It's only May, but is that really to soon to start eyeing potential Panthers fantasy star? I don't think so, and these fantasy sites don't either. So I jumped in to get an early look at where some of the experts have our offensive rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel ranked.
RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY, CAROLINA PANTHERS
McCaffrey brings a much-needed dimension to the Panthers that they have lacked for years. He is a unique pass-catching back with an ability to run the ball as well. I don’t expect him to blow anyone away with his rushing numbers. However, he has the potential to be PPR gold. His presence should also help Cam Newton out immensely forcing the defense to focus more underneath so he can blow the top off when the opportunity presents itself.
Curtis Samuel did not make this list.
NFL.COM'S TOP 20 FANTASY ROOKIES
12. Curtis Samuel, WR, Carolina Panthers
Samuel is a player to watch during camp, as the Panthers don't have much at wide receiver behind Kelvin Benjamin (who is reportedly overweight) and Devin Funchess. A versatile player in the mold of a Percy Harvin, Samuel could etch out a role in the Panthers offense as a potential slot receiver who also sees a handful of carries. The Ohio State product will have some late-round appeal in most fantasy leagues.
Projection: 21 carries, 113 yards, 0 TDs, 47 receptions, 506 yards, 4 TDs
2. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey isn't considered a good fit for the Panthers offense in the minds of some analysts, but has this unit ever had a runner with his skill set? You don't draft someone eighth overall and not use him to the best of his abilities, and he fills a need in an offense that lacks playmakers. McCaffrey can do it all on the gridiron, and I think he'll be a better fantasy option than veteran Jonathan Stewart as a rookie.
Projection: 153 carries, 677 yards, 4 TDs, 54 receptions, 433 yards, 2 TDs
FOX SPORTS TOP 15 FANTASY ROOKIES
12. Curtis Samuel - Panthers WR/RB
Like Christian McCaffrey, Samuel is a collegiate RB/WR playmaker for Cam Newton. With Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen running vertical routes, Samuel can be used in a variety of ways underneath like Julian Edelman.
3. Christian McCaffrey - Panthers RB/WR
The combination of McCaffrey and Samuel paired with Cam Newton’s talents is scary. For my initial thoughts on McCaffrey, please check out my post-first round feature.
SPORTING NEWS FANTASY ROOKIE RANKINGS
4) Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
We already have the "Run CMC" T-shirts, but the question is, just how much will Carolina let McCaffrey run?. It's selling him short as a five-to-10-carry change-of-pace guy, as McCaffrey is underrated as a physical finisher and even better as advertised as an open-field receiver. Given he's behind aging and worn Jonathan Stewart (30), he must be drafted as an RB2. The Panthers were short on dynamic difference-makers last year, and McCaffrey should get every chance to be a consistent one.
Curtis Samuel didn't crack their top 17.
As expected, it sounds like a lot of the fantasy gurus are high on McCaffrey out of the rookie class this season. He could be especially valuable in PPR formats.
It seems many are also liking the potential value of the Panthers second round draft pick Curtis Samuel out of the 2017 rookie class. His best value could be in the mid-rounds based on these early rankings (unless your draft has defensive players).
Written By Tripp Morgan
Article Thumbnail Photo by Jesse Fraetis.