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What to do with Rodney Smith, Trenton Cannon in Week 17 of the fantasy football playoffs

We go over the fantasy football outlook of Rodney Smith and Trenton Cannon ahead of the Panthers Week 17 matchup against the Saints.

Josey Jewell (47) of the Denver Broncos tackles Rodney Smith (35) of the Carolina Panthers during the second half of Denver’s 32-27 win at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday, December 13, 2020. Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers are having to dig deep into the depth chart to find running back help this week against the New Orleans Saints. Christian McCaffrey has been ruled out, as he has been most of the season, and Mike Davis will also be out this week with an ankle injury. That leaves Rodney Smith and Trent Cannon, among others, likely to share backfield duties against the Saints on Sunday, and lots of fantasy questions.

Fantasy Football analysis: Panthers RBs Rodney Smith, Trenton Cannon

Smith had 23 yards on seven carries last week, adding another 15 yards on two catches. In the most likely scenario, Smith will lead the backfield with Cannon mixing in some touches. However, receiver Cutis Samuel could get a few more looks on rushing plays this week too, upping his fantasy value.

The Saints have given up 5.4 yards per carry to opposing running backs over their last three games, along with five touchdowns. So there’s potential value in the Panthers backfield this week.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Smith is a decent play this week as a second running back. Better still, he’s just $4,000 in DraftKings leagues this week, and unlikely to be owned by majority of players. I’d avoid the other running backs here, but give Curtis Samuel some extra weight when planning out your lineup at receiver.