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Panthers seeking backup for Christian McCaffrey who could impact his fantasy football value

Christian McCaffrey, Panthers

Earlier in training camp, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner told reporters that he’s going to find a way to limit Christian McCaffrey’s touches, in some fashion.

Now, the Panthers appear to be looking for a backup to do just that. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reports, via Twitter, that finding a backup for McCaffrey “is a focus.” Currently, the Panthers have Cameron Artis-Payne, Reggie Bonnofan, Jordan Scarlett, and Elijah Holyfield behind the Stanford product.

Early in training camp, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera noted, via ESPN’s David Newton,

“We want the ball in Christian’s hands. When he’s on the field, there’s no reason for him to be a decoy or swing guy. Why not figure out the best thing, and that’s what Coach Norv [Turner] wants to do. We don’t want to take away the touches. What we want to do is take away the excess plays so he won’t be out there.”

Rivera’s quote came on the heels of Turner saying, via Newton,

“I’m concerned about Christian’s [McCaffrey] touches. And, he had about 320. The carries take more out of you than completions, he had about 210 carries. I’ve had six different guys that have had over 400 touches. So, he’s not even close to some of the guys I’ve been with. Now, he was on the field 90% of the time — that’s documented. A lot of the times he’s running the swing. We need to get someone else on the field, but we aren’t going to minimize his carries or touches.”

McCaffrey carried a high workload in 2018 but capitalized on it. He broke the single-season NFL record for most catches in a season by a running back with 107 and added 857 yards and six touchdowns to boot. He also recorded 1,098 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

Considering the high workload in 2018, the Panthers would be smart to seek out a backup to take some of the burden off of McCaffrey’s shoulders. Potential names to watch include Mike Gillislee, Corey Grant, and Chris Ivory. More backs should become available when teams cut down to 53-man rosters on August 31st.