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What to do with Mike Davis, Trenton Cannon in Week 3 fantasy football

With Christian McCaffrey on the shelf, is there a Panthers running back worth a spot in your lineup?

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers suffered a devastating blow last week when they lost do-it-all running back Christian McCaffrey. One of last year’s top fantasy producers and the team’s top offensive skill players is now on the shelf for at least four to six weeks. In the interim, Mike Davis is expected to step into the top spot on the Panthers depth chart with a little help from Trenton Cannon. The question now is how should they factor into your fantasy plans for Week 3?

Fantasy Football analysis: Panthers RBs Mike Davis, Trenton Cannon

Taking over for the injured McCaffrey in the fourth quarter last Sunday, Davis caught eight passes 74 yards. He only carried the ball once, as there wasn’t much point in running with the Panthers in a deep hole to the Raiders. Davis is the clear No. 1 for Carolina now. It’s unlikely that he’ll be as productive as McCaffrey, but volume alone makes him a decent every-week RB2 or Flex in fantasy lineups, especially since the Panthers like to throw to their running backs, giving him even more value in PPR formats.

Cannon is more of an unknown for fantasy purposes. He’s going to get some work spelling Davis along with Reggie Bonnafon, but until we have a better sense of how the Panthers will use them, if they use them, they’re not worth a spot in fantasy leagues.

This week the Panthers draw a Chargers defense that’s been decent against the run, allowing an average of less than 4 yards per carry to opposing running backs in two games. This probably isn’t going to be Davis’ best week for fantasy points. However, because the Panthers just don’t have much choice but to lean on him, he’s still worth a spot.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Mike Davis. Sit Trenton Cannon.