Christian McCaffrey is a running back for the San Francisco 49ers. His three-year career at Stanford University included a 2,000-rushing yard campaign that helped him become a Heisman Trophy finalist. He also had a 50.7-percent (99th-percentile) College Dominator Rating, an 18.7-percent (98th-percentile) College Target Share, and an NCAA-record 3,864-total-yard season. He opted to skip Stanford’s Sun Bowl game at the end of the 2016 season to prepare for the 2017 NFL Draft - a controversial decision at the time.
At the NFL Combine, McCaffrey recorded a 4.48 (82nd-percentile) 40-yard dash and 10.79 (98th-percentile) Agility Score. He was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Splitting time with veteran Jonathan Stewart as a rookie, McCaffrey logged only 117 carries for 435 rushing yards. However, on the strength of his 80 receptions and 651 receiving yards, he finished the year with a 14.3 (No. 12) Fantasy Points Per Game average. The next two seasons (2018 and 2019), he quickly elevated himself to superstar status. Rushing for over 1,000 yards and catching over 100 passes in both years, he averaged 24.1 (No. 2) FPPG in 2018 and an absurd 29.3 (No. 1) FFPG the following season.
McCaffrey’s 2019 was truly special. Aside from the productivity metrics, he led the RB position in Snap Share (98.4-percent), Opportunity Share (91.5-percent), and Weighted Opportunities (396.7). He also led all running backs with a 23.7-percent Target Share and 405 Routes Run. He was efficient, too, accruing 415 (No. 12) Yards Created, a 45.8-percent (No. 2) Dominator Rating, and +56.7 (No. 2) Expected Points Added. Following a year that had many christening him “The Next Marshall Faulk,” McCaffrey signed a four-year, $64 million contract extension. That contract made him the highest-paid running back in league history. The deal includes a $21.5 million signing bonus, $38.2 million guaranteed, and a $16 million average annual salary.
The 2020 season began, and McCaffrey picked up right where he left off. After scoring 28.5 (No. 5) and 24.8 (No. 2) fantasy points in each of his first two games that season, he suffered a high ankle sprain that landed him on injured reserve. He returned in Week 9 to put up a whopping 37.1 (No. 2) fantasy points against the Chiefs, before promptly being ruled out with a shoulder injury. That ended his season. McCaffrey’s 2021 season was again hampered by injuries. He was limited to seven games with hamstring and ankle ailments, though he did log fantasy performances of 27.7 (No. 1), 24.7 (No. 3), 26.1 (No. 4), and 24.9 (No. 3) points.
During the 2022 season, McCaffrey was dealt from Carolina to San Francisco for four draft picks, including a second-rounder. Playing in six games for the Panthers and 11 for the 49ers, he averaged 21.0 (No. 2) fantasy points per game. As a 49er, McCaffrey fit right in with the team’s other elite weapons and Kyle Shanahan put him to use immediately. In just his second game, McCaffrey threw for a touchdown, as well as catching one and running for one. He compiled 159 carries and 52 receptions with the Niners, finishing as a top-two fantasy RB four times. McCaffrey and his valued skillset will be an integral part of the 49ers’ championship runs.