From 6th round pick in the 2012 NFL draft to setting the Washington Redskins franchise rushing record in a season, Alfred Morris is a stud.
The 24-year old out of Florida Atlantic University finished his inaugural season with 1,613 rushing yards, ranking second behind the indestructible Adrian Peterson. He also found the end zone 13 times, which also happened to be a franchise rookie record. Oh yeah, he also averaged 4.8 yards per carry and averaged just under 101 rushing yards per game on the year. While reading this, take the following into consideration:
He’s only a rookie.
The ceiling is so incredibly high for Morris. Many thought this “kid” would hit the “rookie wall” halfway through the seasons. Or that “Shanahanigans” would catch up to him. Sorry for the air quoting, by the way. Well, neither happened. Morris ran with great vision, patience and tremendous power all season long. From a fantasy perspective, he was one hundred percent, without a doubt the waiver wire pickup of the year. When it was all said and done, Morris finished as the fifth-highest scoring fantasy running back in the league. Surprisingly, he did not make the Pro Bowl, but that’s for another day.
So, after a season as amazing as this one, a question arises: Is Morris a one-hit wonder?
To that, I deliver a message in my Mike Ditka voice …
“The Butler” has been serving fantasy owners all season long, and will continue to do so in 2013. His quarterback, Robert Griffin III, will keep defenses honest with his scrambling ability on option plays. After ranking third in the league in attempts in 2012 (335) don’t expect head coach Mike Shanahan to hit the brakes on the running game. The Redskins were the best rushing offense in football this year, so they will continue to go to their bread and butter next season. I mean, Freddy put up these monster numbers in 2012. Now imagine if he was more of a threat in the passing game, only catching 11 balls on the year.
In case you couldn’t pick it up already, I have a bit of a man crush on Morris. I’ve had one all season long. He has tremendous work ethic, character and flat out talent. Heading into 2013, I have him as my number 7th-ranked running back, though I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if he landed in my top five. If you can, draft him with boatloads of confidence. Next year he will have a full season under his belt and will be more familiar with the offense.
And oh by the way, before you ask, don’t worry about a sophomore slump.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.