FBG says: Neutral matchup. Christian McCaffrey isn't quite 2019's league MVP, but he certainly belongs at the figurative ceremony. The explosive workhorse has turned 20 rushes per game into averages of 97 yards (second in football) and 12 touchdowns (tied for first), to say nothing of his pass-game contributions. He's struggled on the ground in back-to-back weeks, but that can be forgiven in tough matchups against the Saints and Redskins. McCaffrey continues to show off the most dynamic skillset in football, with dazzling quickness and a decisive, physical running style. When given the open field, he's never an easy tackle and always a threat to turn three-yard gains into breakaways. He's also the Panthers' engine near the goal line, with 18 carries from inside the 5-yard line (second-most in the league). Working behind a stout front line that's deep enough to overcome some recent injuries, McCaffrey always projects to big opportunity and efficiency. He still represents the biggest tilt on any given fantasy week.
The Atlanta run defense isn't impenetrable, but it continues to make strides overall. Dating back to Week 5, they've allowed just 4.0 yards per carry and 4 touchdowns to running backs, with only a single one topping 70. They boast an All-Pro talent up front in Grady Jarrett, who's among the NFL elite in both tying up blockers and blowing up runs himself. And behind him, Deion Jones and De'Vondre Campbell have both graded near the top of the league in run support. That said, there's still some vulnerability here to the occasional chunk run; only 7 teams have allowed more breakaway runs (15+ yards). Of course, that's a byproduct of facing such a daunting schedule of runners, and this group has held tight otherwise. But when these teams squared off 3 weeks ago, Christian McCaffrey had little trouble creating yardage (5.0 yards apiece).