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RB Christian McCaffrey - Carolina Panthers

5-11, 202Born: 6-7-1996College: StanfordDrafted: Round 1, pick 2017

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Nov 12): McCaffrey was the bright shining light on an otherwise dark night for the Panthers in Pittsburgh. He has atoned for his low touchdown output earlier in the year and should be considered an elite RB1 headed into a matchup with Detroit.

General News (Fri Nov 16): has played 96 percent of the offensive snaps this year, the highest percentage of any running back ranked in the top 10 in total yards.

Week 11: at Detroit Lions

All RB vs DET

FBG says: Good matchup. Christian McCaffrey has emerged as one of the NFL's most elusive players, and he's officially shed the "receiving back first" label. He left a bad taste in some fantasy mouths by averaging just 2.39 yards per rush over his first 8 NFL games, but that's a distant memory. Over his last 18, he's at 4.63, and he's routinely turning solid workloads into huge fantasy days. McCaffrey isn't big but was consistently productive at Stanford when pounding up the gut into eight-man fronts. The NFL is a different animal, of course, but he's slippery and determined enough to create room for himself on the interior and rack up yardage. He's posted 156 yards and 3 scores on the ground over the last 2 weeks, teaming with Cam Newton as a diverse and dynamic option attack. The Detroit run defense had been a massive liability for quite some time, but things changed two weeks ago when star plugger Damon Harrison was brought aboard. Harrison is a dominant run-stuffer cut loose in his prime by the rebuilding Giants. He's simply a wrecking crew routinely tying up blockers and shutting down interior runs. Between him and impressive rookie DaShawn Hand, the Lions are now an exceptionally difficult team to gash up the middle. Since Harrison's arrival, they've shut down power runners Latavius Murray (10 for 31) and Jordan Howard (11 for 21). This is still a fairly shaky unit, with subpar linebacker play that can be worked over on the second level. After all, while Murray plodded along 2 weeks ago, Dalvin Cook erupted for 89 yards on just 10 carries. But at its base, there's been a sea change that's suddenly turned this matchup into one to think about, if nothing else. This is a unit that can be beat out wide fairly easily which could set up well for McCaffrey.

Recent Stats and Projections

7 at PHI 59 7 29 0 6 6 51 0 0 8
8 vs BAL 64 14 45 1 6 4 11 1 0 17.6
9 vs TB 61 17 79 2 6 5 78 0 0 27.7
10 at PIT 54 14 77 1 5 5 61 2 0 31.8
11 at DET PROJ-Dodds * 14 * * 6 * * * *
11 at DET PROJ-Tremblay * 15 * * 5 * * * *
11 at DET PROJ-Bloom * 15 * * 5 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

Christian McCaffrey's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2018 Week 10 vs PIT (14 / 77 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 61 / 2 rec)

Christian McCaffrey inspired a sensational opening drive from Carolina that seemed to augur well for the rest of the game. The swift back darted through creases behind good blocking from the offensive line, with the threat of Cam Newton as a runner on option handoffs a concern for Pittsburgh's defenders. McCaffrey finished the drive off with a touchdown, sneaking out to the left flat as Devin Funchess' slant route picked off the defender covering the back. The wheel route left McCaffrey wide open for an easy pitch-and-catch touchdown connection. McCaffrey let down his quarterback not long after that, however, giving up a sack after being bulldozed in one-on-one pass protection. He had no chance on the play. McCaffrey remained the engine of the offense even as everything was falling apart around him, creating space where there seemed none and exploiting defenders with quick cuts. He added a second touchdown through the air on a similar play to the first; no Steelers defender followed him on a wheel route up the left sideline, and it proved an easy score. Late in the game McCaffrey added a touchdown on the ground, a one-yard dive set up by a pass interference penalty on D.J. Moore.

2018 Week 9 vs TB (17 / 79 / 2 rush, 6 / 5 / 78 / 0 rec)

A slick performance from Christian McCaffrey saw the second-year back dominating from start to finish. The offensive line and McCaffrey were in concert throughout, with good blocking being rewarded by a decisive McCaffrey, who shot through gaps. When things weren't immediately clear for McCaffrey, he darted expertly between and past defenders. His highlight play was undoubtedly a screen pass that saw him hurdle over a defender before shooting up the field for a big gain. McCaffrey showed his toughness on two rushing touchdowns from the one-yard line, following his blocks and powering in with good leg drive on both occasions. McCaffrey got the bulk of the goal line work, but to Tampa Bay's credit they kept him bottled up on a few occasions. The offense sputtered in the second half, but it was McCaffrey's catches that reignited the team as the Buccaneers trailed by just seven.

2018 Week 8 vs BAL (14 / 45 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 11 / 1 rec)

The Ravens kept the Panthers rushing attack bottled up in this game, but Christian McCaffrey was not to be denied. Showing excellent vision and patience throughout, the second-year runner would often wait a couple of seconds behind his offensive line before darting outside. This was exactly how his rushing touchdown panned out. McCaffrey took the hand-off, initially getting lost behind his line and hitting his own offensive lineman in the back. Seeing daylight on the left, he bounced it quickly and found a huge lane to the end zone. The offense revolved around McCaffrey, and he paid off that faith in the final drive with some clock-killing runs for chunks of yardage. His receiving touchdown came on a heady play in the red zone. Cam Newton targeted Devin Funchess on a slant route, but the ball was immediately batted up into the air. It was a quick-of-thought McCaffrey who rose highest to claim the falling football, securing it for an unlikely score. Against a disciplined rush defense of Baltimore, McCaffrey put on a clinic in pressing the hole and hitting a gap when it became available.

2018 Week 7 vs PHI (7 / 29 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 51 / 0 rec)

Christian McCaffrey looked smooth and agile between the tackles early on, slicing through small creases and bouncing it to the edge when the blocking allowed. The game script quickly removed a ground-and-pound approach from the equation, however, forcing McCaffrey into a pass catching role primarily. McCaffrey proved crucial on the final drive, reeling in a pair of pinpoint Cam Newton passes to move the chains. The threat of McCaffrey helped the Panthers set up the end around rushing touchdown to Curtis Samuel.

2018 Week 6 vs WAS (8 / 20 / 0 rush, 8 / 7 / 46 / 0 rec)

Christian McCaffrey dominating both via the air and the ground has become commonplace this season - but this game proved to be a different story. Early on, Carolina's offense appeared to be humming along, with McCaffrey making excellent cuts and decisions to churn out some yards on the ground. However, it all changed after the Redskins began to build a lead, forcing the offense to go pass-happy. McCaffrey was clearly an emphasis of the Washington defense; it seemed every time the running back caught a pass, he was instantly corralled. However, at times he was able to find some room to work underneath and looked good after the catch. McCaffrey was targeted at the end of the game on a wheel route in the end zone, but the ball was out of his reach.

2018 Week 5 vs NYG (17 / 58 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 35 / 1 rec)

Christian McCaffrey produced a solid performance against what proved to be a resilient and stingy Giants front seven. The second-year back was often tossed backwards and stuffed at the line, although he managed to weave his way through gaps as well. The Panthers were at times dysfunctional in their run blocking - on one play, McCaffrey was basically tackled by his right guard - but McCaffrey made the best of it. He was not a factor in the passing game, apart from a touchdown he scored on a quick flair pass that no Giants player even came close to covering. McCaffrey saw the field well and did a solid job in pass protection.

2018 Week 3 vs CIN (28 / 184 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)

In a performance that is certain to turn the heads of some critics, Christian McCaffrey put to bed any notion that he can't run between the tackles. From the first snap, McCaffrey showed his toughness, grit and no-nonsense approach as he shrugged off tacklers on his way to steady chunks of yardage. The offensive line provided an excellent platform for McCaffrey, but his patience and vision to wait for blocks to develop and holes to run through were exemplary. McCaffrey was predominantly asked to run between the tackles, which he did with great efficiency, but at times he showed off his ability on stretch plays, another element of his game that he clearly has room for growth in. He got the nod in the red zone on several occasions but was stopped each time by a stubborn Bengals defense. However, he played a big role in Cam Newton's second rushing touchdown. Off the veer look, Newton rode the exchange point with McCaffrey, who was darting left to right parallel to the line of scrimmage and caught the eyes of some Bengals defenders. That opened a crease for Newton to exploit. When the Panthers were trying to chew up the clock, McCaffrey got the call again and delivered, breaking off some powerful interior runs.

2018 Week 2 vs ATL (8 / 37 / 0 rush, 15 / 14 / 102 / 0 rec)

The Panthers passing attack against the Falcons basically ran through Christian McCaffrey, with the second-year back dominating the backfield touches. The former Stanford back looked hungry to make an impact and ran well between the tackles on the rare occasions he had to do so. However, much as the Panthers wanted to run the ball to protect their offensive line, the game began to get away from them. Enter McCaffrey, who was Cam Newton's outlet on nearly every dropback, it seemed. McCaffrey added value to every touch, consistently scooting past a chasing defender or juking a despairing tackle attempt. McCaffrey got the call in the red zone on an inside handoff at one point but was quickly met in the hole by a swarming defense. He continued to bite off small chunks of yardage as the Panthers played in comeback mode for most of the game, but wasn't quite able to break a big one at any point.

2018 Week 1 vs DAL (10 / 50 / 0 rush, 9 / 6 / 45 / 0 rec)

The Norv Turner era began in Carolina with the grand unveiling of the Christian McCaffrey Show on offense. Offensive line inconsistently held back the passing attack, but this forced quicker releases and allowed McCaffrey to thrive on underneath routes. The Dallas defenders couldn't deal with him in space, with the quick-twitch back winning time and again. As a runner, McCaffrey's day started off in a rough way as he had a red zone fumble. The defender who knocked it out made a terrific play to weave through the blocks, but McCaffrey failed to secure the ball with two hands. McCaffrey showed burst and power on a 13-yard inside handoff later, lowering his shoulder into contact and dragging a tackler or two. Cam Newton was inaccurate on some simple passes to McCaffrey in the flat, or the second-year back could have had an even more productive game. McCaffrey proved a thorn in the side of the Cowboys and acted as the engine of the offense.


Latest News

Panthers | Christian McCaffrey has been busy (Thu Nov 15, 10:07 PM) - Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey has played 96 percent of the offensive snaps this year, the highest percentage of any running back ranked in the top 10 in total yards.

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Panthers | Christian McCaffrey scores three times (Thu Nov 8, 11:21 PM) - Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey rushed 14 times for 77 yards and touchdown and caught five passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10.

Our View: McCaffrey was the lone bright spot for the Panthers offense. He has made up for his slow start in the touchdown column and is among the five most valuable running backs in fantasy right now.
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Panthers | Christian McCaffrey scores twice (Sun Nov 4, 05:40 PM) - Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey rushed 17 times for 79 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Week 9 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he had five grabs for a team-high 78 yards on six targets.

Our View: McCaffrey had easy scores and found lots of room as a receiver and a runner against a weak Bucs defense. He's an elite RB1 heading into a matchup with the Steelers on Thursday.
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11@ Detroit Lions
12vs Seattle Seahawks
13@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14@ Cleveland Browns
15vs New Orleans Saints
16vs Atlanta Falcons
17@ New Orleans Saints