NFL Countdown #2 and The Return of King McCaffrey
NFL Countdown #2: Christian McCaffrey was the best player in fantasy football in 2020, but he only played in 3 games due to injury. He scored two touchdowns in each of those games, and led the entire NFL in fantasy points per game.
The good news is Christian McCaffrey had his best season on a per-game basis last year. The bad news is that he was sidelined with two different injuries that only let him play in three games throughout the 2020 season. If you drafted CMC last year, you have a right to be no more than 50% as disappointed as Mr. McCaffrey himself. He has been hands-down the best player in fantasy football ever since becoming Carolina’s full-time starter in 2018, and everyone was robbed of another season of greatness out of the man.
Christian McCaffrey sits at #5 for the most yards from scrimmage in a college season, with 2664 in his second year at Stanford. He played in only 11 games in his third and final collegiate season, but picked up an extra 3 touchdowns and 0.3 yards per carry. CMC handled the most carries in the Pac-12 in both of his college years as a starter, and served as his team’s primary kick and punt returner. He never missed a game in college.
Christian McCaffrey was selected 8th overall in the 2017 NFL draft, and for some reason spent his rookie year playing behind a 30-year-old Jonathan Stewart. J-Stew was given 198 carries (3.4 YPC), while CMC got 117 carries that year. Since Stewart left town, McCaffrey has been one of the busiest players in football. Only Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott were given the ball more than CMC in 2018, and in 2019 his 403 touches led the NFL by 48. McCaffrey has single-handedly made the Panthers worth watching - his 2392 yards from scrimmage in 2019 accounted for 44% of all his team’s yards, and he scored half of all Carolina touchdowns.
In 2019, Christian McCaffrey delivered the second-best fantasy season of all-time, with only 9.9 fewer PPR points than Ladanian Tomlinson’s ridiculous 2006 season. CMC topped 1000 yards on the ground and 1000 yards through the air, and his 471.2 point total was 156.4 more than the second-best runningback that year, Aaron Jones. That’s an entire Carlos Hyde (153.2, 1070 rush yards) more than second place. Christian McCaffrey’s fantasy production is so absurd, regular words can’t accurately capture how dominant he has been over the past few seasons, so I’m going to do my best with some simple equations:
If you have the number one pick and haven't drafted yet, don't even think twice about it. Christian McCaffrey has been given the football more than just about any runningback since his freshman year of college, and last year was the first time he ever missed time due to injury. Don't even think twice about it.