It appears that C.J. Anderson will take the lead in the traditional running back role.
Related players: Christian McCaffrey
The author feels we will see McCaffrey's receiving numbers rise from last year's 80-651-5 line. He doesn't think McCaffrey's carries will go up by much, but he's not ruling out 900 receiving yards for McCaffrey. McCaffrey is our No. 12 ranked PPR running back.
McCaffrey, the team's first-round draft pick in 2017, carried the ball 117 times for 435 yards and established a franchise rookie record with 80 receptions. He finished the season with seven touchdowns.
While McCaffrey led the Panthers in receptions, he'll be counted on to carry the ball more after the team parted ways with its all-time leading rusher Jonathan Stewart. Panthers two-time NFL Coach of the Year Ron Rivera believes McCaffrey is up to the task, saying he can be a running back who carries the ball 200 times this season.
Related players: C.J. Anderson
McCaffrey's size was always a question mark, but the story added Rivera commented, "Yeah, why not," to the prospect of McCaffrey carrying the ball 200 times. Anderson will surely factor into the offense, but it sounds like the team has seen enough of McCaffrey to give him a bigger role this year.
Shepard hasn't been much of an offensive weapon during his five-year career, with 2016 being his best season as a pro (40 targets, 23 receptions, 341 yards, 2 TDs), and it's unlikely he'll be much of a factor as a Giant. The Giants already have Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram as their main target hogs. Shepard, if he isn't released before the season starts, will be nothing more than a depth chart body/special teams player. You can avoid him for fantasy purposes.
Whittaker only touched the ball a total of 12 times last season (five carries, seven receptions). The previous season he played a more active role, especially in the passing game, catching 25 passes (most by a Panthers RB).
The Panthers recently signed C.J. Anderson, and still have Christian McCaffrey and Cameron Artis-Payne, so they are covered at the position. Look for Artis-Payne to see a bump in playing time, especially on third downs. Unless the team signs a more proven third-down back.
The Carolina Panthers have added former Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson to the team. He will join a Panthers RB depth chart that currently features Christian McCaffrey, Fozzy Whittaker, and Cameron Artis-Payne.
McCaffrey had been dubbed a draft day winner because the Panthers didn't add a running back through the draft, but the addition of Anderson will surely cut into his workload. Look for McCaffrey and Anderson to form a 1-2 punch ala McCaffrey and Jonathan Stewart of last season, who combined for 315 carries, 1,115 rushing yards, and eight rushing touchdowns. Stewart led in all three categories, while McCaffrey led the position in catches (80), receiving yards (651), and receiving touchdowns (5). Anderson's career-high in receptions is 34. McCaffrey will be the back to own in PPR leagues, while Anderson could turn into a solid RB2/RB3 option in standard leagues.
In his four career games where he's carried the ball at least 10 times, Artis-Payne has averaged 74 total yards and 0.75 touchdowns on 15.8 touches per game (including 14.5 rushing attempts and a 4.05 yards per carry average). The Panthers may add a runner in the draft, so the Panthers' power back competition is something to monitor as the summer wears on.
Mainly used as Minnesota's No. 3 receiver, Wright will likely fill a similar role in Carolina. He will be reunited with his former Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner. His best season as a pro came in 2014, when he caught 42 passes for 588 yards.
Stewart's rushing attempts and yards have dwindled in each of his past two seasons, going from 242 attempts (a career-high) in 2015 to 198 last season. His 680 rushing yards last season was the lowest mark of his career in a season in which he played 10 or more games.
Looking to overhaul their receiving room, the Carolina Panthers have acquired Torrey Smith from the Eagles in exchange for cornerback Daryl Worley, sources told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Friday.
Smith rolls into Carolina with a chance to make an impact for an offense that also boasts Devin Funchess, Russell Shepard and second-year speedster Curtis Samuel at the position. Smith isn't the deep threat he once was, but he gives quarterback Cam Newton an experienced downfield target to play with.
Smith isn't a fantasy factor right now, but it's not inconceivable that he could have a Ted Ginn-type year in Carolina.
The team announced Wednesday they released the soon-to-be 31-year-old running back.
Stewart earned a career-low 3.4 yards per carry average while sharing the backfield with first-round rookie Christian McCaffrey in 2017. Jettisoning Stewart opens a need in the Panthers' running corps for a between-the-tackles pounder to complement CMC in 2018.
What was rumored has now turned into reality, as the Panthers have named Norv Turner their new offensive coordinator.
Shula's offenses in Carolina have finished in the top 15 in points scored in each of the last three seasons, so he should quickly find employment elsewhere.
Blaine Clausell OT
Garrett Gilbert QB
Charles D. Johnson WR
Zach Moore DE
Kevon Seymour CB
Amini Silatolu OG
Greg Van Roten OG
He has only caught 6 passes for 78 yards on 14 targets in his last three games. In two meetings with the Saints this season, he has 8 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets.
Friday, January 5, 2018, 4:55pm
Panthers TE Greg Olsen (foot) took full practice reps all week. Olsen didn’t play in either meeting against the Saints this year, but was targeted seven times in both games against New Orleans in 2016. His injured foot may be an issue on the turf in the Superdome.
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