• Christian McCaffrey

  • RB
  • , Carolina Panthers
  • 25
  • 202 lbs
  • 5' 11"
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Scouting report

by Brandon Niles

CAR RB Christian McCaffrey - Week 2 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 2 vs. New Orleans Saints

Christian McCaffrey returned to his usual self after missing most of last year with multiple injuries. He started off the season with a bang, racking up 187 yards from scrimmage on 30 touches, including nine receptions. Anyone concerned about how he’d work with Sam Darnold or coming off of last season can put to bed those concerns and feel confident with their likely number one draft pick.

The Saints were the best defense against the run last year, ranking number one in aFPA to opposing running backs, and then they completely shut down the Packers’ offense in Week 1, including Aaron Jones and the run game. That being said, McCaffrey is so good and adds so much to his fantasy points total in the passing game, he’s a must-start regardless of matchup. Keep expectations realistic this week for your star back, but don’t ever sit him, as long as he’s healthy.

by Brandon Niles

CAR RB Christian McCaffrey - Week 1 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 1 vs. New York Jets

Christian McCaffrey was limited to just three games last season, and he still scored six touchdowns. That’s ridiculous. He’s one of the best weapons in all of football and appears to be healthy heading into his fifth season. Joe Brady managed to get Mike Davis into RB2 territory last year, so there should be zero concerns about McCaffrey producing in this offense, even with a new quarterback.

The Jets were middle-of-the-road against opposing running backs last year, but the matchup really doesn’t matter for someone like McCaffrey. You likely used the number one overall pick on him, so he’s of course going to be in your lineup. Welcome back.

by Brandon Niles

CAR RB Christian McCaffrey - 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside

Christian McCaffrey is such an incredible weapon, his upside is through the moon in any given game, series, or play. He was limited to three games last year due to a couple of different injuries, but he still had 225 rushing yards, 149 receiving yards on 17 receptions and six touchdowns! That’s more touchdowns than Clyde Edwards-Helaire had all season! McCaffrey was coming off consecutive seasons of 100-plus receptions and has averaged a ridiculous 0.88 touchdowns per game over his career. His upside is limitless.

Fantasy Downside

The only real concern with McCaffrey is whether or not he’ll have injury concerns again. He struggled through a high-ankle sprain, as well as shoulder and thigh injuries last season. Those don’t seem like recurring injuries though, and on an episode of The Most Accurate Podcast, 4for4’s resident physical therapist Adam Hutchison said he has zero concerns about McCaffrey coming back from the injuries he sustained last season.

2021 Bottom Line

McCaffrey is and should be the 1.01 in the vast majority of drafts this year. His usage in the three games he played last season in Joe Brady’s offense left no doubt who Brady wants to run the offense through. His production in the passing game and his uncanny ability to find the end zone give him the unique high-floor, super-high ceiling upside every week. He’s our number one for a reason.

by Brandon Niles

CAR RB Christian McCaffrey - Week 15 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 15 at Green Bay Packers

Christian McCaffrey didn’t return last week, but the team seems to think he’ll be back at some point this year. In the one brief re-appearance from him earlier this season, he had a full workload, so if he starts, expect him to put in a full day’s work, despite the Panthers being out of the playoff hunt. Matt Rhule probably has McCaffrey on his fantasy team. That’s the only explanation for why they’re not shutting him down at this point.

Be sure to check if Rhule’s fantasy team is in the playoffs this week. If so, McCaffrey might be active. If not, sit him.

In all seriousness, if McCaffrey starts, he should be active. If he sits, dial up Mike Davis once again. Be sure to refresh that injury report constantly up until game time, and be ready to make a last-second swap.

by Brandon Niles

CAR RB Christian McCaffrey - Week 14 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 14 vs. Denver Broncos

Christian McCaffrey has only played in three games, but he has six touchdowns on the season. If he returns, as expected, this week against the Broncos, he should resume a full workload and wind up with elite RB1 numbers as usual. He played only one game since September, and in it, he touched the ball 28 times – including 10 receptions – for a total of 151 yards and two touchdowns.

We have McCaffrey ranked as an elite option against a vulnerable Broncos defense that ranks 22nd in aFPA to opposing running backs. Watch his status, as there are reports of him being nicked up again, but he’s a monster, so as long as he’s active, he should be in every lineup.

by Brandon Niles

CAR RB Christian McCaffrey - Week 9 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 9 at Kansas City Chiefs

Christian McCaffrey hasn’t played the past six games, but there’s hope for him suiting up for Week 9 against the Chiefs. While it’s possible the team eases him back into the lineup, it seems they’d hold him out completely if he wasn’t ready to go. Regardless of matchup, McCaffrey is too talented not to start every week he’s active. Check his status leading up to game time. If he’s a go, insert him in your lineup and hope he stays healthy for the rest of the year.

by Brandon Niles

CAR RB Christian McCaffrey - Week 2 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 2 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s hard to know what else to say about Christian McCaffrey, as the guy is just extremely dominant in every facet of the game. He opened the season with 23 carries, three receptions, 134 combined yards and a pair of touchdowns, and he looked both dynamic in the open field, and tough as nails fighting for extra yards. McCaffrey only saw four targets, which is a bit low for him, but time will tell if that’s a one-game thing, or an aspect of the new offense and Teddy Bridgewater.

This week, he’ll face a Tampa Bay defense that has been really good against the run going back to last year. However, it doesn’t matter who McCaffrey plays. He should be active every week, regardless of matchup. The Buccaneers gave up a pair of touchdowns to Alvin Kamara – although just 16 yards rushing – so expect McCaffrey to find ways to get his fantasy points. Start him, as always.

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