We’re Looking at the Panthers All Wrong

I didn’t want to say any of this. I like how things currently are. What if I say it and people listen? My sneakiness will go away. No, I must. It must be said:

“Fantasy Community! You have it all wrong on Devin Funchess and DJ Moore. You are also wrong on Christian McCaffrey and CJ Anderson.”

D.J. Has Moore to Offer than Funchess

Let’s consider the easy one. Devin Funchess is currently ranked as the 35th Wide Receiver coming off the board in PPR according to Fantasy Football Calculator. DJ Moore sits two rounds later as the 44th Wide Receiver to be drafted. Once we get into the preseason and the evidence becomes clear, those ADP positions will reverse and then possibly grow farther apart. For my sake, I hope not. I like Moore’s current ADP.

Name Height Weight 40yd Dash Vertical
Funchess 6’5″ 235 4.7 38.5
Moore 6’0″ 210 4.42 39.5
OBJ* 5’11” 198 4.43 38.5
*OBJ stats added for reference of a known commodity, not for actual comparison…..yet.

You’re reading that correctly. Despite having a 5″ disadvantage in height, DJ Moore can still jump a full inch higher than Devin Funchess. Moore is also faster. Funchess was not drafted to be the lead Wide Receiver. At the time, he was perpetually the second fiddle to Kelvin Benjamin and only earned the boost after the Panthers traded Benjamin to the Bills. Funchess is not elusive; he posted an average 2.2 yds after the catch. In addition, he only caught 56% of his targets. In 2016, his catch rate was below 40%.

On the other hand, DJ Moore was drafted in the first round. He will likely line up in the slot. As we saw in 2017, Cam Newton was a lot more efficient on the shorter passes; he turned Christian McCaffrey into fantasy beast in PPR. The Panthers did not improve their offensive line, which means Cam is going to have to get rid of the ball quickly or run. DJ Moore will be there for those short passes. Reviewing DJ Moore’s college tape, you can see that the kid breaks tackles. He sees the ball into his hands, he breaks tackles, and he has the vision to get the ball down the field.

In best ball formats, Funchess might be a good grab. Because of his size, he will be easy to find in the end zone and 2017 taught us that he will have some blow-up games. But, my redraft and dynasty teams will be loaded with DJ Moore in the 10th round. I’ll even reach for him in the 9th. I’ll be right back, I have to go update my rankings.

CMC vs CJ

Please do not misunderstand me. I believe Christian McCaffrey is very talented and he will be a great add to your fantasy team, especially in PPR formats. He is being drafted as the 12th RB off the board according to the Fantasy Football Calculator.

Even though CMC was in 30% more of the offensive snaps compared to Jonathan Stewart, Stewart had more touches (206) than McCaffery (197). Those 206 touches aren’t just going to go to CMC. Instead, they will be going to CJ Anderson who is the 39th RB coming off the board a full six rounds later than CMC in the middle of the 8th round. If anything, the touch spread could widen since CJ Anderson has more fuel in the tank when compared to Jonathan Stewart.

CJ Anderson was signed to a one year contract. He is coming off of a year that saw him play all 16 games. He rushed 245 times for 1007 yards and 3 touchdowns. As we all recall, the Broncos were not very good in 2017, offensively. Let’s give CJA 3 more touchdowns and you’re looking at the RB12 in 2017. This is in the realm of possibility since Jonathan Stewart scored 7 times in 2017 and is less efficient than CJ Anderson.

Speaking of inefficiency, Christian McCaffrey was not very good when running the ball. He was ranked 37th in 2017 with a less than stellar 3.7 yards per carry. While CJ Anderson’s 2017 YPC wasn’t a lot better (4.1), he was on a team with a worse offensive line.  Defenses didn’t have to worry about the passing game in Denver because the QBs were awful. In Carolina, he is on a team that has a defined passing game with a brand new spark in DJ Moore. Carolina has a passing and rushing QB in Cam Newton that defenses will be forced to watch (our very own Matt Hicks, @top2Matt, has Newton ranked as his #1 dynasty quarterback) . This will allow CJ Anderson to shine in the rushing downs while CMC continues his dominance in the passing game.

I would love to have Christian McCaffrey on my fantasy team in PPR leagues. At his current ADP, that probably won’t happen very often. However, when a running back who will have 240+ rushing attempts is still on the board in the 8th round, sign me up every single time.

Final word: In Dynasty startups, CJ Anderson is currently going in the 12th round. With a one year contract, I believe this is fair. I will still be drafting him there, if not sooner. He is 28 years old and might have a couple more years of decent production left in him after this season. It just depends on where he lands, which qualifies the 12th round pick.

About Marc Szymanski

@FFA_Marc on Twitter Resident of southeast Michigan and the wonderful suburbs of Detroit. In real life, I am the Manager of Technology Operations for a software company. Graduated from Baker College with an MBA in Information Systems. Fan of the wonderful game called Fantasy Football. Fan of the Packers AND Lions. Thanks to Madden '94 for the Sega Genesis for causing an internal struggle twice a year.

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