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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.
| 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.
|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.