Though we originally listed Christian McCaffrey among our Most Overpriced Players in the 2018 Preseason Kickoff Guide, we may need to reconsider. The sophomore back wasn’t pulled from the field during the Panthers two opening drives, which was especially noteworthy at the goal-line. Here, he powered through a congested pile for a 2-yard score, all while suggesting he may indeed get a workhorse treatment.
All offseason we’ve laughed at reports that it’s “realistic” that McCaffrey could receive 25-30 touches a week. Between the return of Greg Olsen and addition of DJ Moore to eat into his receiving work, plus CJ Anderson‘s arrival to gobble up short yardage and early-down rushing, we’ve been expecting McCaffrey’s weekly workload to hover right around his 12 touches per game from last season. If Thursday’s Preseason opener is any indication, however, we may need to reconsider. McCaffrey didn’t leave the field with the first team offense, most noteworthy when he was handed a 2-yard carry at the stripe and plowed through with ease. McCaffrey was again heavily involved as a WR, hauling in an 11-yard screen and 18-yard crossing pattern. Contrastingly, CJ Anderson didn’t enter the game until most starters were resting, and also played deep into the fourth quarter. Though you should never overreact to one 2-yard carry, this one could mean a whole lot for McCaffrey moving forward. His 18 overall ADP is still too rich for our blood — espeically with the Panthers losing two starting linemen already this camp — but he rises 5 spots from 39 to 34 on the newest Big Board.