2012 Fantasy Football: DeMarco Murray On The Rise

By Jesus Flores

“With the seventh pick in the third round of the NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select DeMarco Murray running back Oklahoma.”

At the time I said, “Great, another injury prone running back, we need pass-rushers!”

Shortly thereafter my buddy says, “bro, Murray will be the starter before the season is over, I guarantee it” and if there’s one thing my buddy knows, it’s OU football.

I ended up taking Murray with the last pick in my fantasy draft. Reasoning was, Felix Jones wasn’t gonna last the entire season. From the Rams game until a broken ankle ended Murray’s season, I looked like a fantasy genius.

Murray finished with 897 rushing yards with an impressive 5.5 yards per carry average, behind what I consider one of the most atrocious offensive lines I’ve seen play. Murray also caught 26 passes for 183 yards.

The one knock on Murray is that he only scored two touchdowns. The addition of guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau could help change that this season. The addition of fullback Lawrence Vickers however, has me the most excited about the Cowboys’ running game.

I wont run down the list of running backs that Vickers led the way for, but it’s worth noting that behind Vickers’ blocking, Peyton Hillis rushed for a career-high 1,777 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2008. In 2010, Arian Foster rushed for 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns and in 2011 Foster racked up 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Murray, who showed in 2011 that he doesn’t need much help from the blocking to break loose, will now have the benefit of an upgraded line and an upgrade at fullback and that makes fantasy owners very happy.

Currently Murray’s 2012 Fantasy Football ADP (Average Draft Position) in a standard scoring, 10 team league, is pick 17 in the second round. He’s ranked as the 11th best fantasy running back, and 22nd overall fantasy player.

My gut feeling is that Murray will finish the season with 1450 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those numbers of course are if he can stay healthy. For the sake of fantasy owners everywhere, let’s hope he does. Murray is known to be an injury prone running back so owners may want to exercise caution  in drafting Murray so early in the draft, but the benefits should outweigh the risk in this situation.

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