Dalvin Cook Vs. Christian McCaffrey’s Fantasy Outlook
When comparing Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook, I want to let you know that I won’t be using a ton of stats in this very quick write up, and the reasoning for that is two fold. First, they are of course both rookies in the NFL, and success in the College ranks does not always translate over to the NFL. Second, I’m not a huge stat guy when it comes to the NFL. I geek out over MLB and some NBA stats, but in the NFL the sample size is just too small, with too great of variance from year to year. Each team plays only 16 games within a matter of a calendar year, with (unless you’re the Cleveland Browns or your stadium has a pool in it), possibly some playoff games mixed in here or there. This is just too small of a sample, and with all of the roster turnover in the off-season, including coaches and coordinators, I tend to look at what I see on the field rather than what the box score says.
If you are into stats, check out PFF, as they do a great job of not grading players based on game performance, but based on play performance. Grading players on every snap gives you a greater sample and for that reason PFF stats are used by NFL teams, so if you haven’t give them a look…
Christian McCaffrey Vs. Dalvin Cook
While you can mostly ignore the preseason in the NFL, especially when looking at veterans, it can be value for trying to forecast the futures for NFL rookies. Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook are prime examples of this. Both running backs have played very well this preseason, and I expect both to have solid years, the differences is in the surrounding cast, and how these players will be used. Cook in Minnesota will be used in a more traditional offense where Sammy will look to him as a check down in the flat, and there will be plenty of times Cook will be called upon to bang it between the tackles, something he is very good at by the way.
McCaffrey on the other hand will be used in, what some Panthers coaches are calling an “offensive weapon” category. Now, I understand calling a player an Offensive weapons just makes for good headlines and sounds good at a podium to reporters, but it does offer some insight on what we might expect from Carolina and their new toy. If you go back to the combine, the analysts were wowed by McCaffrey’s athleticism, and they stated that he could very well be a wide-out in this draft, and he would fit right in. I look for Carolina to utilize some of those traits this season and flex McCaffrey out into the slot, and use him creatively in the backfield with Cam.
If I were playing in a standard scoring league, I could definitely see Cook favoring McCaffrey as, like I said, I expect Cook to have a more traditional back role in this Viking offense. In PPR however, I think McCaffrey is the way to go. The Panther RB just has a skill set that translates really well to the PPR scoring format, and with the Panthers investing a top five pick on him, I look for them to try to get him the ball as often as possible.
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