Fantasy Football: Making the Case – RB Christian McCaffrey

Two down, two to go. Here is the third edition of the “Making the Case” Series as we dig into why Christian McCaffrey has the real possibility of being chosen first overall in Fantasy drafts this season. While Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott seemingly are the top options in the majority of fantasy analysts’ minds, Christian McCaffrey is the most unique in the fact he has not many doubts about him and has shown he can deliver in every single way on the gridiron. In Half or Full PPR, McCaffrey is 100% worth a look at the number one spot.

Making the Case Reason 1: 1K/1K Candidate

Just one season ago, CMC shut down his doubters and ran for his first 1,000 yard season with 1,098 yards on 219 attempts. On the receiving side, he had 107 receptions, becoming Cam Newton’s favorite target. With those 107 catches he gave 867 yards to finish his season with 1,965 total yards. There are RBs seen as true 1K/1K candidates. For those who do not know, that is 1,000 yards on each side of the ball, which David Johnson has pledged to do in years past but has yet to. As the centerpiece of the Carolina Panthers offense, McCaffrey is going to be utilized even more than a year ago to protect Cam Newton and is just the best option on the roster and among the best in the NFL.

Making the Case Reason 2: PPR Machine

107 catches from an RB is absurd. It was an NFL record by an RB and it becomes difficult to believe anything else but 100 catches again for CMC. Last season, McCaffrey finished as the RB2 in PPR by just 0.3 points to the leader in Saquon Barkley as he torched opposing teams for 385.5 fantasy points. He was tired with Barkley for the second-best PPG with 24.1 and is only improving himself as a player. His TD total can only improve as well as he totaled 13 a year ago and with goal-line touches expected to be shared between him and Cam Newton even more than a season ago. Because of his prowess in PPR leagues, CMC warrants a look at the number one overall spot.

Making the Case Reason 3: Least Concern

Out of the four RBs this season up for the first overall selection in drafts, CMC is far and away the top choice if it is based strictly off of concerns for the backs. For Saquon Barkley, it is the fact that is team is one of the weakest in the league on both sides of the ball and having the least capable QB, leading to a stacked box against him game in and game out. When it comes to Ezekiel Elliott, this scare of an upcoming holdout in result of a contract dispute gives fantasy owners déjà vu to last year with Le’Veon Bell. And with Alvin Kamara, he is still on track to share the ball just a bit with Latavius Murray. Sure, he isn’t Mark Ingram, but it is very possible the share scares some from making him the first overall choice.

That leaves “Run CMC” with the least of concern and maybe the safest choice when it comes to the first overall choice. Le’Veon Bell left many with a scar that many never go away of taking someone who doesn’t get hurt and just sits out the entire season. If you are drafting in PPR, McCaffrey is incredibly tempting to take with the first overall pick. Truth be told, he may be the best selection this year. He proved it last season, no reason he cannot do it again.

Verdict

Christian McCaffrey has shown that the doubters should not be saying anything any longer as the Panthers RB is a stud. He is the top rusher and receiver for his team, a fact not many other players have the ability to say. The 1K/1K Club is on the horizon for CMC, along with being a PPR beast and having the least of concern at this point. There is plenty of excitement and McCaffrey is absolutely worth the first overall selection.

Be sure to check out the other “Making the Case” pieces of the series so far, along with my first positional rankings ahead of drafts.

Making the Case – Ezekiel Elliott
Making the Case – Saquon Barkley
Edwards’ Positional Rankings 1.0

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