It seems like the Carolina Panthers are going full rebuild mode while the San Francisco 49ers are getting set for a run at the Super Bowl. But how does the Christian McCaffrey trade impact the fantasy football landscape. There are clear winners, and very clear losers. From a fantasy perspective, we can analyze the trade in a threefold evaluation.
Christian McCaffrey (SF) – Winner
CMC is the clear winner here, as he goes from a very bad team to a very good one. He also goes to a team where he will not be the main threat. The presence of Deebo Samuel and George Kittle will alleviate some pressure off of McCaffrey. McCaffrey got so much volume in Carolina, but it would be unrealistic to expect him to get the same workload in San Fran. However, his is nothing to be overly concerned about from a fantasy football perspective.
It is still up in the air whether McCaffrey will play in their Week 7 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. If he were to play, it may only be in redzone and/or goal line packages. If he is active, McCaffrey would need a touchdown to have a productive day. Best case scenario is that the 49ers declare him inactive so that managers can adjust accordingly. However, you are allowed to sit an active McCaffrey for a better, more certain option. For example, I am benching him in one of my leagues in favor of Ezekiel Elliott vs. the Lions. If you HAVE to play an active McCaffrey if you do not have a better option, then plug your nose and do it. Just know it may not turn out well for you. Moving forward, however, keep him locked and loaded into starting lineups and let him go to work.
From a dynasty fantasy football perspective, this is a win as well. Under contract until 2025, he should be in line for many great seasons to come. Even though the Niners are notorious for having a backfield committee, they will scrap it for a guy like McCaffrey. Injuries are all you are really worried about.
Jeff Wilson Jr./Elijah Mitchell (SF) – Losers
As a Jeff Wilson Jr. owner, I am torn. After this week, him and Mitchell will be completely useless barring injury. Wilson was a sell high candidate the past few weeks, and now I am regretting not getting a trade done with him. Start him this week, whether McCaffrey is active or not. This will be the last week you can start him before eventually letting him fade on the waiver wire. Mitchell has not even come back from injury yet and he is already irrelevant for the rest of the season. Mitchell was thought to be an interesting dynasty asset too, but his value takes a huge hit as well. Do not expect much from these two for the rest of the season. They are not worth keeping on the bench either, unless you want that insurance policy.
D’Onta Foreman/Chuba Hubbard (CAR) – Meh./Likely Losers
From the preseason sample size we had of the Panthers backfield without McCaffrey, the split between Foreman and Hubbard was virtually even. Fantasy managers should still be looking to add one or the other (leaning towards Forman more), but neither should be started in lineups for Week 7. Post Christian McCaffrey trade, one may emerge as the better asset. However, if one of them has a good performance on Sunday, look to trade them for whatever you can. Neither are viable, consistent options for the rest of the season. For teams desperate for RB depth or a bench stash, then maybe you can hold them. This whole backfield has the potential to be a mess, but sell-high when the opportunity knocks.
Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports