Christian McCaffrey is coming off a rookie season where he had over 1000 yards from scrimmage. He didn’t have a huge role in the running game but he was a huge part of the Panthers pass offense.
McCaffrey is going into his second season with the team so he should be a lot more comfortable in the offense. He and Cam will have a greater feel for each other which will lead to more success. Look for McCaffrey to get a larger role in the run game, in addition to his role in the passing game.
His Rookie Season
Jonathon Stewart was the main runner on this team. He had 198 carries while McCaffrey had 117. Cam Newton is a huge part of the running game too, he had 139 attempts last season.
All three of these guys were key parts of the running attack. They all had their specific roles and they did them very well. Having multiple guys who could run the ball was one of the main reasons they got to the playoffs last year.
On McCaffrey’s 117 attempts he had 435 yards and two touchdowns. That comes out at 3.7 yards per rush.
— FanSided (@FanSided) August 19, 2017
His receiving numbers were what made him such a special player last season. Yeah, he is a good runner as well but his pass catching ability out of the backfield is among the best in the league.
McCaffrey had 80 receptions for 651 yards. That’s gonna be a lower yard per catch than receivers but coming out of the backfield that is a very good number.
He was also targeted 113 times last season. That just shows how much Newton trusted him as a check down option. Instead of taking a chance on an interception by throwing it down the field he could throw it short to McCaffrey and still have the chance at a big play.
This touchdown catch from the playoff game vs the Saints shows exactly how much of a difference maker McCaffrey is. They desperately needed a touchdown and he gets it for them. He fakes out his defender to get open and outruns everyone to the end zone. He just makes it look so easy.
McCaffrey had a solid rookie season. Expect even more stellar play next season as he continues to grow as a Carolina Panther.
What To Expect This Season?
Christian McCaffrey is going to have an even larger role this season, there’s no doubt about that. His receiving numbers might not be a lot higher but his rushing numbers will.
With Jonathon Stewart gone his carries will increase. C.J. Anderson will get some carries but McCaffrey is expected to be the top running back on this roster. He should take some carries away from Cam Newton as well.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said getting Christian McCaffrey the ball 25-30 times per game would be "ideal."
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) July 25, 2018
The Panthers plan on really increasing his role this season. He had about 12.3 touches per game last season so that would be a huge increase.
If he gets 25 touches per game it’s reasonable to think that he could get over 1500 yards from scrimmage next season. He had 1086 last year.
For reference, Todd Gurley had 2,093 yards from scrimmage last season. So you can’t expect McCaffrey to have that kind of impact but he should be able to get to 17 or 18 hundred yards if given the touches he is expected to have.
For all you fantasy guys: #Panthers HC Ron Rivera said he envisions Christian McCaffrey getting 200+ carries this season after having just 117 last year. Add that with his 100+ targets [80 catches] from last season and it seems like CMC is set to have a large role in the offense.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) July 25, 2018
If McCaffrey gets 200 rushing attempts next season that would be huge. That is just 12.5 attempts per game. That still leaves plenty of carries for C.J. Anderson and Cam Newton.
For you fantasy guys you should seriously consider drafting Christian McCaffrey. He is a guy who will be selected like he is an RB2 but will be worth so much more. He might even develop into an RB1 as the season goes along. In PPR leagues he will for sure but possibly even standard leagues as well.
The Panthers have more weapons in the passing game for this season than they did last year. With guys like Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore expected to help out McCaffrey won’t be needed as much in the passing game.
Expect McCaffrey to still get close to 80 receptions again next season though. Take that in addition to his larger role in the running game and he is going to be a pro bowl candidate. He is going to be one of the key guys if this team wants to get back to the postseason and make a super bowl run.