McCaffrey entered the year as the first player selected in most leagues, but his 2020 season was wrought with the injury bug. In the games McCaffrey did play, he lived up to the hype from a production standpoint and it's easy to see why. RB targets are the name of the game in any league that uses full or half-point PPR scoring, and he's the surest bet in the NFL for those. More underrated is McCaffrey's role in the red zone -- second only to maybe Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook. With Mike Davis moving on to Atlanta, Carolina potentially upgrading at QB with Sam Darnold, and the return of RB-friendly OC Joe Brady, McCaffrey should be the first overall pick in every format.
McCaffrey (thigh) said during OTAs in late May that he feels "really good" and is "back to 100 percent," Jonathan M. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer reports. McCaffrey is coming off a 2020 season in which he played in only three games due to injury, but he was supremely effective when he suited up, racking up five touchdowns on the ground and another through the air while compiling a combined 374 rushing and receiving yards. Now healthy again, McCaffrey heads into his fifth season in Carolina as the undisputed top back, but the team did use a fourth-round pick on Chuba Hubbard to add some insurance behind the 25-year-old.
McCaffrey (thigh) agreed Wednesday to restructure his contract to free up additional cap space for the Panthers, Joe Person of The Athletic reports. The exact details of McCaffrey's restructured deal remain uncertain, but the star running back most likely converted a portion of his base salary into a signing bonus, a common tactic utilized by teams attempting to clear cap room. McCaffrey's current deal technically runs through 2025, though it includes a potential 'out' after 2022. Freeing up additional space for Carolina to pursue upgrades on offense during the offseason could end up improving McCaffrey's team context heading into 2021 after an injury-plagued 2020 campaign.
McCaffrey (thigh) said Monday that he doesn't expect to require offseason surgery, Jonathan M. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer reports. McCaffrey endured an injury-plagued 2020 season, ultimately only suiting up for three contests on the year due to a combination of thigh, shoulder and ankle issues. Avoiding any offseason procedures would seemingly bode well for McCaffrey's chances of making an unhindered recovery in time for Carolina's offseason program and the start of the 2021 season, at which time he'll no doubt be back in the conversation at the top of fantasy drafts. In his three 2020 appearances, McCaffrey accumulated 225 yards and five touchdowns on 59 carries (3.8 YPC). He also secured 17 of 19 targets for 148 yards and another score.
McCaffrey (thigh) is listed as inactive Sunday against the Saints, Bill Voth of the Panthers' official site reports. As expected, both McCaffrey and Mike Davis (ankle) are unavailable, leaving backfield reps available for some combination of Rodney Smith, Trenton Cannon, Alex Armah and even Curtis Samuel. McCaffrey will conclude an injury-marred campaign with 59 carries for 225 yards (3.8 YPC) and five touchdowns while hauling in 17 of 19 targets for 149 yards and another TD in three appearances.
McCaffrey (thigh) is considered "very doubtful" for Sunday's game against the Saints, Joe Person of The Athletic reports. For whatever reason, the Panthers are listing a bunch of players as doubtful rather than out. None of the group -- including running back Mike Davis (ankle) -- is expected to play, leaving Rodney Smith and Trenton Cannon atop the Carolina depth chart for Week 17. The team also can use wideout Curtis Samuel and fullback Alex Armah in the backfield, so Smith -- the likely starter -- won't automatically take over Davis' role. Davis ended up starting 12 games this season, as ankle, shoulder and thigh injuries limited McCaffrey to three appearances. The star running back nonetheless projects to be a top-three fantasy pick in 2021, just two years removed from an all-time season and entering his age-25 campaign. There's been no report of McCaffrey considering surgery for any of his 2020 injuries, and he should have plenty of time to recover before next season even if he does need some type of procedure.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/12||New York Jets||20||18.00|
|2||09/19||New Orleans Saints||2||13.00|
|7||10/24||@New York Giants||16||17.50|
|9||11/07||New England Patriots||21||18.88|
|11||11/21||Washington Football Team||3||14.24|
|16||12/26||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||12.30|
|17||01/02||@New Orleans Saints||2||13.00|
|18||01/09||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||12.30|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||188||903||9||80||674||4||235|