Should I fade Christian McCaffrey in 2024 Fantasy Football? Exploring RB1 outlook for draft season

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Christian McCaffrey fantasy outlook

Christian McCaffrey has been the clear RB1 in fantasy football during his entire run with the San Francisco 49ers so far. He finished as the highest-scoring non-quarterback in all league formats last season, on his way to being named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

All of this has obviously made him one of the most attractive targets for managers lucky enough to earn one of the top picks in 2024 fantasy football drafts. He has arguably the highest floor of any player this season, regardless of position, and may also have the highest ceiling as well.

While his dominance surely suggests that he will be selected with the No. 1 pick in many drafts this year, his recent success may actually make him more of a fade. Running backs have been the least reliable position in fantasy football when it comes to weighing past performances to future projections.

Christian McCaffrey became just the second player in the past 15 years, joining Todd Gurley, to finish as the RB1 in season-long scoring more than once. Every other running back since 2008 has only done so one time. This suggests that if the trend continues, the 49ers star could see some regression this season.

With the 2024 fantasy football season on the horizon, be sure to check out our free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer & lock down your squad.

A case can be made that McCaffrey should be faded at the top of fantasy drafts this year. By no means should he be faded altogether, given his incredible ceiling and reliable floor, but other players have a legitimate case for being the RB1 this season. It's a risky move to pass on him, but a few options fit the profile of potential top-scorers.

Who to target if fading Christian McCaffrey at RB1

Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey

Some glaring trends exist when predicting who will finish as the RB1 in an upcoming fantasy football season. Of the past 15 players to finish as RB1, 13 of them have never done so before, 11 of them were in their first three seasons, and 12 of them finished among the top 30 running backs in the year prior.

This means that strategic managers at the top of a fantasy draft will seek a young running back who has a strong recent history but no RB1 finishes. Using this formula, Breece Hall, Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, Travis Etienne, and Kyren Williams all stand out as potential newcomers to the RB1 club in 2024. Fading Christian McCaffrey is a massive gamble, but one that could realistically pay off.

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman
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