Christian McCaffrey Jokes About Feeling Pressure as No. 1 Pick in Fantasy Football

The Panthers running back is the consensus first overall pick in fantasy football drafts and told Sports Illustrated he's looking forward to living up to the expectations.

Inside the Huddle with Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey’s 2019 season was spectacularly special. The Panthers superstar joined Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig as the third back in league history to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark in both the rushing and receiving category. He also set the single-season reception record for a running back by hauling in 116 passes.

With those type of stats, it’s no wonder why he’s coming off the board in nearly every fantasy football draft as the top overall selection.

Sports Illustrated had the opportunity to speak with McCaffrey over the phone and asked him how he felt about being the No. 1 overall selection in fantasy drafts. The fourth-year veteran jokingly admitted “it’s more pressure than anything” and says he hopes he doesn’t let down the fantasy managers that draft him.

The 2020 season will bring some new challenges for the 24-year-old running back. He has a new head coach, new offensive coordinator and new quarterback. But fear not fantasy players, McCaffrey says he’s excited for the change and certainly up for the challenge.

McCaffrey’s love for the game of football is apparent. When discussing his goals for the 2020 season, the All-Pro running back said: “Couple of the things I’ve prided myself on has been to just enjoy playing football, enjoy training, enjoy all the work that goes into formulating the best player, the best me that I can be and let the results speak for themselves…for me it’s about enjoying the process.”

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mccaffrey receiving stats

SI Fantasy Football Analysts Glow About McCaffrey in 2020

Here’s what Sports Illustrated’s Shawn Childs had to say about McCaffrey’s upcoming season:

McCaffrey gained over 100 yards rushing in six of his first nine games, but none over the final seven weeks. Carolina featured him more in the passing games (68/609/1) over his downturn in rushing yards, highlighted in three outings (11/121, 11/82, and 15/119). McCaffrey had 10 catches or more in five games. The Panthers had him on the field for 93.4% of their plays, which included eight contests where he saw 99% or more of the RB action. High floor and ceiling player.

AllPanthers editor Schuyler Callihan also had high praise for the versatile running back:

McCaffrey is a workhorse and is going to be the guy the Panthers run their offense through once again, even with new offensive coordinator Joe Brady at the helm. 

McCaffrey Putting in Work Off the Field

Not only is McCaffrey a superstar on the gridiron, but he's also becoming quite the role model for the Charlotte community. He and teammate Shaq Thompson launched "22  Together," which is a charity focused on using sports to help bridge the gap between Charlotte's youth and law enforcement. McCaffrey also joined the BODYARMOR team, which you can hear the All-Pro running back talk more about on our partner's site TheStreet.