It’s been seven weeks since Christian McCaffrey fantasy owners lost their top overall pick. Finally, fantasy owners and Carolina Panthers fans can rejoice, as all signs point to the top pick being fully healthy and ready to go this weekend against Kansas City.
Though he is healthy and ready to go, the question becomes if he a must-start, or should you wait and see how his first week goes before throwing him in the mix?
The answer is short and sweet – You should absolutely be starting him.
Christian McCaffrey Has Been Missed
There are always concerns about the first week a player returns from injury regarding what kind of work load will they see, and if they will be in shape or have their body ready for contact.
Though these concerns are valid in almost any other situation – they do not apply here. McCaffrey is arguably the most talented RB in the NFL, and is no doubt the most versatile.
In the first few weeks of his injury, the Panthers looked like they may be able to figure things out and stay afloat without him. Mike Davis stepped in and played a McCaffrey-type role surprisingly well, posting three consecutive 20+ performances in Weeks 3-5.
Since then, however, both Davis and the Panthers offense has fallen off. Weeks 6-8 brought an average of 9.5 points for Davis, 19 points for the offense and an 0-3 record for the Panthers.
McCaffrey’s Fantasy Production
In the two weeks he played before being placed on IR, McCaffrey posted 28.5 and 24.8 points, respectively.
When he is out there, he makes a large impact. According to reporters and his own coaching staff, he is fully healthy and fully ready for a regular work load.
Splitting time with Mike Davis should not be a concern this week, and you can expect plenty of check-down passes to come his way, as Teddy Bridgewater likely will not challenge this Kansas City secondary too much.
Check out our Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings, including scoring settings for PPR and half PPR leagues! Ranking are updated throughout the week.
Week 9 Fantasy Outlook
If you own McCaffrey, you likely took him with your first pick. As we barrel toward fantasy playoffs, you can likely not afford to have a player of his caliber on your bench any longer.
Am I guaranteeing another 20+ performance right off the bat? No, but the offense is reeling and the scheme sets up nicely for him this week.
Trust me, you’d rather start him and end up with a mediocre performance than bench him and have him go off.
McCaffrey is a must-start this week.