A new Christian McCaffrey injury has given fantasy football managers another scare heading into Week 3. McCaffrey was listed as limited on Thursday with an ankle injury but should fantasy managers be concerned? Let’s examine the latest injury update for McCaffrey and what it means for fantasy lineups in Week 3.
Should Christian McCaffrey’s injury concern fantasy managers?
McCaffrey was already on the Carolina Panthers’ injury report for Week 3 after he had what is expected to be a standard rest day on Thursday. However, he was expected to be a full participant Thursday, and that was not the case. McCaffrey was listed with an ankle injury that the team referred to as lingering stiffness from Sunday’s game.
Of course, any injury for McCaffrey will always elicit concern. However, the team appeared positive that McCaffrey would be on the field on Sunday. We may see him limited again on Friday, which is something to monitor, and he may even carry the questionable tag into the weekend. If that is the case, fantasy managers may just have to wait until Sunday morning to find out for definite whether he is active.
What should fantasy managers do with McCaffrey in Week 3?
The positive news for fantasy managers is that the Panthers play in the early afternoon window with a 1 p.m. ET kickoff against the New Orleans Saints. Therefore, we will know for definite at 11:30 a.m. ET whether McCaffrey will be active. A late afternoon kickoff could leave managers having to make tough decisions without full clarity. Fortunately, that is not the case.
If McCaffrey is active, he is a player you start without too much question. The Panthers have been a touch cautious with him through the first two weeks of the season, with his current average rush attempts and targets per game being the lowest since his rookie year in 2017. However, he has still averaged 12.5 rush attempts per game and five targets per game for a total of 35 opportunities through the first two weeks.
Additionally, the Panthers do not appear to have much faith in McCaffrey’s backups — D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard. Foreman has four rush attempts through two games, while Hubbard has one. Neither of them has a target so far. Therefore, even if they limit McCaffrey a touch more in Week 3, he should still have between 10-15 touches, which is more than enough for him to make an impact for fantasy managers.
If McCaffrey misses time, Foreman appears to be the handcuff, but it would be tough to start him without clarity. Hopefully, fantasy managers will not need to make that choice, but it is worth bearing in mind in case McCaffrey is a surprise inactive on Sunday.