Running back Christian McCaffrey was sent from the Carolina Panthers to the San Francisco 49ers as part of a historic transaction late on Thursday night. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the 49ers have already decided that McCaffrey will play in Sunday’s Week 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
If [McCaffrey] plays on Sunday, as he probably will, expect a red zone package, according to Rapoport. He will gradually increase his involvement from there.
When it comes to fantasy repercussions, there is a lot to analyse. The delightfully known as CMC will, at the very least, have high-value touches planned for him right away in his 49ers debut, so fantasy managers that roster McCaffrey should feel safe putting him out in their lineups on Sunday, at least from an immediate impact perspective.
Long-term, Christian McCaffrey’s fantasy scenario includes a trade to the 49ers. McCaffrey is the fourth-best RB overall in point-per-reception (PPR) so far in the 2022 season, averaging 19.7 PPR points per game on a 4 for 4 basis. A transfer to the historically run-heavy 49ers system is a match made in heaven for a player of McCaffrey’s calibre, despite the fact that he has mainly managed to overcome the dreadful circumstances of the Panthers in his career. McCaffrey is the biggest fantasy winner because he managed to leave Carolina alone. He will continue to be a top-5 fantasy option as a result for additional reasons that we shall discuss in greater detail shortly.
The 49ers also required assistance following the Week 1 loss of starting running back Elijah Mitchell to an MCL injury. The 49ers offence, under Kyle Shanahan, has ran the ball at the ninth-highest rate in the NFL even without Mitchell, largely because to the work of Jeff Wilson Jr. Wilson Jr. is unquestionably the biggest fantasy loser on the 49ers roster, even if he could have continued his efforts and performance (RB23 overall in PPR, 10.5 points per game, per 4for4).
Wilson Jr., at best, would be a flex option, but he is likely to fade into obscurity because McCaffrey will likely take on a hefty workload. He can serve as Christian McCaffrey’s handcuff in the event of an injury, at least until Mitchell is back.
Chuba Hubbard, an Oklahoma State second-year running back, and D’Onta Foreman are the guys in line to take over the rushing workload for the Panthers. Foreman appears to be the more capable of the two to accept the challenge. When Derrick Henry was injured last year while playing for the Tennessee Titans, Foreman stepped in. He was the RB25 overall in PPR from Week 9 to Week 18 of 2021, according to 4for4, scoring 10.4 points per week on average.
However, this Panthers offensive won’t be all that strong. Depending on the matchup, Foreman will most likely be little more than an RB3/flex option for fantasy managers that depend on touchdowns. For the duration of 2022, it is unlikely that any Panthers running back will make a substantial impact on fantasy football. Despite this, the move still qualifies Foreman as a fantasy success.
The blockbuster transaction that sent Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers is fantastic news for fantasy football owners.