As we close in toward a new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move, with key events like free agency continuing to roll on and the 2023 NFL Draft still to come.
Christian McCaffrey’s Dynasty Outlook and Value
For years, we wondered what it would look like if Christian McCaffrey was placed into a top-tier offense. We finally have the answer, and it’s as good as we could’ve dreamed.
Playing the first six games in 2022 with the Carolina Panthers, McCaffrey averaged 21.4 opportunities and 111.7 yards with three total touchdowns. He was healthy and playing well but somewhat held back due to the state of the Panthers’ offense. That all changed when McCaffrey was traded to the 49ers.
From Weeks 8 through 17, McCaffrey was the RB1 in fantasy by a staggering 24 points ahead of Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler. That’s over a full game ahead of the competition. McCaffrey was also the RB1 in points per game (23.7 PPR), averaging 22.4 opportunities, 118.8 total yards, and one touchdown per game.
For context, that’s a pace of over 2,000 total yards, which would be baffling if it were anyone but McCaffrey, as we’ve seen him cross that number before. In the end, McCaffrey accounted for 1,880 total yards from scrimmage on 211 touches with 10 total touchdowns.
He also dominated the opportunities when he joined San Francisco, which points to his year-over-year stability. Although Elijah Mitchell dealt with a knee injury, it’s still impressive that McCaffrey accounted for 58% of the rushing attempts, 76% of the RB targets, and a 20% team target share.
I’ve said it for years, and I will repeat it. McCaffrey is the closest thing we have seen to prime LaDainian Tomlinson in fantasy football. When healthy, he is the best running back in dynasty. Period. And after playing in only ten games combined in 2020 and 2021, watching McCaffrey stay healthy last year was a massive success. Those who “bought low” got a significant deal, even though he was never cheap.
Christian McCaffrey’s Fantasy Ranking
But how long can McCaffrey keep this up? He’s entering his age-27 season, which is nearing the traditional age apex for the position (around 28 years old). But McCaffrey is an outlier in every sense of the word, and his versatility as a receiver likely will extend his window in dynasty leagues.
Throw in the fact that McCaffrey has three more years under contract with the 49ers, and there’s no reason to expect him to fall off a cliff for at least the next two seasons.
McCaffrey is, at worst, the RB3 in dynasty alongside Jonathan Taylor, Breece Hall, and Bijan Robinson, but from a per-game standpoint, I don’t think anyone will touch him. For now, he is the RB2 overall in PPR formats and will be in third after Robinson is added. In Superflex formats, where QBs see a jump in value due to positional scarcity, McCaffrey is the No. 19-overall-ranked player.
Unless you have him on your roster, McCaffrey is virtually untouchable in dynasty, barring a seismic, team-altering trade. Even then, you’ll still have to overpay just to get conversations started.
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