On Thursday evening, the San Francisco 49ers made a massive trade with the Carolina Panthers to acquire All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey. In exchange, Carolina will get a second, third, and fourth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, as well as a fifth-round pick in 2024.
CBS Sports’ Chris Towers evaluated what the trade means for both the 49ers and the Panthers. According to him, the 49ers’ acquisition of McCaffrey from the Panthers is not a significant upgrade.
He asserted that the 49ers already have a strong offense with players like RB Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. For Towers, while McCaffrey is projected to score more touchdowns, he won’t be the main focus of the 49ers’ offense.
McCaffrey has averaged 4,6 yards per carry on offense during his time with the Panthers. Towers claimed that McCaffrey would face a much more competitive passing game because Samuel, Kittle, and Aiyuk have target shares of more than 65 percent combined.
According to Towers’ analysis, McCaffrey’s pass-catching ability makes him the best Fantasy player.
Meanwhile, for the Panthers, they must find alternatives for McCaffrey after trading him to the 49ers. Several reports said that D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard would take McCaffrey’s place. However, Towers asserted that neither name is on the same tier as McCaffrey.
McCaffrey’s departure will be devastating for the Panthers’ offense, as observed by Towers. It was revealed that McCaffrey played 80 percent of the snaps or even more each week, which Hubbard and Foreman are unlikely to do.
Towers is of the opinion that Hubbard may be a better fantasy option, especially since he is anticipated to control the majority of the passing situations, while Foreman takes on the majority of the early downs.
Towers did admit that D.J Moore could serve as a focal point, but he presumed the Panthers are in bad shape now that Robbie Anderson has been traded.
Meanwhile, as San Fransisco will face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, McCaffrey is set to make his debut. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that he would likely focus heavily on a red zone package.
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