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Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Date of Birth:  06/07/1996
Age:  22
Height  5'11"
Weight:   202
College:  Stanford
Drafted:  2017 | Round 1 | Pick 8
Depth Chart:  Starter

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Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey says he's "way stronger" than he was last year.

The third-year running back told ESPN's David Newton that he had no choice but to get "bigger, faster, stronger." A couple of weeks ago, a picture of McCaffrey went viral because it appeared to show the former Stanford star's biceps have gotten noticeably bigger this offseason—and it didn't happen by accident. McCaffrey and his personal trainer Brian Kula laid out his workout to ESPN, and it includes football-specific training meant for McCaffrey to get more ground-force application, which is leading to him running faster and jumping higher. McCaffrey says that he "would definitely like the ball as much as possible," adding that's why he trains and takes care of his body the way he does. He says he'll be ready for "25 carries and eight catches a game" if that's what the Panthers want for him, just as he'd be ready for less touches but to play the whole game and pass protect a lot. There was talk about Carolina scaling back McCaffrey's workload to keep him fresh throughout the season, but it doesn't look like that needs to (or will) happen. Expect McCaffrey to be up at around 90% of the Panthers' offensive snaps again in 2019 after his 91% by far led the NFL for running backs last season. McCaffrey is proving those that doubted him as a top-ten pick and thought he was just a scat back totally wrong, which is great to see.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey does not want the Panthers to decrease his workload.

According to David Newton of ESPN.com, McCaffrey said: "I played in every game last year, felt great. I can do it again. I feel I can do it over the next may years. ... I would definitely like the ball as much as possible. ... That's why I train." McCaffrey played over 91% of Carolina's offensive snaps last season, and he was on the field for 75 more snaps than any other running back in the league—so it makes sense that the Panthers will explore scaling back his workload to ensure he stays fresh for all 16 games (and hopefully into the postseason) and for many years. But it's a good sign that McCaffrey, who seems to train extremely hard, doesn't want less work moving forward. The former Stanford star was a workhorse in college, and he's become a workhorse in the NFL; he looks to be one of those guys that can carry a heavy workload and still remain fresh and durable throughout seasons. Also, talk of McCaffrey's stature is probably a little overblown, as he's built solidly and works hard in the weight room. Don't be surprised if McCaffrey gets another 300+ touches in 2019—he's just too good of a player to have off the field.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles five touches in Week 17 win.

McCaffrey rushed four times for 18 yards and caught a 22-yard pass on the game's opening drive, but that was it for him as the Panthers look to keep him healthy for 2019 and beyond. The Stanford product finishes his fantasy MVP-caliber campaign with 219 carries for 1,098 yards (5.0 YPC) and seven touchdowns while adding a 107 receptions (a new NFL record for running backs) for 867 yards and six more scores through the air. McCaffrey—who almost never leaves the field—will be one of the safest picks in the first round of fantasy drafts next summer, and a case can be made for him as a top-three selection in all formats.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Ron Rivera says he wants to be "smart" with Christian McCaffrey in Week 17.

McCaffrey looks set to play in the season finale, but it sounds like he might not get a heavy workload after already accumulating 321 touches through 15 games this year. The second-year running back is 155 receiving yards from a 1,000/1,000 season, but that Panthers aren't worried about him getting that mark. However, all indications are that he's at least going to play, so it might be hard to bench one of the best players in fantasy even if his workload is scaled back to ensure he's healthy for 2019. McCaffrey remains an RB1 option with fantasy titles on the line this weekend.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey gets 33 touches against the Falcons.

McCaffrey carried 21 times for 101 yards and caught 12 passes for 77 yards, leading the Panthers in all categories in their Week 16 loss. The second-year running back crossed 1,000 rushing yards in the game and became just the third player in NFL history with over 100 receptions and 1,000 rushing yards in a season, and he also passed Matt Forte's mark for most receptions by a running back in a season (now with 106). McCaffrey is 155 receiving yards away from 1,000 for the season, and don't be surprised if he pushes for that mark next week against the Buccaneers. The Panthers don't seem worried about giving the former Stanford star a bunch of touches.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey carries the entire Carolina offense in Week 15 loss.

McCaffrey rushed 15 times for 53 yards, also adding eight receptions for 67 yards and a 50-yard touchdown pass. The score was the only touchdown of the game for the Panthers, and it came on a trick play to Chris Manhertz on fourth-and-one at midfield in the first quarter. After that, Carolina could only move the ball with tough runs and short passes by McCaffrey, who could have had a bigger night if Cam Newton didn't struggle with inaccuracy. The Panthers now face long playoff odds at 6-8, but McCaffrey should remain a near every-snap player at least until they are officially eliminated from postseason contention. An argument can be made for the Stanford product as the top overall play in Week 16 against the Falcons.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey scores twice in loss to the Browns.

McCaffrey rushed 16 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns, also adding six receptions (on seven targets) for 38 yards. The Stanford product scored on two of the team's first three possessions, but once again, they didn't give him close to enough work in a tight game against a beatable Cleveland run defense. From a fantasy perspective, McCaffrey has been phenomenal, though, and he will hopefully handle 25-30 touches as an elite RB1 option next week against the Saints.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles 19 touches as Carolina falls to 6-6.

McCaffrey rushed ten times for 106 yards, also adding nine receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. Inexplicably, the Panthers went away from the Stanford product despite being the main source of offense all day (and season), and it led to another loss—their fourth in a row. Still, fantasy owners don't have much to complain about with McCaffrey making the most of his opportunities, and Carolina will hopefully realize they need to feed their superstar back down the stretch. In a great spot against Cleveland next week, McCaffrey is probably the No. 2 play behind Todd Gurley.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey dominates in Panthers' loss.

Carolina lost its third straight game as they fell to Seattle, but McCaffrey did his part with a monster performance. The second-year running back had 17 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown along with 11 receptions (on 11 targets) for 112 yards and a touchdown. He had a long run of 59 yards and a long reception of 38 yards in the Week 12 loss; both scores were by the goal line. McCaffrey's 229 scrimmage yards set a new career-high, and he became the first player in Panthers history with 100+ rushing yards and 100+ receiving yards in a game. McCaffrey next faces a Bucs team he hit with 157 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns earlier this season, and he's obviously one of the best RB1 options out there.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey gets 19 touches in Week 11.

McCaffrey carried 13 times for 53 yards and added six reception (on eight targets) for 57 yards against the Lions. Detroit did a nice job of not allowing McCaffrey to break any big plays on the ground, though he did have a 34-yard reception. This ends McCaffrey's streak of three straight games with a touchdown, but he'll look to start a new streak against the Seahawks next week. He obviously remains an excellent RB1 option for Week 12.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey scores three touchdowns in Thursday Night Football loss.

McCaffrey rushed 14 times for 77 yards and a touchdown, also adding five receptions (on five targets) for 61 yards and two scores. Carolina ended up getting blown out 52-21, but McCaffrey was the lone bright spot for the team and fantasy owners, as he got things started with a 20-yard touchdown reception on the game's opening possession and then followed it up with a 25-yard reception on a similar play later in the first half. And despite the game being over in the fourth quarter, the Panthers surprisingly kept the starters in, and the Stanford product was able to score from one yard away on the ground. The touchdowns have piled up for McCaffrey over the past couple weeks, and he is obviously an excellent RB1 in all formats for Week 11 against Detroit.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey totals 157 yards in Week 9 victory.

McCaffrey rushed 17 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns, also adding five catches for a team-high 78 yards as a receiver. It was a tremendous day for the Stanford product, who scored from three yards away in the first quarter after being "vultured" by fullback Alex Armah on the previous possession, and he then scored a one-yard touchdown later in the half. At the season's midway point, McCaffrey is on pace for 1,760 total yards and ten total touchdowns with some potential shootouts—including on Thursday night against the Steelers—down the stretch. He's arguably a top-five play in all formats.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey scores twice in win over the Ravens.

McCaffrey rushed 14 times for 45 yards and a touchdown, also adding four receptions for 11 yards and another score. The first touchdown came from 11 yards away in the first quarter as the Stanford product got lost behind the line of scrimmage and accelerated to the pylon, and the second came on a six-yard catch that he dove into the end zone for after the ball was deflected. Overall, it was about as good a game as fantasy owners could have hoped for against a stout Baltimore front, and McCaffrey should be back towards top-five status in all formats as the schedule softens up down the stretch, including next Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles 13 touches in win over the Eagles.

McCaffrey rushed seven times for 29 yards and caught six-of-six targets for 51 yards. Fantasy owners will take the 80 total yards on a day that Carolina did almost nothing until the final five minutes of the game, but it's fair to wonder if they would have had more success if they stuck with the rushing attack early on and featured McCaffrey more as a receiver. Nonetheless, it was a huge victory for the Panthers, and they'll return home for a tough matchup with the Ravens. McCaffrey remains an RB1, but he will probably need to produce through the air against a stingy front.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles 15 touches in loss to the Redskins.

McCaffrey rushed eight times for 20 yards, also adding seven receptions (on eight targets) for 46 yards. Carolina basically abandoned the running game in favor of Cam Newton airing it out 40 times as Washington jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but they probably should have committed to McCaffrey in a 23-17 defeat. The second-year back is a matchup-proof RB1 in all formats heading into a key game against the Eagles, and the Panthers would be wise to feature him with at last 18-22 touches; Philadelphia is vulnerable to talented pass-catchers out of the backfield.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles 22 touches in 33-31 win over the Giants.

McCaffrey rushed 17 times for 58 yards and caught five passes for 35 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown. It looked like the second-year back had plenty of opportunities to do damage on outlet passes all afternoon, but Cam Newton didn't really look his way until the second half. Sunday was McCaffrey's least productive day as a runner, but he was able to find the end zone for the first time of the year. Through four games, he is now on pace for 252 carries for 1,316 yards and a 108/768/4 receiving line. We think the touchdowns should increase soon for Run CMC, and he looks like a high-end RB1 option in all formats with Carolina feeding him as expected so far this season. McCaffrey and the Panthers travel to Washington in Week 6.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles 30 touches in career day.

McCaffrey rushed 28 times for 184 yards in Carolina's 31-21 win over the Bengals, also adding two receptions for ten yards. The Panthers realized they should commit to McCaffrey after their loss to Atlanta last week, and he didn't disappoint as he accounted for over half of the team's total yards. We think Run CMC is more than capable of handling a heavy weekly workload, but he gets to rest with a bye before taking on the Giants in Week 5. He's an RB1 in all formats.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey catches career-high 14 passes in 31-24 loss to the Falcons.

McCaffrey caught 14 passes for 102 yards and rushed eight times for 37 yards. The second-year back was a consistent outlet wide receiver underneath and did a great job moving forward for positive yards, but he isn't getting the workload as a runner that we think he should get, and Cam Newton's lone interception of the game bounced off C.J. Anderson's hands with McCaffrey on the bench. Right now, consider Run CMC an elite PPR option but more of a reliable, low-end RB1 in standard leagues.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Ron Rivera again says he wants a heavy workload for Christian McCaffrey.

This has been the case all summer leading up to the season, but some became worried after C.J. Anderson took more work than expected in Week 1. Rivera says the hope is to eventually get McCaffrey about 15-20 carries and 6-10 catches, which would put him at 21-30 touches per game—more than enough to put up some monster numbers. McCaffrey is an excellent fantasy RB1 in both standard and PPR leagues, and he's arguably in the mix for top overall player in the latter format.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey rushed ten times for 50 yards in Sunday's win over the Cowboys.

McCaffrey also led the team with six receptions for 45 and lost a fumble. Overall, it was a disappointing game for fantasy owners with C.J. Anderson (seven carries for 35 yards) getting more work than expected and Cam Newton and fullback Alex Armah both scoring inside the five, but McCaffrey showed impressive power as a between-the-tackles runner that moved forward on contact. He will hopefully be in the 20-25 touch range in a potential high-scoring affair with Atlanta next Sunday.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Norv Turner says Christian McCaffrey can get a heavy workload this season.

The Panthers offensive coordinator was asked about the second-year back's expected workload this season, and he said "I read coach Rivera said about 20-25 touches per game, so that's probably realistic." Turner is basically just reiterating what the team's head coach said, while also noting that every game is different. Still, this all but flat-out confirms McCaffrey will be Carolina's lead ball-carrier this season unless his involvement in the passing game somehow takes a huge jump from his 80 receptions last year. McCaffrey averaged 12.3 touches per game as a rookie.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Ron Rivera says Christian McCaffrey getting 25-30 touches per game would be "ideal."

There's no question that McCaffrey actually getting that many touches per game is a bit of a stretch, as even the low end would be 400 touches for the season. This comes a day after talk of the second-year running back getting 200+ carries this season, though, and clearly the Panthers want to make an effort to get him the ball. We should find out more throughout the summer and in preseason games, but despite the addition of C.J. Anderson, McCaffrey appears poised to get a bigger workload in 2018. He could climb up fantasy draft boards in the coming weeks.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Ron Rivera believes Christian McCaffrey can reach 200 carries in 2018.

David Newton of ESPN.com says Rivera told him that "he wouldn't be surprised if McCaffrey reached 200 carries" this season. Newton goes on to write that "the staff is confident McCaffrey can run between the tackles, as he did at Stanford." There had recently been some talk of free-agent addition C.J. Anderson being the team's lead runner this season, but we believe it'll end up being McCaffrey. One, Carolina didn't exactly jump at signing Anderson when the Broncos released him; and two, McCaffrey is a dynamic all-around running back the certainly can handle a heavy workload as a runner. Combined with his receiving totals, 200 carries would likely put McCaffrey up near 300 touches for the season. This situation is still one of the big ones to watch in training camp as we hope to get clarity on how the carries will be split in 2018.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer doesn't believe Christian McCaffrey will get many more carries this season.

Rodrigue writes that McCaffrey could be even more involved as a receiver after catching 80 passes for 651 yards as a rookie last season, but that "he'll have to capitalize on the carries he gets, since it appears that Anderson will take the lead in the traditional running back role." This is only one reporter, with a lot of time to go until the season, but it's a little concerning to hear McCaffrey could have about the same role as last season. However, McCaffrey is a very good runner, and we expect his talent could lead him to getting a lot more work on the ground than people might expect.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Ron Rivera says Christian McCaffrey can get 200 carries this season.

The Panthers head coach was asked if he could hit that 200-carry mark despite having only 117 carries as a rookie last season, and he said: "Everybody forgets when he was in college he ran between the tackles more than anybody and he touched the ball more than anybody. So I don't see why not." That is a great sign for McCaffrey's potential workload this season, and it lines up with what we have believed since he left Stanford for the NFL: McCaffrey can be a workhorse runner in the NFL, and the narrative about him being only a scat back is false. The addition of former Broncos running back C.J. Anderson took some of the optimism about McCaffrey's potential breakout into an top-tier RB1, but it sounds McCaffrey might clearly be the main ball-carrier in Carolina's backfield. Remember, he's also put on more muscle this year and has a full offseason compared to a short one as a rookie last year as he prepared for the draft and finished up his quarter at Stanford. McCaffrey could be a steal in the late second/early third round of fantasy drafts this year.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey says he's "gained about five pounds of good muscle" this offseason.

McCaffrey has always been understated in the size department, but he does look noticeably more muscular in pictures that have been snapped of him over the last several weeks. The second-year running back says he's worked on everything: "my core strength, my upper body strength and my lower body." McCaffrey is looking to use the added bulk to break more tackles this season as he gets ready for what should be a heavier workload in 2018. Weight gain can be troublesome for some running backs if they lose speed, but the good news is McCaffrey says he wants to play "where I feel fastest, where I feel most explosive, where I feel most comfortable." These five pounds shouldn't hinder McCaffrey's dynamic ability as a runner and receiver. C.J. Anderson signing with Carolina put at least a slight dent in the McCaffrey's fantasy value, but the young running back is one of our favorite selections in the second or third round of fantasy drafts, which is where he's going according to early ADP.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

New Panthers OC Norv Turner wants to "build on" Christian McCaffrey's success.

Turner was on a conference call with reporters today and said it's "pretty amazing" McCaffrey was thrown to 124 times this season and that the rookie was "very productive." The longtime NFL coach added "we've had success with backs like Christian, so we'll look at things we've done in the past and build on the things that he had success with this year." At the very least, McCaffrey will remain heavily involved in the passing game next season, but he should also be more involved after getting only 117 carries as a rookie. Turner declined to answer whether the roster needed a back for the power running game, and it's possible he believes McCaffrey is a guy that can carry the load. We certainly think he's capable of doing so.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey scores in Panthers' playoff loss.

McCaffrey carried six times for 16 yards and caught six of eight targets for 101 yards and a touchdown through the air in the loss to the Saints. The touchdown was on a halfback option route that McCaffrey easily got open on and was off to the races. The rookie from Stanford had an excellent rookie season and was an integral part of the offense, but he's definitely someone that could (and probably should) get more touches next season. We'll have to see what Carolina does at the running back position this offseason, but if McCaffrey ends up as the lead runner he would offer monster upside in 2018 fantasy drafts.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Falcons don't let Christian McCaffrey beat them in do-or-die win.

McCaffrey rushed six times for 14 yards and caught five passes for 40 yards. The rookie got his hands on a couple more passes, but he couldn't bring them in. Fans will get a good look at McCaffrey in the playoffs, but he finishes the regular season with 117 attempts for 435 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and two scores on the ground, making a bigger impact as a receiver with 80 receptions for 651 yards and five touchdowns. The eighth-overall pick needs to be featured in the postseason if Carolina is going to make a run, and that starts next Sunday in the late afternoon game against the Saints.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles nine touches in Week 16 win.

McCaffrey rushed nine times for 39 yards and caught two passes for 19 yards. The dynamic rookie led the running backs in yards and carries, but it was mostly Cam Newton handling things (52 yards and a touchdown) on the ground for Carolina to clinch a playoff spot. McCaffrey will look to be more involved in the regular season finale against Atlanta, and he remains an RB1/RB2 option.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles 18 touches in win over the Packers.

McCaffrey rushed 12 times for 63 yards, adding six receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown in the 31-24 victory. Carolina's first-round pick took a backseat to Jonathan Stewart last week, but he was the man in this one with 136 total yards. Look for him to stay hot against Tampa Bay on Christmas Eve, as McCaffrey is averaging 5.0 yards per carry over the past two months. He's an RB1/RB2 in standard leagues and a solid RB1 in PPR leagues.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey takes a backseat to Jonathan Stewart in win over the Vikings.

McCaffrey rushed eight times for 35 yards and caught three passes for 18 yards, while the veteran Stewart rushed for 103 yards and scored three touchdowns. Fantasy owners shouldn't panic after one game, as McCaffrey is clearly the superior fantasy option down the stretch, especially in PPR leagues. He should be a high-end RB2 in Week 15.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles 11 touches, scores in 31-21 loss to the Saints.

McCaffrey caught five passes for 33 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He also rushed six times for 16 yards. The Panthers' first-round pick has been held under eight carries for three-straight games after an impressive 15-carry, 66-yard performance in Week 9, and it's fair to wonder if the offense would be doing better with McCaffrey operating as the lead ball-carrier. He should be relied upon through the air next week against Minnesota's elite run defense, making the rookie a RB1/RB2 in standard leagues and a clear RB1 in PPR leagues.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) is active against the Saints.

The rookie running back said during the week that he'd be good to go on Sunday, and he now officially is. While he might be a little banged up with the shoulder issue, he should get a sizable workload in a game for first place in the NFC South and you can feel safe about inserting McCaffrey as an excellent option in fantasy lineups.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Week 13.

Earlier this week, McCaffrey said he's going to play, so we'd expect him to be out there against the Saints. However, sometimes teams decide to hold players out, and this wouldn't be the first time a play that said they would play in a game ended up not playing. The Panthers play at 4:25 PM ET on Sunday, complicating things, but you should feel pretty good about inserting him into your fantasy lineup.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) will play this week against the Saints.

McCaffrey told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero that he'll be "ready to roll" on Sunday, while adding that not practicing yesterday was a "maintenance day." He might be a little banged up, but the tough rookie running back isn't going to miss any time—especially with this huge NFC South matchup coming up. You can safely insert McCaffrey into your lineup as a solid RB1/RB2 option against New Orleans.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) did not practice today.

McCaffrey got banged up in Carolina's Week 12 win against the Jets, but there's no reason to be too alarmed about his status for this week yet. We'll see if the dynamic rookie is able to practice tomorrow.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey gets nine touches against the Jets.

McCaffrey carried seven times for 62 yards while adding two receptions for 35 yards in the Week 12 win. The dynamic rookie showed his excellent running ability and had a long run of 40 yards on what looked like was going to be a touchdown if not for a defender taking a good angle on McCaffrey's cutback at the second level. Jonathan Stewart (15 carries, 26 yards, touchdown) hasn't been as effective as McCaffrey on the ground, so the rookie could start getting more carries as the team moves towards a likely playoff appearance.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey could get more snaps in the slot this week.

McCaffrey reportedly got more snaps at that position during practice this week, as it appears he's set to help make up for the loss of teammate Curtis Samuel (ankle) for the season. The dynamic rookie running back is a matchup nightmare for linebackers and safeties, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him get around ten targets per game moving forward. McCaffrey is an RB1 down the stretch as someone that the Panthers look poised to get the ball to a lot, and he might be an elite RB1 in PPR formats.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey scores twice in Panthers' Monday night win.

McCaffrey again showed that he's already an outstanding player in the NFL, carrying five times for 23 yards and a touchdown on the ground while also catching three passes for 27 yards and a touchdown through the air. The rushing score was on an outside run where McCaffrey put a great move to cut the run back and get in the end zone. And the receiving touchdown was on a pass that was designed to go in the flat, but McCaffrey then turned it into a bit of a comeback route and made himself available for Cam Newton and stayed in bounds for the score. Get him out of your lineup for Week 11 with his team on a bye, but don't be surprised if McCaffrey starts putting up even bigger numbers in the final six games of the season.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles 20 touches in win over the Falcons.

McCaffrey rushed a career-high 15 times for 66 yards and a touchdown, also adding five receptions for 28 yards. The first-round pick looked great as a runner, and it's surprising to see it took so long for the Panthers to give him extended work in the backfield. Also, fantasy owners could be in for a boost of scoring in both PPR and standard-scoring formats, as his four-yard rushing touchdown looked like a forward pass that should be corrected to a receiving touchdown. If Carolina keeps McCaffrey around 20 touches per game, he should go off down the stretch. He gets the Dolphins on MNF in Week 10.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey leads Panthers in receiving as offense struggles in 17-3 win.

McCaffrey caught five passes for 49 yards and rushed four times for three yards against the Bucs. At the season's midway point, the first-round pick is on pace for just 98 carries for 234 yards and no scores as a runner, but he's also on pace for 98 receptions for 756 yards and four touchdowns. It's difficult to imagine his efficiency not increasing, and perhaps the Panthers will commit to him as the workhorse if they can fix their blocking issues up front. Still, McCaffrey has been a disappointment for non-PPR owners so far. Those in PPR formats should keep him in lineups as an RB1/RB2 option against the Falcons.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey gets 14 touches in Week 7.

The rookie running back from Stanford had seven carries and seven catches (including a spectacular one-handed catch on a high throw from Cam Newton) against the Bears, as he started the game and received the first carry for Carolina. McCaffrey picked up ten yards on his seven carries while catching seven of nine targets for 36 yards. As shown by his less-than-2.0 yards per carry, there wasn't much room for McCaffrey to run against the Bears stout front seven, but it was good to see him get involved there more on inside runs—he should break one if he keeps getting touches there. Those that have McCaffrey in PPR leagues can safely insert him into lineups as one of the best and safest RB options each week, and while his value isn't as high there, he's also a very good standard league option too.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey grabs ten passes in Week 6.

The versatile rookie running back was heavily targeted by Cam Newton, as he drew a team-high 14 targets and caught ten for 56 yards and a touchdown while also rushing four times for eight yards. The touchdown was on a short pass to the flat on a play where he was split out of the backfield and pretty easily got open on the route. McCaffrey was also targeted on a deep shot to the end zone late in the game, but Newton threw the ball out of bounds and didn't give him a great chance to catch it. And McCaffrey was deep on a wheel route from the slot earlier in the second half, but Newton stepped up to the left and didn't see him for the likely would-be touchdown. Though he's not producing a ton on the ground, McCaffrey remains a very good fantasy option and a superb option in PPR leagues.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey scores first career touchdown in win over the Lions.

McCaffrey caught five passes for 31 yards, including a six-yard score on a nice shovel pass in the second quarter. He also rushed three times for seven yards. Carolina continues to use the rookie in a variety of ways, and Sunday saw him work in the slot and as a traditional wide receiver. It's possible the Panthers give him more work on Thursday night against the Eagles with veteran Jonathan Stewart just handling 21 touches, but either way McCaffrey is a strong RB2 play.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey gets ten touches in Week 5.

The rookie back had six carries for 16 yards and added four receptions (on six targets) for 33 yards. The Patriots did a good job of containing McCaffrey in the running game and not allowing him to break one in the passing game—though he was used as a decoy on an easy 28-yard touchdown on a misdirection screen to Fozzy Whittaker. Also, Cam Newton overshot McCaffrey on an easy completion in the flat, which could've been a solid gain if the ball was in the playmaker's hands. McCaffrey should be in lineups next week against the Lions.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey is featured in Week 3 loss.

McCaffrey caught nine passes for 101 yards, adding four carries for 16 yards. The rookie was basically the only thing working for the Panthers after they fell behind, and he could have had a bigger day if Cam Newton didn't struggle with accuracy for the third-straight week. Nonetheless, it was a good start for McCaffrey in replacing Greg Olsen (foot), plus Kelvin Benjamin (knee) went down early, though the injury fortunately isn't said to be serious. Hopefully the dynamic back gets some more carries soon, but he's an RB1/RB2 option heading into Carolina's Week 4 matchup with New England.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey contained in Week 2 win.

McCaffrey rushed eight times for 10 yards and caught four passes for 34 yards in a defensive battle with Buffalo. His day could have been saved if Cam Newton didn't completely miss him on a would-be touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it didn't cost them as the Panthers are 2-0 heading into their matchup with the Saints. McCaffrey could see more work with Greg Olsen (foot) out 6-8 weeks, and he remains a solid RB2 in standard leagues and an RB1/RB2 in PPR leagues.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey handles 18 touches in his NFL debut.

McCaffrey rushed 13 times for 47 yards and caught five passes for 38 yards. He also lost a fumble on a screen pass that he tried doing too much with. The eighth-overall pick also worked as the team's punt returner, and it's clear the Panthers want to get him involved in a variety of ways. His presence on the field opened things up for everyone else, and if team's continue to pay for that, McCaffrey will have more space to operate for himself. He's an RB2 with a high floor and high upside in Week 2 against Buffalo for his first home game.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey will get "very involved" for the Panthers.

FOX's Jay Glazer said the rookie running back should get 12-15 touches in his first game today against the Niners—which would be more than enough to make a huge impact in both real life and fantasy. Glazer did also add that veteran Jonathan Stewart will still be the featured guy in the Panthers backfield, but there should be more than enough work for both players to make an impact this season.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Rookie Christian McCaffrey flashes again in third week of the preseason.

The Panthers running back had seven carries for 21 yards and one reception for 12 yards in the exhibition abasing Jacksonville. The 12-yard reception was one of Cam Newton's two passes in his lone series, so that's good Newton looked his way. McCaffrey again showed off his excellent vision and athleticism, making great cuts while accelerating through the line of scrimmage. Jonathan Stewart also played well, and the two will look to form one-two punch in the backfield in 2017. While McCaffrey is very impressive, his ADP has moved up to the top 30—you're going to have to pay to get him. If you're going off talent alone, McCaffrey is worth a pick in the first three rounds. However, he's in a shared backfield and might not be able to live up to his draft slot if Stewart remains a big part of the offense.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey dominates in second preseason game.

The dynamic running back out of Stanford had three carries for 33 yards—including a 17-yard touchdown—and two receptions for 39 yards. On the touchdown, McCaffrey burst through the line of scrimmage then zoomed by the defense and to the end zone. On his long reception of 38 yards, McCaffrey again showed the same speed and acceleration. It's clear McCaffrey is just different and a special player. His 2017 fantasy upside will be determined by how many touches he gets.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey impresses in first NFL action.

The rookie rushed seven times for 33 yards working with the first- and second-team offense. He showed good burst and lateral agility, which was expected. McCaffrey easily got to the corner on a couple runs, too, and he will surely be more involved in the passing game once the real games begin. Carolina plays again next Saturday against Tennessee.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey continues to get excellent reviews at training camp.

Dan Graziano of ESPN visited Panthers camp and head coach Ron Rivera showed him a few plays of McCaffrey doing a great job in pass protection. Team veterans have been giving great praise to the rookie back, including linebacker Thomas Davis, who said "the McCaffrey hype is most certainly legit." There was a video earlier in the week of McCaffrey getting open then putting a couple moves on All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly in practice. The dynamic running back from Stanford is probably going to be a huge mismatch against linebackers in the NFL.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey receiving heavy praise early in training camp.

He's reportedly been a very tough cover for the defense so far, and running back Jonathan Stewart said "there's not anyone in this league that can cover him one-on-one." McCaffrey was a human highlight real at Stanford, but he was also extremely productive there. It's highly unlikely the Panthers will be disappointed with McCaffrey after selecting him with the No. 8 pick in the draft. Eventually, he'll be the lead back and could handle a big workload, but with Jonathan Stewart in the mix it might not happen this season. However, at the very least, McCaffrey will have a big role in the passing game as a rookie.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Panthers rookie running back Christian McCaffrey is practicing with the team today.

Because of Stanford's quarters system for the school schedule, McCaffrey hasn't been allowed to practice during OTAs or minicamp until now. The team will certainly have some fun incorporating him into the offense. The dynamic running back should have a sizable role (in the passing game at the very least) as a rookie.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

Panthers GM Dave Gettleman compared Christian McCaffrey's inside-the-tackles ability to Curtis Martin.

Gettleman compared him to Martin, Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, and Reggie Bush. He said the best "tackle-box runner" in college he's seen was Curtis Martin at Pitt, but the McCaffrey is "right there with him." Of course, Martin went on to have a Hall of Fame career. The Panthers are thrilled with the addition of McCaffrey, and he should continue to be an electric player in the NFL.

Christian McCaffrey | Panthers RB

The Carolina Panthers select dynamic RB Christian McCaffrey eight overall.

The son of former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, Christian McCaffrey dominated in his three seasons at Stanford. The soon-to-be 21-year old (in June) rushed for 1,603 yards and 13 touchdowns on 253 carries in 2016, adding 37 catches for 310 yards and three scores. The year before, as a sophomore, McCaffrey rushed for 2,019 yards and had another 645 yards receiving. Simply put, McCaffrey was dominant as a workhorse in college, and there is no reason to believe he can’t do the same for the Panthers. He should make an early impact as a runner, receiver, and returner for Carolina. Because of the presence of Jonathan Stewart, McCaffrey should be considered an RB2/FLEX to start his rookie season.

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