Is It Time to Hit the Panic Button on Christian McCaffrey?

Not quite. McCaffrey has now missed practice on back-to-back days due to a thigh injury, but there is still some optimism he can suit up on Sunday. The Panthers have hopefully learned their lesson after two injury-plagued seasons. They may be just taking the cautious approach this time with their star player.

McCaffrey played the entire game in week 3 but alerted the Panthers medical staff to the injury following the game. Even if he does miss time, I don’t see this being a lengthy absence. It could just be some tightness that they want to be cautious with as returning to play too soon can lead to a strain.

Heading into the season McCaffrey was in the High Injury Risk category yet came with a Peak projected performance. His most notable injuries were a high ankle sprain, thigh injury and AC sprain. Now his overall Injury Risk is even higher due to the latest thigh injury, but our projections show that it won’t affect his performance past week 4.

Of course if McCaffrey is in the lineup Sunday he has to be in fantasy lineups, but stay away from him in DFS. If McCaffrey is inactive the Panthers will likely turn to a mix of Chuba Hubbard, D’Onta Foreman and rookie Raheem Blackshear, so this is a potentially messy fantasy situation.

Through three games McCaffrey has produced 243 rushing yards, 57 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

The Panthers and Cardinals face off on Sunday at 4:05. This is a matchup between two teams with fairly poor health.

Panthers Team Health Score: Poor – 1.41

Cardinals Team Health Score: Moderate – 2.39

The Panthers are favored by 2.5, and if McCaffrey goes I think that number is about right, so I wouldn’t bet on this one. If McCaffrey is out I would bet on the Cardinals to cover.

Now, the over/under is set at 42.5 points. Given the health of these offenses, especially at running back, I’m betting the under.

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