Christian McCaffrey was a fantasy football cheat code in 2023

Christian McCaffrey was a fantasy football player's dream in 2023

Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

When you're drafting your fantasy football team year after year, the one thing you hope -- beyond obviously making good picks -- is that your best players are able to stay healthy throughout the course of the year. You hope for consistent production out of at least a few guys so you can have a high floor and get hot at the right time. For fantasy football managers with Christian McCaffrey in 2023, you basically had a cheat code available all season.

Having McCaffrey on your roster in 2023 was borderline unfair, and there's no better way to illustrate that fact than with a stat shared by ESPN fantasy football guru Field Yates:

That means that if you drafted Christian McCaffrey this year, you basically gave yourself a 60 percent chance of making it to the championship of your respective league. And of course, the decision to draft McCaffrey -- likely in the top two or three of your drafts -- wasn't likely easy because of his injury history.

But McCaffrey has been balling out all season and has posted MVP-caliber numbers.

  • 1,395 rushing yards
  • 14 rushing touchdowns
  • 63 receptions
  • 537 receiving yards
  • 7 receiving touchdowns

All of these numbers are through 16 weeks of the season. At the age of 27, McCaffrey is on pace to easily break his best all-purpose yardage mark of 2,392 from the 2019 season when he was with the Carolina Panthers. He's already set a career-best with 21 total touchdowns.

The marriage between McCaffrey and Kyle Shanahan was a match made in fantasy football heaven. Shanahan has always been able to maximize talent at all of his various stops before San Francisco, but getting his hands on a player like McCaffrey is borderline unfair. And these two sort of grew up together with Shanahan perhaps serving as a "big brother" to McCaffrey, in a way.

Shanahan's father -- all-time great Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan -- was the head coach of Ed McCaffrey, Christian's dad. This is a pairing that was borderline predestined in many ways.

And it's worked out magnificently since the 49ers made the decision to trade for McCaffrey last season. He's played 26 games for the 49ers and has 31 total touchdowns for them. He's even thrown for a touchdown as a 49er.


If you drafted Christian McCaffrey this season, I think it's safe to say congratulations on making it to the championship round.

Next. Week 17 NFL picks, score predictions. Week 17 NFL picks, score predictions. dark