Christian McCaffrey’s Best Ball Fantasy Outlook: Should the San Francisco 49ers RB Be the First Overall Pick?

Fresh off an overall RB1 finish, should fantasy managers be taking Christian McCaffrey as the clear first overall pick in 2024 Best Ball drafts?

San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey just became the first running back to repeat as overall RB1 since Priest Holmes in 2003. As the best player in fantasy football, is there any argument against McCaffrey going No. 1 overall in Best Ball drafts?

Christian McCaffrey’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

There aren’t enough superlatives to effectively describe just how good McCaffrey is at the game of football. Last season, he carried the ball 272 times for 1,459 yards while adding 67 receptions for 564 receiving yards. Playing on the 49ers’ elite offense, McCaffrey scored a whopping 21 touchdowns. His rushing and scoring numbers were both career highs.

McCaffrey going to the 49ers was one of the best things to ever happen for a fantasy football running back evaluation. We took the best running back in football — who was already the most elite of RB1s — and put him in a Ferrari offense.

Despite catching 40 fewer passes than he did in his best two seasons in Carolina, McCaffrey was able to remain the best running back in fantasy because of efficiency. The lesson to be learned here is that high-volume running backs in bad offenses can work, but we want running backs in good offenses.

McCaffrey was as efficient as ever. He averaged 6.0 yards per touch, which ranked third in the league; 3.8 yards created per touch, good for 13th in the league; and he had an impressive 7.4% of his carries go for 15+ yards. He did this all while remaining the league’s best receiving back, leading all running backs with a 19.3% target share.

Should You Draft McCaffrey in 2024 Best Ball Leagues?

McCaffrey is obviously going to once again be an elite RB1. But, man, the volume definitely concerns me. He’s now touched the ball 798 times, including the postseason, over the past two years. He has 1,948 touches in his career.

There is zero concern over a skill drop-off. At 28 years old, that’s not coming just yet. But could McCaffrey break down a bit despite all the volume? Perhaps I’m reading too much into the Super Bowl, but McCaffrey sure did look a bit worn out. That may not matter for the regular season, which is all we care about in fantasy football anyhow.

MORE: What Is Best Ball Fantasy Football?

The fact remains McCaffrey has been largely healthy throughout his career. He missed 13 games in 2020 and nine games in 2021. But outside of those two years, he played a full season sans Week 18 of the 2023 season, which didn’t matter anyway.

As the YG song famously says, “Scared money don’t make no money.” Don’t shy away from “CMC” with the first overall pick because of some arbitrary injury concerns. Anyone who used that process last year likely took Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase instead. Both of those players missed multiple games due to injury. McCaffrey did not.

He remains the most elite asset in fantasy football. If he’s there at No. 1, 2, or 3 overall, take him before even a second elapses on the draft clock.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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