Is Christian McCaffrey's fantasy value capped with the 49ers? | Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast

Yahoo Sports' Matt Harmon and Scott Pianowski explain why McCaffrey's new team isn't helping his fantasy stock this season.

Video Transcript


SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I want to be careful how I say this. I want players to play well. I want players to stay healthy and hit their theoretical ceilings as much as they can. But there was a lot of Christian McCaffrey victory lapping a couple of weeks ago, like, oh, aren't you glad you didn't fall for that Jonathan Taylor [BLEEP].

CMC, you know he's always going to get hurt. Well, no he's not. I mean, now he's on the Niners. He's going to be your league winner on-- pretty ordinary the last couple of weeks. They're going to have-- Mitchell's going to have a role. And I don't think they want-- CMC, the thing with Carolina is that everything was going to be routed to him. Now he's just a cog.

Not that he's not going to get usage. Not that it's not theoretically a plus offense. But let's put it this way. If we were redrafting right now, there's no way I'd consider him first or second overall. I don't know who I would take, but it wouldn't be him. He'd be somewhere in the middle to the late first round for me. I mean, you certainly couldn't take him over Ekeler right now. I don't think you can take him over Derrick Henry. There's a bunch of other guys.

I just I thought some of the McCaffrey bros-- and a lot of people in the industry who I respect, by the way, so I want to make it clear. I mean, we're allowed to have differences of opinion. But I felt like a couple of weeks ago, it was like decreed, oh, yeah, Jonathan Taylor was a bad pick. CMC was the sharp pick. And I don't know. I don't really feel like that's true anymore.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, the injury stuff for sure. I mean, I definitely-- I said at one point, hey, Jonathan Taylor was considered kind of the safe and consensus first overall pick because he had never missed a practice. And he's missed some games here. And, look, Jonathan Taylor is a stud, dude. He's been awesome this year. But I know I said some of that.

But the one thing I kind of agree with you here, Scott, is when the Christian McCaffrey trade went down, there were definitely people ready to tell you that you were an idiot if you didn't think this was like a clear-cut upgrade for Christian McCaffrey because he was going to-- he was going from a team in Carolina that theoretically is never going to score any touchdowns to a team that's going to score a bunch of touchdowns in San Francisco.

But they had that one game where McCaffrey was the center of the universe against the Rams, but then they've had other games where it has been extremely spread out, and he hasn't gotten that same sort of equity that we've seen that he got in Carolina. So I think it's just a fair question to say was the move a downgrade for him in fantasy. I think it's a conversation worth having because they have so many threats here. And, yeah, obviously he's coming off a slow game here where he was dealing with injuries during the game.

The broadcast reported on the sideline that CMC was having left knee issues, went to the locker room early before the half, and either he or the training staff have been working on it all in the second half. So that's the explanation for the weird usage, starting in the two-minute drill before the half. So, yeah, there's been a little bit of weird usage throughout the last couple of games for Christian McCaffrey. And, look, you're never going to bench Christian McCaffrey, so there's really no point in spending Earth seconds tilting your face off about it. There's better things in life to worry about.

But I do agree with you that I think some of the, like I said, you're an idiot if you don't see this is a clear-cut win for him in fantasy, I think that was a little misguided. Because they have a star in Brandon Aiyuk, and they have a star in Deebo Samuel, who got a little banged up in this game. And they have Kittle. And they have a quarterback who does have games like this within his range of outcomes.