10 carries per game in addition to four or five receptions while Stewart is healthy. The sky is the limit for McCaffrey, who could set the league on fire if/when Stewart succumbs to injury again.
|Carolina has big plans for Christian McCaffrey|
Rookie RB getting "peppered" with short passes
By: Doug Orth | Thu Jul 27, 7:05 pm
|Rookie report of camp: Nothing great from first-round pick Christian McCaffrey, but it is obvious from the number of short passes and screens being thrown in the running back's direction there are big plans for him. The crowd loves him, too. He can make a simple move and there are oohs and ahs from fans on the hill overlooking the practice field at Wofford College. Defenders can't love McCaffrey, though. He's so fast on his cuts that it leaves them grasping for air. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: It's becoming obvious with all the talk about McCaffrey being a fixture in the short passing game that the first play of the season will be a short dump-off/screen he takes 60 yards for a score. All kidding aside, the Panthers are pounding the short-passing narrative pretty hard. While he will likely play second fiddle to Jonathan Stewart as a rusher this season, the rookie has about a 50-60 catch floor in Carolina's new Cam Newton-friendly offense.