In 9 games without Greg Olsen, here’s how Christian McCaffrey’s numbers improved:
- 12.24 to 16.1 PPR points/game
- 3.86 to 5.89 rec/game
- 0.14 to 0.44 rec TDs/game
- 5.71 to 8.11 targets/game
The short answer is yes. The split that you see above does not include the playoff game in which both Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen topped 100 yards receiving and had a receiving TD against the Saints in their wild card playoff game. So there you go – it’s possible, but we have to realize that Olsen will have an effect in McCaffrey’s receiving workload. Even with that said, I don’t think McCaffrey is being overdrafted or overvalued because of Olsen’s presence, because he should receive a bigger workload in the run game and showed tremendous rapport with Cam Newton throughout the entire season last year.
McCaffrey saw more than 7 targets only once during the regular season with Olsen on the field, but had an 11-target, 14-target, and 9-target game during his absence. He also had more than 5 receptions once while sharing the field with Olsen in the regular season, while he had 3 games with 6+ receptions while Olsen was out. We saw them gel quite nicely during their playoff game, so Cam knows how to get it to his guys if he has to.
McCaffrey is currently going in the middle of the 2nd round in PPR drafts, which is fair, so there will be a decision to be made by many to choose between him and Jerick McKinnon. Both can see close to 300 touches this season if McCaffrey’s workload on the ground increases to 200 carries from his 117 attempts last season. I’ve mentioned this a few times in the past, but McCaffrey’s struggles on the ground earlier in the season improved in the last 8 games, so a bump in that department makes sense. We know that Ron Rivera would love to give him 25-30 touches, but that sounds a bit unsustainable and is wishful thinking – coachspeak, if you will. CJ Anderson will play the Jonathan Stewart role, but McCaffrey should be the primary back on the field.
Here we go: McKinnon or McCaffrey in PPR? Let me know!