With the 2022-2023 NFL season coming to a close is time to start thinking about your 2023-2024 fantasy campaign. While some might be sore over what many (myself included) considered to be a judgment call that effectively ended the Super Bowl and NFL season, you can be sure that no one will be taking away receptions or yards from your fantasy players.
#1 Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey is Christian McCaffrey. There isn’t much more to say. McCaffrey was heavily featured in the 49ers offense immediately upon arrival. McCaffrey has also been a player you can rely on (recently, at least) to show up week in and week out.
Fantasy GMs should be confident in drafting McCaffrey #1 overall because he inherits Head Coach Kyle Shanahan, who has a long history of getting the most out of the running back position. McCaffrey has bought into the 49ers organization just as he had with Stanford Football when he nearly won the Heisman Trophy, losing the vote to then Alabama running back Derrick Henry.
Although he was traded mid-season, McCaffrey was still able to produce 271.3 fantasy points. Expect the number to rise this coming year.
#2 Austin Ekeler
Austin Ekeler has quietly been one of the best fantasy players over the last few years. In 2021, Ekeler amassed 273.8 fantasy points, and in 2022 Ekeler managed to follow up his breakout campaign with 265.7 fantasy points. Fantasy GMs should be confident in Ekeler to continue his steady play — especially as new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore takes the reins of the offense.
Kellen Moore was previously the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, who were the NFL’s #4 overall scoring team in the league this past season. There is a high chance Ekeler will see more goal line carries with a more efficient offense. Expect Ekeler to do what he does best and produce.
#3 Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley is still an elite running back. For those of you in the back that didn’t think so, Barkley proved his doubters wrong this season, accumulating 227 fantasy points, bouncing back from his abysmal campaign in 2021 where Barkley only gained 133 fantasy points.
Barkley has yet to return to his rookie season form where he gained 294.8 fantasy points, but with another healthy offseason under his belt, his season outlook should be superb. Barkley will also be fresh off a contract extension, as he is due to be a free agent this offseason.
Barkley has voiced his desire to stay in New York, but it is largely unclear where the star running back will land. Fantasy GMs can count on Barkley to be in sync with whichever team he ends up with and he should continue to produce elite fantasy numbers.