DeMarco Murray: Fantasy Football’s Riskiest Pick

The month is August. The NFL is getting prepared for training camp and preseason football. Meanwhile, Fantasy Football lovers around the country are doing extensive research to gain an edge and take home their league’s respective trophy. If you are an avid Fantasy Football competitor like myself, then I have no doubt you are looking for the sleepers this upcoming season and also looking to avoid the busts. 

This upcoming Fantasy Football season provides only a select group of running backs that can carry your team well into the playoffs and choosing wisely in the first round is absolutely critical. If you are like me, you always get blessed with the bottom half of first round picks and have a difficult pick in the first round. Do I go with an Aaron Rodgers like Quarterback who will provide solid points every week? Or do I choose an above average running back such as Matt Forte? 

If you decide to choose running back in this scenario, the most intriguing name that will most likely be on the board is DeMarco Murray. With 1,845 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns last season, you would be salivating over how you stole one of the best players in the draft and this is where you should look further into what Murray truly has to offer. 

Although there is no doubt that Murray had an incredible season last year, the two previous seasons he played for the Cowboys looked a little less promising. In 2013, Murray rushed for 1,121 yards and 9 touchdowns over fourteen games. Granted. Murray had a decent season. However, he did sprain his MCL that season, which made him miss two games (week 7 and 8) and played on a limited basis the week he came back (week 9). In 2012, Murray rushed for 663 yards and 4 touchdowns while only playing ten games due to a sprained foot. This concludes that although Murray had a productive season last year, it was also his only healthy season within the past three seasons. 

Still not convinced? Besides the fact that the Cowboys offensive line is considered the best by many, Murray also moved to the Philadelphia Eagles this off-season where he will be their new starting running back. This should also wave a red flag to you as well. Comparing Murray’s season last year with the Eagles leading rusher LeSean McCoy tells the entire story. 

Murray clearly had the better season than McCoy but that’s not what sets off the alarm bells. What sets off the bells is the fact that McCoy had eighty less carries than Murray (312 compared to 392) last year and eight less touchdowns (5 compared to 13). Furthermore, McCoy also had almost thirty less receptions than Murray as well. The reason why McCoy had less touches than Murray is mostly because of the Eagles running back corps, which includes Darren Sproles and recently signed Ryan Matthews. 

While Murray was in Dallas, he never truly had a complimentary running back alongside him, unlike McCoy. Even when McCoy had his tremendous season in 2013 where he rushed for over 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns, he still only had 314 carries which is still significantly less than what Murray received last year.              

Fantasy Football is a game of consistency. The first two picks you make are the players that determine most of your success throughout the season. Take week 14 of last year. for instance, when Peyton Manning put up an abysmal 2.7 points and broke the hearts of many on their road to their championship last year. Or what about LeSean McCoy putting up 3 points thatsame week? Getting points like that from your starters during the playoffs could ruin your entire season. 

DeMarco Murray had an excellent season last year. However, a new season is upon us and it appears that Murray owners could be in for a disappointing season given his past injuries. In addition, the new team that he is playing for will be providing him with less playing time. Choosing Murray with your first round pick is without a doubt a large risk. My best advice is when you have the choice to pick DeMarco Murray or a guy like Matt Forte, choose the latter. 


References:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/M/MurrDe00.htm

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/M/McCoLe01.htm

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2015/01/08/2014-pff-offensive-line-rankings/4/

http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/id/12866396/top-300-rankings-2015

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