Yahoo Sports' Andy Behrens, Matt Harmon and Tank Williams discuss who should be number one in 2023.
ANDY BEHRENS: But who is the consensus number one next year? Matt, will it be Aiyuk? Will it be Curtis Samuel? Who are you going with?
MATT HARMON: Oh, obviously it's going to be Terry McLaurin. I mean, this is the era of wide receiver-- no, actually it will not be any of those. I'm actually not even going to talk about a wide receiver at all here. I know you guys are. And listen, you're not going to hear any arguments from me. But I still think there is a really strong case for Christian McCaffrey as the number one overall player in fantasy.
Because again, you look at the running back landscape right now. It's Austin Ekeler, who I mean, love Austin Ekeler. He's certainly in contention for the number one overall pick. He would absolutely hate it if I was on here. Don't tell him that I was on here talking about another running back at number one, and talking about his receiving capability. And I'm not talking about Ekeler.
But still, what we've seen out of this 49ers offense, the way the run game has evolved to incorporating a ton of power and gap concepts with McCaffrey there, they're only just scratching the surface. And we know that when he is popping off, he still provides you a unique advantage at the running back position. So I still think there is a really, really strong case for McCaffrey to be the number one overall pick next year.
He certainly seems like him, Ekeler, and honestly, then it starts to get dicey in terms of running backs. I think those guys are still the top of the board. And I will give that nod to McCaffrey here. Please come back and do the podcast again next year, [INAUDIBLE], for real.
ANDY BEHRENS: Thank you. It's pretty wild that Matt is pounding the table for running backs, and you and I are on the same wide receiver next season. Who is it?
TANK WILLIAMS: Yes, I'm going to give him a little taste, and then I'll let you finish it off. We're going with Justin Jefferson then. Let me just walk you through a little timeline. So when he started off the season, he went 9 for 184, 2 tuds. And folks are like, yep, Justin Jefferson, he's that dude. And then, over the next couple of weeks, dude had 9 receptions and 62 yards.
And then all the people that got him number one was like, damn, I messed up. But then weeks four through 10, this dude just exploded. And it was like yeah, yeah, Justin Jefferson, he's definitely that dude. And the one thing that solidifies that for me, is just you know, I love me some Christian McCaffrey. I'm a Stanford guy. We still don't know for sure how Kyle Shanahan is going to divvy up the workload for Christian McCaffrey and for Deebo Samuel, and try to get all these other playmakers involved.
One thing we do know, is that my man Kevin O'Connell is going to be JJ early and often every damn week. And that's why Justin Jefferson is going to be the number one pick in a lot of fantasy drafts next year.
ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah, I think we also can't ignore the uncertainty at the running back position, too, right? Like we're in week 17 right now, and who's not able to help us this week? We've already talked about Tony Pollard and Derrick Henry. Austin Ekeler is dealing with a knee thing. Jonathan Taylor didn't make it this deep into the season. Javonte Williams got hurt a million years-- right? Like it's just that uncertain--
TANK WILLIAMS: Derrick Henry isn't playing.
ANDY BEHRENS: Justin Jeff--
TANK WILLIAMS: Yeah. Mhm.
ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah. Yeah. Justin Jefferson is 23 years old. That's the other thing that we have to keep remembering about him. He's 23 years old. He already has a 4,500 yard season, a 1,600 yard season. He's about to have like a 2,000 yard season. He's coming into his best years. This is an absolute supernova level star, and they're going to run it back with basically the same cast next year, except they probably make some positive tweaks to the offense.
I'm all in on Justin Jefferson. I was too much of a coward to take him first overall this year. I wish I'd done it. I wish I had more shares of him. He's-- I mean, he's going to finish the season with a couple of 150 yard games. I think he's absolutely a perfect receiving weapon. Again, he's only going to be 24 next year. That just blows me away.