3 Panthers players to watch for on Sunday against Saints

Carolina Panthers (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /
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Cameron Artis-Payne

Although he does not qualify as a rookie, Cameron Artis-Payne will still be someone to watch Sunday. With the Panthers likely to rest Christian McCaffrey for a good portion of the game, this will give Payne a chance to show what he can do. After all, it must be hard being the backup to McCaffrey who never seems to take a snap off.

On the season, Artis-Payne has carried the ball three times for 13 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. He played in four snaps last week against the Atlanta Falcons, the most he played in a game all season. As a result, he set a season-high in offensive rating (71.3) and pass snaps (78.0). I expect him to record higher numbers on Sunday as he should see a fair amount of action.

This is important for CAP because the Panthers need to figure out what kind of depth they have behind Christian McCaffrey. I hate to make the running game all about McCaffrey, but the fact of the matter is he is the cog that makes the running back position go. I don’t have any doubt whatsoever that McCaffrey can put up the workload he did this season when next season comes around. I do however think that there needs to be a solid backup plan in case McCaffrey cannot handle it again. The Panthers put a lot of pressure on McCaffrey to handle the offensive load, and they need to figure out if Artis-Payne can be a solid enough depth piece to complement McCaffrey in the backfield or if they need to go out and get someone in the off-season.