NFL player prop of the day: Don't worry about Christian McCaffrey, this season's top fantasy pick

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If you've done any fantasy football drafts already, either Christian McCaffrey was the top pick or you play in an odd league. 

The Carolina Panthers star is coming off an injury-filled season. Anyone who drafted McCaffrey last year was very disappointed. But fantasy players aren't holding that against him. He's the consensus first overall pick, ahead of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. 

However, a bit strangely, the betting market doesn't share the same confidence. 

Christian McCaffrey should bounce back

McCaffrey's rushing yardage total for this season is 1,175.5 at BetMGM. That's only a bit ahead of Saquon Barkley (1,150.5), who might be limited early this season coming off a torn ACL. It's well behind Nick Chubb (1.350.5), Cook (1,375.5) and Derrick Henry (1,525.5). 

McCaffrey's value is his versatility. Plenty of the reason he goes first overall in fantasy is that he catches a ton of passes. But he's also a phenomenal runner. 

In 2019, which was McCaffrey's best season, he rushed for 1,387 yards. The season before he rushed for 1,098, but had a 5-yard average. He just didn't have enough attempts to get above 1,100 yards. 

If there's a reason to believe McCaffrey won't get closer to his 2019 total, it's injury. But that seems unfounded. McCaffrey is one of the true workhorses in the game, rarely coming off the field. He's just 25 years old. He had no previous injury issues. The injuries ruined nearly his entire season, but none should carry over into this season. Perhaps the ankle, shoulder and thigh injuries were indicators that McCaffrey is already breaking down, but that seems unlikely. It was probably just some bad luck. And he was his normal fantastic self when he did play. 

"I'm so fired up to play football again," McCaffrey said, via SI.com. "I feel great. I feel awesome."

McCaffrey should go right back to his every-down role. There's nobody of note behind him. He's got his four-year, $64 million deal so there's no reason for either side to hold back. He obviously has the talent. If McCaffrey stays relatively healthy then he's going to hit the over. In this situation, don't be concerned about what could go wrong. 

Christian McCaffrey should bounce back after an injury-filled 2021. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Christian McCaffrey should bounce back after an injury-filled 2021. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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