RB Christian McCaffrey - Carolina Panthers

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

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Week 14: at Atlanta Falcons

All RB vs ATL

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).

Recent Stats and Projections

10 at GB 73 20 108 1 7 6.0 33 0 0 19.1
11 vs ATL 70 14 70 0 14 11.0 121 0 0 19.1
12 at NO 76 22 64 1 9 9.0 69 1 0 25.3
13 vs WAS 74 14 44 0 13 7.0 58 0 0 10.2
14 at ATL PROJ-Dodds * 19 * * 6.2 * * * *
14 at ATL PROJ-Tremblay * 20 * * 6.2 * * * *
14 at ATL PROJ-Bloom * 20 * * 6.0 * * * *

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

2019 Week 13 vs WAS (14 / 44 / 0 rush, 13 / 7 / 58 / 0 rec)

Christian McCaffrey was a non-factor in this game, a trend the Panthers will not be keen to nip in the bud. The early stages saw McCaffrey bounce off tacklers, running through contact and, as a receiver, making men miss in space and creating yards after the catch. He got the nod in the red zone, but the Redskins were able to win the battle up front and stopped him shy. As the game wore on, McCaffrey's role diminished, with the offensive centrepiece having to feed off scraps such as check-down passes in third-and-long situations. The Panthers all but abandoned the ground game in the second half, allowing the Redskins pass rush to tee off on Kyle Allen and saddling McCaffrey with more pass-blocking responsibilities. McCaffrey got the call at the goal line at the end of the game with an opportunity to set up a game-tying score, but once again he was stuffed at the line as the Carolina offensive line failed to blow open holes.

2019 Week 12 vs NO (22 / 64 / 1 rush, 9 / 9 / 69 / 1 rec)

The legend of Christian McCaffrey continued to grow against the Saints, albeit in a losing effort. The sledding was tough for the third-year back in the early stages, as tests of the New Orleans front seven were swiftly rejected. Norv Turner began to use Curtis Samuel as a jet sweep option, a design that opened some more interior opportunities for McCaffrey. While the ground attack didn't quite click, McCaffrey found plenty of work as an underneath target in the passing game, ripping off chunks of yardage on check down passes. McCaffrey even lined up as a receiver on occasion, converting on a quick slant and a hitch in the red zone. McCaffrey's receiving touchdown came on a beautifully lofted pass in the red zone, a fourth-and-goal play with only two seconds remaining in the half. There was no Saints player near him as he strolled in, so keen were they to snuff out a run play. McCaffrey added a rushing touchdown for good measure, cutting back inside after putting a wicked stutter-step move on a Saints defensive back four yards from the goal line.

2019 Week 11 vs ATL (14 / 70 / 0 rush, 14 / 11 / 121 / 0 rec)

Christian McCaffrey was largely kept in check on the ground by a disciplined Atlanta front seven, though as a receiver the running back was nearly unstoppable. The game script demanded that Carolina utilise McCaffrey as a pass-catcher, with Atlanta's defense rattling Kyle Allen and taking away the downfield passes effectively. McCaffrey churned through yardage as an underneath receiver, taking advantage of Atlanta's underneath coverage. When McCaffrey had the opportunity to carry the ball, he was able to find some lanes, but they were few and far between. Carolina's red zone woes prevented McCaffrey from getting any goal line carries, so he had to make do with run-after-catch opportunities.

2019 Week 10 vs GB (20 / 108 / 1 rush, 7 / 6 / 33 / 0 rec)

The Carolina offense was generally able to move the ball at will against Green Bay, with a few notable exceptions; Christian McCaffrey was largely the driving force behind it. Early on, it became clear that McCaffrey would have to be patient to allow his blocks to develop against a disciplined front seven. As time passed, however, he began to get into rhythm and broke off a handful of chunk plays behind some excellent blocks. Kyle Allen went to McCaffrey often on dump-off passes, with the superstar back showing safe hands and inevitably getting first-down yardage after the catch. McCaffrey fumbled in the second half but managed to recover it after a Packers defender ripped it out of his grasp. McCaffrey's opportunities to touch the ball were limited by the Green Bay offense, which was able to establish the run and eat up the clock, denying the Panthers offense the football for long periods. McCaffrey, after failing to hit pay dirt early in the game on a goal line carry, thumped it in later in the game, with his blockers paving a huge lane for him. With the Panthers in pass-heavy mode at the end of the game, McCaffrey's role on the ground was nearly non-existent, replaced by a steady dose of check-down passes. McCaffrey got the ball on the final play of the game from the 2-yard line, but he was ruled just short.

2019 Week 9 vs TEN (24 / 146 / 2 rush, 3 / 3 / 20 / 1 rec)

The Titans contained Christian McCaffrey effectively for the first quarter or so, but the Carolina offense soon settled in. The offensive line played with an edge, creating exploitable gaps for the shifty McCaffrey to shoot through. As is his wont, McCaffrey showed excellent patience and set up defenders well with quick cuts and darts. He caught one of the most straightforward touchdowns of his career with the offense set up in the red zone, sprinting into the right flat as Jarius Wright ran the pick to occupy the defenders in pursuit. McCaffrey punched in a rushing touchdown from the one-yard line later in the game, benefitting from excellent blocking to wall off the Titans defenders. McCaffrey was not as much of a factor in the passing game, as Allen tended to attack downfield with D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. However, the MVP candidate put the nail in the coffin for the Titans late in the game, following tremendous blocks up front to scamper 58 yards for a touchdown. The lane could not have been set up any more perfectly for McCaffrey, whose pace was simply too much. It was the final play of the day for McCaffrey, who was checked out in the tent briefly before ceding the remainder of the snaps to Reggie Bonnafon.

2019 Week 8 vs SF (14 / 117 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 38 / 0 rec)

On a day to forget for the Panthers offense, Christian McCaffrey showed no lack of heart or will to keep his team in the game. McCaffrey was met hard by the 49ers defenders on his first couple of touches, a sign of things to come, as it turned out. He found a lot of joy running off tackle, with Greg Olsen providing some key blocks out in front. McCaffrey squeezed through a gap between center and left guard on an inside give, sprinting down the field for a 43-yard gain - only to have the play called back due to holding. McCaffrey remained a factor in the passing game, despite the struggles of the offensive line, providing an outlet for an overwhelmed Kyle Allen. McCaffrey's persistence paid off eventually, with key blocks from D.J. Moore and Olsen springing him off the left side for a long touchdown run. His pace on the play left the chasing 49ers defenders in the dust. McCaffrey converted the subsequent two-point play, reaching the ball out over the plane of the goal line after it appeared he had been stopped. The remainder of the game saw the 49ers pull away, prompting the Carolina coaching staff to sit their star running back to preserve him.

2019 Week 6 vs TB (22 / 31 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 26 / 1 rec)

The Tampa Bay front seven created a wall to stop Christian McCaffrey hurting them - and it worked. Carolina's rushing attack simply could not blow open creases for McCaffrey, who was forced to run laterally at times, leading to losses of yardage after good pursuit. As a receiving option, McCaffrey was well watched by the Bucs, but managed to make his presence felt on a touchdown catch and run that left two Bucs defenders grabbing for air as the third-year pro spun and sauntered into the end zone. McCaffrey cashed in on the ground for a touchdown, too, though it only came after an excellent effort to reach the ball out over the plane on fourth down.

2019 Week 5 vs JAX (19 / 176 / 2 rush, 9 / 6 / 61 / 1 rec)

Christian McCaffrey bolstered his early-season MVP case with a spectacular performance against Jacksonville. At every turn, he had a starring role to play. Early in the game McCaffrey got into a good rhythm, picking his spots intelligently and finishing runs by lowering his pads into contact. In the passing game McCaffrey was an absolute terror for the Jaguars defenders in space, who were often embarrassed and grabbing at air after a juke move. McCaffrey's first rushing touchdown came on a carry out of a shotgun formation in the red zone. Lined up to Kyle Allen's left, McCaffrey scooted left to right across the formation and proved too fast for the defense. The back finished in style by leaping over the top of a would-be tackler. The next time the team was set up in the red zone, McCaffrey ran a beautiful option route out of the tight slot in an empty formation. The linebacker on the play, Myles Jack, was completely flat-footed after the move in space, giving McCaffrey an easy catch and walk in for the score. As the game wore on, McCaffrey continued to bust some nice gains, but his longest run - also a touchdown - came on an 84-yard scamper. Navigating his way nicely behind his offensive line and, seeing that Jacksonville's linebackers had pursued too hard to the edge, McCaffrey blazed up the middle of the field for the score. McCaffrey continued to make special plays look routine. He could have added an extra rushing score but got stoned by Jacksonville on a 4th and 1 play near the goal line.

2019 Week 4 vs HOU (27 / 93 / 1 rush, 10 / 10 / 86 / 0 rec)

Christian McCaffrey was once again the workhorse for the Carolina offense. With Kyle Allen starting his second game of the season, the game plan was evident: feed McCaffrey and settle the young passer down. McCaffrey, ever the cool customer, did just that and routinely juked and wriggled his way through the Houston defense. He showed excellent patience throughout, often waiting for his moment to strike at the line. When he hit it up the field, he finished runs strongly and usually gained yards after the first contact. As a receiver, he was the usual safe pair of hands for his quarterback and converted a few third-down plays to keep things ticking over for the offense. His highlight play came on a third down catch that, on its face, seemed routine. However, Allen's pass was a little in front of McCaffrey, who spectacularly batted the ball up to himself while falling to the ground, cradling it in as he hit the turf and finally sliding for the first down.

2019 Week 3 vs ARI (24 / 153 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 35 / 0 rec)

Christian McCaffrey showed his typical blend of toughness, speed, strength and guile to bamboozle Arizona. With Kyle Allen starting at quarterback, McCaffrey was leaned on heavily in the early exchanges, and the back did well to find creases and spin through contact. As Allen got more comfortable and the passing game started to bite off large chunks of yardage, McCaffrey was used as a check down option for the most part. McCaffrey had a couple of red zone carries, but the Cardinals were wise to his threat and stopped him shy. They couldn't contain him for the entire game, however. After some fantastic sealing blocks up front and a lead block from Greg Olsen, McCaffrey patiently waited for the hole to appear before sprinting through it. At the second level, he put a juke move on the safety and accelerated for the 76-yard score.

2019 Week 2 vs TB (16 / 37 / 0 rush, 6 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)

Christian McCaffrey was effectively blotted out of this game after the first quarter. The offensive line proved to be a huge liability against the Bucs pass rush, forcing a change in strategy. Rather than running pass patterns, McCaffrey was kept in to block on multiple snaps and, after showing good toughness and patience on some early carries, was a non-factor until the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay's defense did an excellent job of taking McCaffrey away, but the pass-heavy game script did not help his cause. In the fourth quarter, on the final drive, Cam Newton hit McCaffrey on a swing pattern in the right flat. McCaffrey would be the last Panthers offensive player to touch the ball on the ill-fated final play. Taking a direct snap, the offense tried to use misdirection much like the Philly Special to move the play-side cornerback. The cornerback stayed put as McCaffrey ran towards his side, but an excellent tackled short of the first down marker put paid to Carolina's hopes.

2019 Week 1 vs LAR (19 / 128 / 2 rush, 11 / 10 / 81 / 0 rec)

Christian McCaffrey made every touch look like it could be his last in this game, setting the tone for the entire offense with his tenacious running style. The offensive line asserted itself effectively against the Rams front seven, blowing open holes that McCaffrey was more than capable of exploiting. The shifty back added value to every touch, seeing the field well and frequently breaking tackles. A beautiful cutback run on his second carry summed up his drive. The play was designed to go left, but McCaffrey spotted the right side of the line caving in the Rams' front and cut back right for a nice gain. McCaffrey frequently lined up as a wideout, putting the defense in a bind. Expectedly for a player of his talent, he fully exploited those opportunities and often added yards after the catch. As an outlet receiver, McCaffrey was as reliable as ever, beating defenders in space and displaying great toughness into contact. McCaffrey capped off an incredible performance with two rushing touchdowns. The first came on a direct snap in the red zone, with Cam Newton lined up alongside McCaffrey. After a fake to his quarterback, McCaffrey followed his blockers through a gaping hole into the end zone. His second score came on a physical carry close to the goal line. It appeared he had been stopped shy, but he kept his knees off the turf and reached the ball out the last two yards to break the plane. The only blotch on McCaffrey's copybook was a missed assignment in pass protection, with Dante Fowler busting in past him to get to Newton for a sack.


Latest News

Panthers | Christian McCaffrey held out of end zone (Sun Dec 1, 08:16 PM) - Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey rushed 14 times for 44 yards in Week 13 against the Washington Redskins and he added seven grabs for 58 yards on 13 targets.

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Panthers | Christian McCaffrey ready to play (Fri Nov 29, 03:07 PM) - Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 29, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.

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Panthers | Week 13 injury report for Carolina (Fri Nov 29, 02:07 PM) - Carolina Panthers RB Jordan Scarlett (knee, ankle) did not practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 13 against the Washington Redskins. OT Greg Little (ankle) also did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful. S Eric Reid (ankle) did not practice Friday, Nov. 29, and is listed as questionable. OT Taylor Moton (knee) was limited in practice all week and is also listed as questionable. LB/DEs Mario Addison (rest) and Bruce Irvin (rest) did not practice Friday but have been removed from the injury report. DT Gerald McCoy (knee, quad), LB Shaq Thompson (ankle), RB Christian McCaffrey (rest), WR Curtis Samuel (knee), D.J. Moore (ankle, non-injury) and CB Ross Cockrell (quad) practiced in full Friday and also no longer appear on the injury report.

Our View: Reid has been an IDP force this year, but continues to struggle to get off of the injury report. You might need a replacement if you have been counting on him this year.
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Panthers | Christian McCaffrey back on field (Thu Nov 28, 03:15 PM) - Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (non-injury) fully participated in practice Thursday, Nov. 28.

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Panthers | Thursday's practice report for Carolina (Thu Nov 28, 02:06 PM) - Carolina Panthers OT Greg Little (ankle) and RB Jordan Scarlett (knee, ankle) did not practice for a second straight day Thursday, Nov. 28. LB Shaq Thompson (ankle), S Eric Reid (ankle) and OT Taylor Moton (knee) were limited. DT Gerald McCoy (knee, quad), RB Christian McCaffrey (rest), WR Curtis Samuel (knee), WR D.J. Moore (ankle, non-injury) and CB Ross Cockrell (quad) practiced in full.

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14@ Atlanta Falcons
15vs Seattle Seahawks
16@ Indianapolis Colts
17vs New Orleans Saints