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Christian McCaffrey 2018 Outlook

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Turner said Monday, one of the fastest ways to help Newton is to improve parts around him. But some of those pieces are already in place.
While there's not much change needed with a Pro Bowler like Olsen, there’s still wrinkles to iron out with a guy like Christian McCaffrey.

“He had an unbelievable rookie year and did a lot more than a lot of people would be asked to do and handled them all,” Turner said. “He lined up everywhere you could line up, which is hard for a rookie.

"He's got such talent, you're just going to keep finding ways to get him the ball and try to create more space for him. That hard-nosed running between the tackles he can certainly do, but I don't know that's what you want to lead with him.” 

 

After McCaffrey was drafted last spring, some folks compared him to Darren Sproles, Turner’s multi-dimensional spark plug in San Diego. From 2008-12, Sproles averaged 127 touches under Turner. But in 2007, their first year together, Sproles had just 47 chances. 

“Christian is ahead of (where Sproles was), and there are some things we can do that he did, but Christian can run wide receiver routes,” Turner said. “So yeah, there’s a lot of things we did with Darren that apply, and there are some things that I think we can do differently with Christian.”

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8 hours ago, milesberg said:

Top 10 RB in PPR.  Pretty simple.  I can see him just exploding under Turner.

 

I agree. He's gonna be a PPR beast. I could see taking him very early. 

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34 minutes ago, South Carolina said:

 

I agree. He's gonna be a PPR beast. I could see taking him very early. 

 

As long as Cam is healthy and executes in Norvs schemes but sometimes the old superman cam shows up and is kryptonite to his teammates fantasy production.

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18 hours ago, dashoe said:

Turner said Monday, one of the fastest ways to help Newton is to improve parts around him. But some of those pieces are already in place.
While there's not much change needed with a Pro Bowler like Olsen, there’s still wrinkles to iron out with a guy like Christian McCaffrey.

“He had an unbelievable rookie year and did a lot more than a lot of people would be asked to do and handled them all,” Turner said. “He lined up everywhere you could line up, which is hard for a rookie.

"He's got such talent, you're just going to keep finding ways to get him the ball and try to create more space for him. That hard-nosed running between the tackles he can certainly do, but I don't know that's what you want to lead with him.” 

 

After McCaffrey was drafted last spring, some folks compared him to Darren Sproles, Turner’s multi-dimensional spark plug in San Diego. From 2008-12, Sproles averaged 127 touches under Turner. But in 2007, their first year together, Sproles had just 47 chances. 

“Christian is ahead of (where Sproles was), and there are some things we can do that he did, but Christian can run wide receiver routes,” Turner said. “So yeah, there’s a lot of things we did with Darren that apply, and there are some things that I think we can do differently with Christian.”

 

Sproles never got much opportunity until Turner was gone from SD. What CAR does with their OL will be the biggest factor in CMac's 2018 success.

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When Norv coached my Cowboys offense years ago, he was big on underneath TE Jay Novacek and Slot WR Kelvin Martin.  Plus Emmitt caught a ton of balls for that era.  I see McCaffery getting the majority of the balls that were thrown to Emmitt and KMart.  

I see a huge season.  I can't explain why.  Just a gut feeling.  He was top 10 in my PPR league this year and I think next year he will be even better statistically even if that still puts him at 10th overall.  

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1 hour ago, milesberg said:

When Norv coached my Cowboys offense years ago, he was big on underneath TE Jay Novacek and Slot WR Kelvin Martin.  Plus Emmitt caught a ton of balls for that era.  I see McCaffery getting the majority of the balls that were thrown to Emmitt and KMart.  

I see a huge season.  I can't explain why.  Just a gut feeling.  He was top 10 in my PPR league this year and I think next year he will be even better statistically even if that still puts him at 10th overall.  

 

 if Norv likes to throw to the slot then that means curtis samuel may see a bump up in value

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Norv likes to throw the ball. Cam is not a great passer. I don't understand this fit unless Norv caters his offense to Cam's strengths. Cam isn't going to turn into a greater passer all of a sudden.

 

And it sounds like the Panthers plan on keeping Stewart for another season.

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On 1/25/2018 at 10:35 AM, devaster said:

Norv likes to throw the ball. Cam is not a great passer. I don't understand this fit unless Norv caters his offense to Cam's strengths. Cam isn't going to turn into a greater passer all of a sudden.

 

And it sounds like the Panthers plan on keeping Stewart for another season.

 

Offensive Coordinators can change styles to cater to their players, they don't just stick to exactly what they've done in the past. This is a boring take. "Because Norv likes to throw the ball you don't understand the fit." I like to keep an open mind and think that someone whose job is to develop an offense in the NFL making that much money will work on developing an offense that caters to his players. It may not work out, but most OC's never pan out. 

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23 minutes ago, boltup15 said:

 

Offensive Coordinators can change styles to cater to their players, they don't just stick to exactly what they've done in the past. This is a boring take. "Because Norv likes to throw the ball you don't understand the fit." I like to keep an open mind and think that someone whose job is to develop an offense in the NFL making that much money will work on developing an offense that caters to his players. It may not work out, but most OC's never pan out. 

It is just an observation. We have seen plenty of coordinators come and go that don't cater to their players' strengths just as you have alluded to.

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On 1/24/2018 at 10:10 AM, milesberg said:

Top 10 RB in PPR.  Pretty simple.  I can see him just exploding under Turner.

 

Dont expect a whole lot more than last season.

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58 minutes ago, petekrum said:

 

Dont expect a whole lot more than last season.

 

 i would think he could definitely get more efficient next season with his touches and will have more big plays. 

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Put me in with the category of tempered expectations next year.   I think he'll improve, but i'm not going to expect a huge leap or anything.   His TD upside is capped if Stewart is back.  Cam and Stew had 12 combined rush TD's last year, McCaffrey had 2.    I think his receiving numbers will stay roughly the same, his rushing numbers bump up a little, and i think 7 TD's is his peak, i'd not be surprised at all to see that number drop a little.

 

Other factors to consider:

 

Greg Olsen- missed more than half the season last year, and in the past, was always Cam's security route guy.   I dont think there's enough history of the two playing together to really analyze how they used both players concurrently (esp with Olsen somewhat limited when he first returned), but if Olsen's there, he's getting targets, at least for one more year, and some of them will be underneath routes I imagine.

 

The X -   Turner historically has always peppered his X receiver with volume.  Expect to see a lot of people connect these dots and for a Funchess hype train to leave the station soon enough.    I'm not going to jump onboard myself, but its at least something to think about.

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1 hour ago, BrianM said:

Put me in with the category of tempered expectations next year.   I think he'll improve, but i'm not going to expect a huge leap or anything.   His TD upside is capped if Stewart is back.  Cam and Stew had 12 combined rush TD's last year, McCaffrey had 2.    I think his receiving numbers will stay roughly the same, his rushing numbers bump up a little, and i think 7 TD's is his peak, i'd not be surprised at all to see that number drop a little.

 

Other factors to consider:

 

Greg Olsen- missed more than half the season last year, and in the past, was always Cam's security route guy.   I dont think there's enough history of the two playing together to really analyze how they used both players concurrently (esp with Olsen somewhat limited when he first returned), but if Olsen's there, he's getting targets, at least for one more year, and some of them will be underneath routes I imagine.

 

The X -   Turner historically has always peppered his X receiver with volume.  Expect to see a lot of people connect these dots and for a Funchess hype train to leave the station soon enough.    I'm not going to jump onboard myself, but its at least something to think about.

 

 yeah I think funchess will be a sneaky stud, great waiver pick but he collapsed in the playoffs should be even better next season

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I think the future is bright for McCaffrey. Why?

 

1. His second half of season rushing numbers are a big improvement over his ghastly first half numbers. In his first 8 games, CMac had 49 carries for 117 yards (2.39 YPC). Yikes! But in his second 8 games, he had 68 carries for 318 yards (4.68 YPC). One could argue that anything would have been an improvement from 2.39 YPC, but a 4.68 YPC mark is nothing to sneeze at. As a point of comparison, of the 9 players who rushed for over 1000 yards in 2017, only 3 of them had a full season mark over 4.68 (Hunt, Gurley, Ingram). Overall point? As the season progressed, McCaffrey improved as a rusher and actually had legit numbers (albeit on limited carries).

 

2. Why didn't CMac get a lot of carries? Well, Jonathan Stewart had 198 carries to vulture away. Yet Stewart's seasonal YPC (3.4) was even lower than McCaffrey's (3.7). Stewart will be 31 by late-March. That's not a good age for RB's. He also is often injury-prone. While he did play 15 games in 2017, he was at 13 games for each of 2014--2016. And just 15 total games in 2012 & 2013. Overall point? Stewart is an old injury-prone RB on the decline...which only helps McCaffrey's outlook. 

 

3. As some have mentioned, McCaffrey already had a good rookie season fantasy-wise. In my 1 point PPR league, he was the #10 RB. In my .25 point PPR league, he was  the #13 RB. That is not too shabby for a rookie. And speaking of his production as a rookie, CMac tied Jordan Howard for 12th best PPR rookie RB since 2007 (according to Pro Football Focus).


The top 12 + CMac list? Zeke, D.Martin, Forte, Steve Slaton, MJD, R.Bush, A.Morris, AP, Trent Richardson, Chris Johnson, Lacy, J.Howard, McCaffrey. I would say only 2 of those guys were complete busts after their rookie year: Slaton and Richardson. Martin and Lacy are also mostly busts, but certainly not completely. For Martin, 3 of his 4 subsequent years have been awful...but the one other year he rushed for 1400 yards. And Lacy had a big second year before hitting the skids. The other 8 guys have all been very good to great for 3 years or more during their career (or 2 years, in the case of Zeke & Howard). 

Overall point? McCaffrey's rookie season put him in good company and the majority of these RB's continued to do well in their careers. Doesn't mean McCaffrey will do well himself of course, as every situation is different, but it's still interesting to compare him against other rookie backs IMO.

 

4. One other Pro Football Focus item I noticed? He finished 2017 as their #11th rated running back. He's a very good total football player - and I think that's a positive for him going into his second season. 

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Right now he's a great real life player who's just a good fantasy player.    Were he on just about any other team, the path to greater fantasy production would be there.  A sign for hope is Mike Shula leaving- that guy just couldnt quit Jonathan Stewart.    That's the glimmer of hope that CMC can get the usage he deserves and the path to becoming a strong RB1 next year.    I still think he's going to struggle for TD's, and that his receiving numbers are near peak already, but the rushing yards could grow exponentially and put him in the conversation, IF they finally move Stewart back to a true second stringer.

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50 minutes ago, BrianM said:

Right now he's a great real life player who's just a good fantasy player.    Were he on just about any other team, the path to greater fantasy production would be there.  A sign for hope is Mike Shula leaving- that guy just couldnt quit Jonathan Stewart.    That's the glimmer of hope that CMC can get the usage he deserves and the path to becoming a strong RB1 next year.    I still think he's going to struggle for TD's, and that his receiving numbers are near peak already, but the rushing yards could grow exponentially and put him in the conversation, IF they finally move Stewart back to a true second stringer.

 

The prevailing wisdom in the Charlotte area is that even if they ditch Stewart, they will bring in another early down banger either through free agency or the draft to take care of the majority of the carries and allow Cmac to keep being used as he was.

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11 minutes ago, petekrum said:

 

The prevailing wisdom in the Charlotte area is that even if they ditch Stewart, they will bring in another early down banger either through free agency or the draft to take care of the majority of the carries and allow Cmac to keep being used as he was.

 

 

No way is he built to last an entire season as an every down rb with the power game Rivera desperately wants to have.  

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Panthers released RB Jonathan Stewart.

The 13th overall pick in 2008, Stewart spent 10 years with the Panthers and turns 31 next month. He's coming off a career-worst 3.5 YPC last season and is running on fumes after years of lower-body injuries. The move makes a ton of sense for the Panthers, who save $3.7 million against the cap by cutting Stewart. Carolina will now be in the market for a between-tackles banger at running back, while Stewart will search for a similar role elsewhere. The Bills make sense.
 
It'll be interesting to see who Carolina brings into the backfield to share carries with McCaffrey...

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39 minutes ago, Corleone said:

Panthers released RB Jonathan Stewart.

The 13th overall pick in 2008, Stewart spent 10 years with the Panthers and turns 31 next month. He's coming off a career-worst 3.5 YPC last season and is running on fumes after years of lower-body injuries. The move makes a ton of sense for the Panthers, who save $3.7 million against the cap by cutting Stewart. Carolina will now be in the market for a between-tackles banger at running back, while Stewart will search for a similar role elsewhere. The Bills make sense.
 
It'll be interesting to see who Carolina brings into the backfield to share carries with McCaffrey...

I agree. I still don't seeing them handing the reins to CMC completely. Which is just fine in PPR leagues. Doug Martin?

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I'm not up on rookie RB's outside of the top tier.   Is there are younger Stewart type player that's a mid round projection?    Perhaps there's a guy that wont go high because he's not versatile, but will fit right in with Carolina as a new Stewart at a low cost.

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5 minutes ago, BrianM said:

I'm not up on rookie RB's outside of the top tier.   Is there are younger Stewart type player that's a mid round projection?    Perhaps there's a guy that wont go high because he's not versatile, but will fit right in with Carolina as a new Stewart at a low cost.

 

The free agency version of this sounds like Isaiah Crowell.  Potential fit?

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Oh man, I forgot: Marty Hurney mysteriously got back in charge, so yep, its Crowell.  With a contract that nobody else would've offered.   Lock it down.   Trade McCaffrey in dynasty now while you still can.

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41 minutes ago, devaster said:

I agree. I still don't seeing them handing the reins to CMC completely. Which is just fine in PPR leagues. Doug Martin?

I personally am not high on Martin at all. But if they were to sign him, it could be good for CMC in that he'd get extra work (as soon as Martin wore out his welcome/began underperforming). Overall though, my gut is that Carolina will go in a different direction from Martin. 

 

8 minutes ago, GreatestShowonTurf said:

 

The free agency version of this sounds like Isaiah Crowell.  Potential fit?

 

1 minute ago, BrianM said:

Oh man, I forgot: Marty Hurney mysteriously got back in charge, so yep, its Crowell.  With a contract that nobody else would've offered.   Lock it down.   Trade McCaffrey in dynasty now while you still can.

If they were to get Crowell, I think CMC would still have value. McCaffrey has similarity to Duke Johnson, in that their 2017 value was mostly tied to PPR. Duke managed to be the #11 overall RB in the 1 point PPR league that I'm in...ironically, CMC was #10). 

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 They should bring in a bigger complement to share the load.

 

But cmc should get 12+ or so carries per game and 20 touches.  First,  he's got great vision. Second,  why draft him top 10 if you don't believe in him as a runner?

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