The Panthers are trading RB Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. It's obviously a big upgrade in terms of supporting cast for McCaffrey. The 49ers rank 19th in points per game and 18th in yards per game, while the Panthers sit 27th in points per game and dead last in yards per game. San Francisco is also a balanced to run-leaning offense, so McCaffrey should see plenty of rushing volume. We do worry a bit about his target volume, though, in an offense that also features Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. Overall, we'd consider this about a wash for the fantasy value of McCaffrey, who currently sits 4th among RBs in PPR points per game. We'll see if he'll play vs. the Chiefs this weekend. Carolina, meanwhile, is left with a backfield committee of D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard in a bad offense. We'll see exactly what that workload split looks like, but neither guy is an exciting fantasy option.
Update: Carolina will receive 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th-round picks in 2023, plus a 5th-rounder in 2024, according to Schefter.
Update: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport calls McCaffrey "likely" to play vs. the Chiefs on Sunday and adds, "expect a red-zone package." We'll see what else we hear about McCaffrey's projected Week 7 role.
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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