Christian McCaffrey Fantasy Outlook & Injury Update 2022 (Still Has No. 1 RB Potential)

Larry Rupp
Christian McCaffrey's fantasy football outlook and injury update for the 2022 NFL season.
Christian McCaffrey's fantasy football outlook and injury update for the 2022 NFL season. / AP Photos/Mark LoMoglio
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There's no denying that the last two seasons have been frustrating for fantasy football managers rostering Christian McCaffrey. The 26-year-old has played in a total of 10 games during that span. It's important to remember he still averages a ridiculous 22.5 PPR points per game in his career, though.

With that being the case, it's no surprise to see McCaffrey near the top of running back rankings in fantasy football leagues. His average draft position (ADP) has him going as the second player off the board, behind only Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts.

Christian McCaffrey Fantasy Football Outlook

McCaffrey has always been a top fantasy football running back because of the versatility he brings to the table. He averages 61.8 rushing yards and 52.0 receiving yards in his career despite never playing with a truly stellar quarterback. Don't overlook the fact that McCaffrey became just the third player in NFL history to post at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season (2019).

With Sam Darnold at the helm in 2021, McCaffrey averaged 17.35 PPR fantasy points over his seven games played. He touched the ball a total of 136 times (19.4 per game), which goes to show that head coach Matt Rhule wants to have his All-Pro RB involved all the time. That should be no different whether the Panthers run it back with Darnold or opt to go with newcomer Baker Mayfield.

Whether or not the Panthers are playing from behind or milking the clock, it is McCaffrey that is going to see the touches in the fourth quarter. His limitless upside just comes down to his health at this point.

Christian McCaffrey Injury Update

As mentioned above, 10 missed games in 2021 and 13 missed games in 2019 have severely limited McCaffrey's recent fantasy production.

The good news is that none of his substantial injuries should impact his 2022 campaign. Reports claim McCaffrey enters training camp fully recovered from the foot, shoulder and hamstring issues that have plagued him over the years. The only thing left for him to do is prove that he can avoid re-injuring those parts of his body and take on NFL hits week after week.

Christian McCaffrey Projections

Projections from the NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook expect McCaffrey to finish in the middle of the pack. He's 19th to lead the NFL in rushing (+4000), which is nowhere close to his output during his last full season. McCaffrey finished third in the NFL with 1,387 yards on the ground the last time he played in more than 7 games (2019). Keep in mind his career averages sit at 8.4 targets per game, 8.4 yards per reception and a 81.3% catch percentage. Seeing those marks play out over a 17-game season would mean McCaffrey hauls in 116 passes for 975 receiving yards.

Is Christian McCaffrey a Good Fantasy Football Pick?

When it comes down to it, is McCaffrey worth a first-round pick? For sure. He's the No. 3 running back in The Duel's PPR fantasy football rankings, and is worthy of consideration as soon as Taylor is taken.

McCaffrey may not be the best option for fantasy managers looking to play it safe, but he has the chops to be a league-winning kind of player. That's not just in PPR-scoring formats, either. His 13.5 carries per game average ranks 18th among active players.

Oh, and if you drafted McCaffrey with your first-round pick then you might want to check out the best Christian McCaffrey fantasy football team names for your squad too.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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