Christian McCaffrey, Jimmy Garoppolo's Fantasy Outlook After RB's Trade to 49ers

Doric SamOctober 21, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16: Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers looks on before a game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers added a boost to their backfield by reportedly acquiring running back Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Full terms:<br>-- The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/49ers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#49ers</a> get star RB Christian McCaffrey. <br>-- The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Panthers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Panthers</a> get a 2nd round pick in 2023, a third-rounder in 2023, and a fourth-round pick in 2023. Plus, a fifth-rounder in 2024.<br><br>Massive.

So what does McCaffrey switching uniforms mean from a fantasy football perspective? Let's take a look.

McCaffrey should absolutely thrive in a run-heavy San Francisco offense. He's topped 20 carries in a game just once this season in Week 3, and he hasn't reached 15 carries since then. Coincidentally, McCaffrey's 25-rush, 108-yard performance in the third game of the year helped lead Carolina to its lone win of the season.

The Panthers did their best to utilize McCaffrey in the passing attack, as he led the team in targets in two out of the last three games. However, the run game suffered because of it, as Carolina's offense failed to find the proper balance to be successful.

McCaffrey, who is returning to the Bay Area after starring at Stanford, shouldn't have that problem with the 49ers. San Francisco ranks ninth in the NFL with 168 rushing attempts and 12th with 124.0 rush yards per game.

McCaffrey will immediately be inserted as the lead back for the 49ers ahead of Jeff Wilson Jr. and Tevin Coleman. The 26-year-old should be viewed as a must-start in fantasy leagues going forward. Owners who chose not to trade him amid his early struggles are certainly rejoicing after this change in fortune.

The addition of McCaffrey should also greatly benefit 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The two-time All-Pro is known for his dual-threat ability out of the backfield and could provide Garoppolo with a safety outlet for check-down throws as well as easy scores in the red zone.

While Garoppolo isn't a QB1 by any means, he could be considered a streaming option going forward. McCaffrey's presence could have an affect on the ball-catchers for San Francisco, as he will take some touches away from Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk. However, it won't be significant enough for any of those players to have to be removed from your lineups.

Any fantasy football team managers with 49ers offensive players on their rosters should feel happy about McCaffrey joining the mix for San Francisco.