Saturday PM update: We’re seeing multiple reports that McCaffrey will play, but won’t have a full complement of snaps.
Christian McCaffrey, who was traded to San Francisco late Thursday night and flew to his new employer Friday, is expected to make his 49ers debut today vs. the Chiefs, per sources. The 49ers have a package of plays in their gameplan for McCaffrey.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2022
The San Francisco 49ers stunned the football world on Thursday night when they traded multiple picks in the 2023 and 2024 NFL Drafts to acquire running back Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers offense has playmakers but had struggled to get some consistency through the first six weeks. McCaffrey gives them a dynamic threat that coupled with Deebo Samuel and George Kittle turns this offense up quite a few degrees.
The deal happened late Thursday, which means McCaffrey won’t be joining his 49ers teammates until Friday morning. He likely already has some version of the playback in hand, but his status for Sunday’s Week 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs is uncertain.
Shortly after the trade was reported, Ian Rapoport tweeted that it seemed “likely” McCaffrey would play and we should expect some kind of red zone package. Around the same time, Adam Schefter tweeted “[i]t will be challenging to have him in uniform Sunday” but “anything [is] possible.”
If you are a fantasy manager who invested a high draft pick in McCaffrey, he’s a significantly risky play this weekend. If he does get a red zone package, there’s some touchdown value. His skills in the passing game are notable, but if he doesn’t know the blitz protections schemes, would the 49ers risk sending him out there on passing downs? Or maybe they just use him as the passing weapon so they don’t have to worry about him picking up blocking work so soon.
If you think McCaffrey will get enough work to potentially find the end zone, he’s worth a flex play. Otherwise, it might be worth waiting a week for him to get more up to speed.