Fantasy football news: How Baker Mayfield trade affects Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Panthers’ Robbie Anderson


Another quarterback trade rocked both the NFL and the fantasy football world on Wednesday when the Panthers acquired Baker Mayfield from the Browns.

Casual NFL fans might not be too excited about this decision. He’s almost certainly a quarterback upgrade for the Panthers, but will that make him anything other than a potential wildcard contender? Probably not.

That said, fantasy football owners will have a much higher interest in this trade. Mayfield isn’t necessarily a guy you’re looking to field just yet — at least not after how last season has gone — but his presence will impact some of the Panthers’ other top guns.

Most notably, the addition of Mayfield will give DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson a new pass-catcher to work with for the third straight offseason. Christian McCaffrey’s production can also be affected by Mayfield when evaluating his position among the top running backs in fantasy football.

Below is a breakdown of what fantasy football owners can expect from McCaffrey, Moore and Anderson following the Mayfield trade. No matter how you look at it, they all probably deserve stocks.

IYER: Browns and Panthers both deserve an ‘F’ for mutually unnecessary trade with Baker Mayfield

How the Baker Mayfield Trade Affects Christian McCaffrey

Mayfield’s presence should have a positive impact on McCaffrey, as teams won’t be able to focus as much on the Panthers’ running game with an improved passing game.

Even playing with two shoulder injuries last season, Mayfield completed a higher percentage of his passes (60.5) than Darnold (59.8) and averaged 7.2 yards per attempt compared to Darnold’s 6.5. What does that mean? Mayfield will stretch the defenses a little more vertically with his arm, so McCaffrey may have a little more breathing room than he had with Darnold.

In four games with Darnold last season, McCaffrey was productive but didn’t realize his full running potential. He averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in four games with Darnold, compared to 5.7 yards per carry in three games without him. Granted, part of that came from McCaffrey being paired with the hyper-mobile Cam Newton, but the 1.9-yard-per-range difference still can’t be ignored.

If there’s a problem with the McCaffrey/Mayfield fit, it’s that the Browns haven’t targeted running backs much in 2022. Kareem Hunt saw the most targets among fullbacks with 27, but c was still good for only the eighth most on the team.

If you add Hunt’s 27 targets to those of Nick Chubb (25) and D’Ernest Johnson (25), you get 77. That’s a respectable amount, but McCaffrey was on a 100-catch pace over a 17 season. matches with Darnold. So, for McCaffrey to reach his full potential, Mayfield will need to check a little more often than he has. If he doesn’t, he will still be productive, but he may not be the same PPR stallion he has been in the past.

That said, the Panthers will definitely find ways to get the ball to McCaffrey both on the ground and in the air. He ends up getting a stock out of it and should be a strong RB1 – if he can stay healthy.

MORE: Baker Mayfield will have a chance for immediate revenge on the Browns

How the Baker Mayfield Trade Affects DJ Moore

Some of Moore’s fantasy owners may be sweating a little as a result of this trade. After all, Mayfield didn’t have good chemistry with Odell Beckham Jr. and only targeted his No. 1 receiver 5.7 times per game last season before his release. Will Moore meet the same fate?

It seems highly unlikely. Moore has become one of the most stable fantasy producers at receiver over the past few years, and his numbers have been eerily similar despite working with several different starting quarterbacks, including Darnold, Newton, PJ Walker and Teddy. Bridgewater.

Moore has posted between 1,157 and 1,193 receiving yards each of the last three seasons and has posted exactly four touchdowns each season. The biggest variable for him was his receptions, which ranged from 66 to 93.

Still, Moore is a receiver who commands and demands targets. He has scored at least 118 in each of the past three seasons and Matt Rhule will surely be looking to keep him heavily involved after doing a solid job with Darnold last year.

For those still worried about Moore becoming Beckham, don’t be. Beckham was more of a field receiver for the Browns; his average target distance was 11.5 yards from the line of scrimmage last season. Meanwhile, Moore is making plays at all three levels of defense, which is why his average target distance is 10.1 yards.

Why is this important? Mayfield only completed 44.9% of his passes from beyond 10 yards last season while completing 78.6% of those from under 10. This will make it easier for Mayfield to complete passes to Moore at his average distance shorter than it was for him to connect with Beckham further down the pitch.

MORE: What’s next for Sam Darnold after Baker Mayfield trade?

How the Baker Mayfield Trade Affects Robbie Anderson

Robbie Anderson was expected to have a solid year in 2021. He already had chemistry with Sam Darnold and had just completed a 1,000-yard season in his freshman year at Carolina.

Instead, Anderson had arguably his worst professional season. He struggled to connect with Darnold throughout the season and was unable to produce consistently on the pitch.

In Anderson’s 12 games with Darnold, he averaged 6.8 targets per game. However, those translated to just three catches and 29.4 yards per game. He was a bit better with Newton at quarterback, averaging 4.3 catches and 41.5 yards per game, but both were big steps back from his success with Bridgewater in 2020 (5 .8 catches per game, 70 yards per game).

Mayfield’s performance last season resembles what Bridgewater did at Carolina in the 2020 campaign. Like Mayfield, Bridgewater was hyper-accurate in short-range situations (87.4% on passes within 10 yards) but had its share of accuracy issues in the field.

Anderson has deep speed, but like Moore, he’s a more than capable receiver underneath. As such, he should do well with Mayfield and could get back into the WR3 conversation after being nothing more than a bench hideout in 2021.


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