Although one of football’s most prolific producers has suffered a hamstring injury, there are other options for managers to pick from.
When multiple reputable sources reported Christian McCaffrey wouldn’t play for a good chunk of the Panthers-Texans game, fantasy football managers panicked. Christian McCaffrey, a Stanford alum with numerous accolades, had an explosive start to the season and was the focal point of thousands of fantasy squads.
Through his first two games, McCaffrey earned 201 rushing yards and 163 receiving yards. His stellar numbers helped the Carolina Panthers to an undefeated start. Going into his clash against the Houston Texans, he was projected to do even more.
However, tragedy struck. McCaffrey went down early into the game with only 31 rushing yards and nine receiving yards. Although the Panthers recovered to triumph over the Texans 24-9, fantasy football managers haven’t recovered as quickly. According to head coach Matt Rhule, he’ll be out for a few weeks. It’ll give fantasy football managers enough time to formulate a plan to counter the bad news.
So, without further ado, here are the five running backs that managers can look to for trustworthy production in McCaffrey’s absence.
Is Cordarrelle Patterson Christian McCaffrey’s Replacement?Embed from Getty Images
Nicknamed Cadillac, Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson was left off of most rosters. However, Patterson surprised many with his performances. The Super Bowl LIII winner logged 105 rushing yards alongside 92 receiving yards in two games of action. It remains to be seen whether Patterson can replicate his previous performances. His fantasy stock hinges on whether he can do well against the Giants.
Is James White Christian McCaffrey’s Replacement?Embed from Getty Images
White’s situation is similar to Patterson’s. He was left of rosters for the most part until his first two games that saw him accumulate twelve receptions in two games(yes, he’s a running back). White provides an unpredictability that not many receivers can emulate. Although his two games could be a fluke, like Patterson, keep an eye out for the Patriots-Saints game. If he does well, he’s a good pickup.
Is Jamaal Williams Christian McCaffrey’s Replacement?Embed from Getty Images
Although Williams is in the shadow of elite running back D’Andre Swift, this secondary running back could be a good acquisition. In Week 3, Swift has been marked questionable to start. The game against the Ravens, if Swift doesn’t make an appearance, can serve as a marker to see whether Williams can earn more touches and playing time. Williams is a player to keep on your bench for depth, but if he can’t perform as he did versus San Francisco, don’t start him. Pay attention to Williams’ performance to see whether he’s a good enough talent.
Is Chuba Hubbard Christian McCaffrey’s Replacement?Embed from Getty Images
If we’re talking about replacing Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey, why not consider choosing his teammate? Outside of McCaffrey(nicknamed CMC)’s shadow, Hubbard did alright. He earned 79 all-purpose yards in three quarters or so of action, which isn’t so bad for a rookie. Hubbard is a risky pickup; they’ll travel to Dallas in hopes of taking a win from a sturdy defense. Even if Hubbard isn’t the talent I think he is, he’s a quality acquisition to add depth to the squad in case of injuries.
Is Saquon Barkley Christian McCaffrey’s Replacement?Embed from Getty Images
This NYG running back hasn’t met his expectations for the 21/22 season. He has a measly 96 all-purpose yard count, and some managers are beginning to try and ship him for more in-form players. If you have Barkley, don’t try to trade him unless it’s for Aaron Jones or Derrick Henry. Barkley’s only having a bad start, and although a trip to the bench is warranted, dropping him to waivers isn’t. If you don’t have Barkley, you can try to trade for him. He’s now at a discounted price thanks to his dismal playing. However, patience is the best option; wait and see how he does against the Falcons.