The Panthers have placed Christian McCaffrey on IR for the 2nd time this season, following his left-ankle injury in Sunday's loss to the Dolphins. That automatically knocks him out for the rest of the year, since it's his 2nd IR stint. It's a surprising development after NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported earlier Monday that the injury "doesn't seem major." We'll see about the specifics of the injury, but that won't really matter until we're evaluating McCaffrey for 2022 fantasy football drafts. For now, it's Chuba Hubbard back to the lead at the position in Carolina. He averaged 17.8 carries, 65.8 yards and 0.4 TDs per game rushing in 5 fill-in starts earlier this season, with another 2.6 receptions and 17.6 receiving yards per contest. The Panthers have since added RB Ameer Abdullah, who figures to steal some passing-down snaps from Hubbard the rest of the way. Abdullah has seen 4+ targets in 4 of the past 5 games, averaging 2.6 catches and 22.4 receiving yards per game over those 5 contests.
49ers RB Christian McCaffrey's four-yard TD run in the second quarter of Thursday night's win over the Giants marked his 12th straight game with at least one TD. That ties WR Jerry Rice for the longest streak in franchise history. McCaffrey finished this one with 18 carries for 85 yards and the score, plus five catches on five targets for 34 yards. He gave way to RB Elijah Mitchell a bit more in this one -- but fantasy owners have nothing to complain about. McCaffrey will continue to be an elite fantasy asset as long as he stays healthy. He gets another plus matchup in Week 4 vs. the Cardinals before tougher draws against the Cowboys and Browns.
The 49ers have given RB Christian McCaffrey 2 more carries through two weeks than any other player in the NFL has received. His 42 rushes lead Derrick Henry (40) and Tony Pollard (39), with the two Monday night games of Week 2 yet to go. That's abnormal for McCaffrey, who has reached 20 carries in consecutive games just three other times in his career. He averaged 14.7 carries per game across 13 starts with the 49ers last year, including the playoffs. Summer indications had San Francisco planning to use McCaffrey in a way that would preserve him for the season. That doesn't match up with 21.0 carries per game, of course. We'd be surprised if his carry count and carry share stays that high. But it doesn't really matter as long as McCaffrey stays healthy. He's obviously an every-week starter whenever available. No other 49ers RB even played an offensive snap against the Rams.
49ers RB Christian McCaffrey recorded 22 attempts for 152 rushing yards, including a 65-yard TD in Week 1’s win vs. the Steelers. He also added 3 receptions on 7 targets with 17 receiving yards through the air. The Pittsburgh front struggled to stop McCaffrey for the majority of the contest. His 25.9 PPR points are a strong contender to be the most among RBs in Week 1. Fantasy managers should expect another robust outing in Week 2 vs. the Rams.
The 49ers have a “plan” for keeping RB Christian McCaffrey healthy for Week 1, per HC Kyle Shanahan. McCaffrey sat out team drills on Wednesday, and it shouldn’t alarm you if this becomes a trend. CMC, now 27, has nearly 1,500 career touches. Our RB rankings show he remains a top-end RB1.
Christian McCaffrey led RBs in PPR points per game and ranked third in non-PPR across his nine full regular-season games with the 49ers last season. But his usage and production declined when RB Elijah Mitchell was healthy. In seven games without Mitchell (including playoffs), McCaffrey averaged 24.1 opportunities (carries + targets), 135 total yards, and 1.3 TDs. He sunk to 17.2 opportunities, 85 total yards, and 0.6 TDs in five games with Mitchell. McCaffrey’s scoring averages in those five games would have ranked seventh among RBs in PPR points per game for the season and 12th in non-PPR. It's certainly possible that McCaffrey's usage alongside Mitchell grows in 2023 after a full offseason in the offense. But the Mitchell splits are certainly worth considering as you decide whether to spend a top-5 pick on McCaffrey in fantasy drafts this summer. See our baseline, ceiling, and floor projections for McCaffrey.
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