The 49ers will rely heavily on Christian McCaffrey this season, and the folks over at CBS Sports think that could translate into an Offensive Player of the Year award.
The San Francisco 49ers already have rostered the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in edge Nick Bosa (although his contractual holdout is a bit of a headache).
And there's a chance the Niners may soon boast the Offensive Player of the Year, too, at least according to a recent analysis from CBS Sports ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
Using odds from Vegas, the folks over at CBS Sports tallied up the winners of various awards for the year, including league MVP, rookies of the year, coaches of the year and so on.
While multiple candidates were picked for each award, one San Francisco player saw his name multiple times in the Offensive Player of the Year category, All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey.
Christian McCaffrey a top favorite to win Offensive Player of the Year award, per CBS Sports
The 49ers offense averaged 10 more points per game when McCaffrey came over in that blockbuster midseason trade with the Carolina Panthers last season, and his touchdown trifecta (one rushing, one receiving and one passing) against the Los Angeles Rams set the tone for his overall impact.
Over just 11 games played for the Niners, McCaffrey had 1,210 yards from scrimmage and 10 combined touchdowns.
And he's going to be the Niners' bell cow this season even though their offense is stacked with weaponry.
So, it shouldn't be too big a surprise seeing McCaffrey tabbed frequently and often by CBS Sports' panel of analysts when trying to choose an Offensive Player of the Year. Pete Prisco, Will Brinson and Garrett Podell all tabbed San Francisco's dual-threat running back as their top candidate.
Of the three analysts' breakdowns, Prisco's is perhaps the boldest:
"He's going to be a 1,000-1,000 guy. He's going to rush for 1,500 yards and catch passes for over 1,000. He's the best combo back in the league, which is where numbers get accumulated for backs to win the award. "
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McCaffrey is already one of only three players in NFL history to have 1,000 yards rushing and another 1,000 receiving in a single season, joining 49ers legend Roger Craig and Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk in that exclusive club.
Chances are, if McCaffrey reaches that feat again, it'll be hard to deny him OPOY honors, and the Niners can feel pretty good about being represented on both sides of the line of scrimmage for this particular award in back-to-back years.