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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.
| Decision on Olsen, McCaffrey coming Saturday|
Both Panthers practiced today
By: Mike Krueger | Fri Dec 1, 1:00 pm
|A decision on the playing status of Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen (foot) and running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) will likely be made on Saturday. Both were at practice today. Coach Ron Rivera wouldn't elaborate. McCaffrey has been on the field the last two days. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: McCaffrey practiced on Thursday so it would be somewhat of a surprise if he's unable to play this week. Olsen missed Wednesday and Thursday resting his foot injury. The Panthers / Saints game kicks off at 4:25 PM eastern on Sunday.
| Christian McCaffrey expected to play Week 13|
Returned to limited practice Thursday
By: Doug Orth | Thu Nov 30, 10:30 pm
|Christian McCaffrey said he took all of his necessary practice repetitions (Thursday) and that his shoulder felt good. He added that it had just been sore after Sunday’s game. (The Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: Owners can take a deep breath and relax after he was held out of practice Wednesday. The Saints - Carolina's Week 13 opponent - are middle of the pack in terms of allowing fantasy points to running backs but have yielded the 10th-most receptions to running backs. Given McCaffrey's recent increased involvement in the running game, he should be a pretty solid RB2 play at worst against New Orleans.
| Greg Olsen misses practice Thursday|
By: Mike Krueger | Thu Nov 30, 11:30 am
|Devin Funchess caught passes today (from Cam Newton). Christian McCaffrey full participation. No Greg Olsen. Thomas Davis worked on the side with trainers. (Jourdan Rodrigue on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Olsen isn't off to a great start this week after leaving last week's game early with pain in his foot. He reportedly didn't suffer an new damage but he appears to be a long shot to play against the Saints in Week 13. Veteran Ed Dickson would start if Olsen sits.
| Panthers concerned about Curtis Samuel injury|
Emerging WR could be lost for rest of season with high ankle sprain
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Tue Nov 14, 10:44 am
|Rookie wideout Curtis Samuel left the 45-21 victory in the third quarter after a Dolphins defensive back rolled on his foot after Samuel dropped a certain touchdown pass. Samuel was on crutches with his left leg heavily bandaged after the game. The initial thought was Samuel had sustained a high ankle sprain, although a team source said the concern is it could be worse. (Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: This is not good news. The Carolina Panthers traded their top receiver to Buffalo two weeks ago and might have lost their youngest receiver to a season-ending ankle injury Monday night against Miami. Russell Shepard gets a bump and this could also mean more targets for Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess.
|Panthers HC: "We believe" in Jonathan Stewart|
Shakeup at RB duties still looming with Christian McCaffrey shining
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Tue Nov 7, 11:05 am
|“We believe in Jonathan," coach Ron Rivera said Monday. “That is why we brought him back in and gave him the football again. That's why we gave him the carry at the end of the game as well."
The Panthers might believe in Jonathan Stewart, but it might be time to admit that he has become a complementary piece to rookie Christian McCaffrey, instead of vice versa. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Stewart fumbled twice against the Falcons and played his fewest snaps of the season, but Rivera is till stubbornly giving the veteran plenty of early down carries. He has to say this, but the writing is on the wall that McCaffrey is easily the better fantasy option and should be deployed in all formats as a RB3 or better moving forward.