Fantasy football: Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel diminish each other’s value

Deebo Samuel #19 talks to Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 talks to Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Fantasy football owners of two of the 49ers’ biggest stars, Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey, may have to weigh the impact the other has on net value.

From the San Francisco 49ers’ perspective, the pre-NFL trade deadline deal for former Carolina Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey was one of the best moves the team could make in order to push for a Super Bowl title this season.

Although, from a fantasy football perspective, McCaffrey going from a Panthers team lacking offensive firepower to a Niners team loaded with it might not be the best thing ever.

And the same could be argued for fantasy football owners who have San Francisco’s own All-Pro wide receiver, Deebo Samuel, knowing fully well that McCaffrey is going to cut into Samuel’s touches down the stretch and into the fantasy playoffs.

The 49ers have already experienced this in a roundabout way.

Tight end George Kittle, once viewed as a premier fantasy football “get” at his position, was already the Niners’ tertiary pass-catching option behind Samuel and fellow wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk before McCaffrey arrived.

As such, the Niners’ Week 10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers provided some notable insight into how Kittle’s numbers were ultimately impacted and how, at least potentially, both Samuel and McCaffrey could diminish each other’s fantasy football value.

Fantasy football: Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey take touches away from each other

Week 10 is significant because it showcased all three of San Francisco’s top fantasy stars at the same time. Samuel had missed Week 9 because of a hamstring injury, and McCaffrey was only modestly used against the Kansas City Chiefs the week prior after just having arrived from Carolina.

Take a look at the total touches for each player from Week 10’s win over the Chargers:

  • Christian McCaffrey: 18
  • Deebo Samuel: 6
  • George Kittle: 1

Ironically, the 49ers’ leading receiver was Aiyuk, who had six catches for 84 yards but won’t get the volume of touches because head coach Kyle Shanahan doesn’t use him as a rushing threat.

Shanahan will with McCaffrey and Samuel, though, but one might start assuming Samuel’s value could easily start diminishing in a way that Kittle’s has in recent seasons.

Related Story: George Kittle is rapidly losing his fantasy football value

Now, none of this is to say that McCaffrey and Samuel are no longer elite-level fantasy weapons. They both are. Yet it’s not likely fantasy owners are going to see true bell-cow kind of numbers from either down the stretch of the season, especially if Shanahan opts to divvy offensive touches or, as was the case in Week 10, use the top weapons to spring someone like Aiyuk towards having a big game.

As is always going to be the case for fantasy football owners, plan carefully when having Samuel and/or McCaffrey in a starting lineup.

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