After missing his entire rookie season with a fractured ankle, Latavius Murray’s “Hello, fantasy football” moment came in Week 12 of the 2014 campaign against the Chiefs.
Murray carried the ball four times for 112 yards with two touchdowns against Kansas City, but was sidelined once again – this time with a concussion. Despite 18 rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons, I feel the Raiders never allowed their 6-foot-3, 230-pound running back to hit the stride we witnessed on that 90-yard score against the Chiefs.
A year after he rushed 266 times at 4.0 yards per rush with six scores, Murray lost 79 touches in 2016 to a committee which featured Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington and still managed to score 12 rushing touchdowns. He ranked RB-13 in standard (12.5 PPG) and RB-11 in PPR scoring leagues (14.9 PPG).
As Adrian Peterson’s Vikings’ era officially comes to a close, Minnesota reloads with Murray as the bruising back, while dual-threat Jerick McKinnon (3.4 YPR / 5.9 YPC in 2016) continues to carve out an NFL and fantasy football identity.
Murray is a solid RB2 in standard scoring leagues, while his value teeters on the RB2/RB3 in PPR scoring. I still think waiting and not overpaying on McKinnon is the right approach on draft day. He’s a PPR-FLEX – at best – in my book.
Back in Oakland, we wait to see if the Raiders sign Adrian Peterson. Jalen Richard ranked slightly ahead of DeAndre Washington in the pass-friendly Raiders’ offense. All signs point to a three-headed fantasy monster and frustrating fantasy environment in 2017.
Lacy joins crowded Seahawks backfield
The “how much does Eddie Lacy weigh now” world tour heads to Seattle. Ugh.
He joins a crowded backfield which features Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise, Russell Wilson, and a dash of Alex Collins when Pete’s feeling frisky.
Here’s the 2016 breakdown of backfield touches led by Christine Michael of course:
Despite snapping his ankle towards the end of his rookie season two years ago, Thomas Rawls’ four games of 100+ rushing yards (104, 169, 209, 101) left fantasy football owners anticipating his 2016 return. Many expected his production to pick up right where it left off. It was the same mentality many owners embraced when stashing Dion Lewis on their bench or IR and we know how that worked out in Bill’s system. Remember, no matter past fantasy success, 1+1 doesn’t alwaysequal two as NFL coaches do not care about your fantasy roster or what makes sense on video or paper.
So, Rawls two years removed from inheriting Marshawn Lynch’s throne, is now a third-year back with injury trends and about to enter a committee with Lacy and Prosise. At this time, it would be too early to tell how the touches break down between the trio of backs and Russell Wilson. Lacy could become a goal line asset/fantasy vulture, while Prosise remains an intriguing option in PPR scoring leagues.
In Green Bay, Ty Montgomery has graduated to full-time, hybrid running back heading into 2017. The Packers definitely need to add some depth via the draft.