I am not in the majority, but Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris needs to be in the conversation as a top two RB in the 2013 Fantasy Football season. There’s no doubt about it, and I’ll get to the reasoning shortly.
I’m confused. It’s not a difficult thing to do to me, mind you, but this one is perplexing. It’s that time of the year when we begin warming up for preseason fantasy mock drafts. I am a numbers guy and a statistical nerd when it comes to preparation for the fantasy season. The reason I am so big on stats is because in most cases numbers are a completely unbiased storyline about the probability of certain situations. After hours of scouring through countless numbers a clear picture evolves, and that picture is where ideas, prognostications and annual content for those of us who write about the national phenomenon that is Fantasy Football.
Occasionally you will stumble upon an anomaly in a most certain fact backed by solid statistical proof that is completely off the radar of most “experts”. Such is the reason for the curious case of Redskins RB Morris. Actually, if you follow the guy’s story for any period of time you will understand how he flies under the radar. Morris was a sixth round selection by the Redskins one year ago that went completely undrafted in most if not all fantasy drafts.
The Rookie of the Year race one season ago never mentioned Morris, at least I don’t recall ever hearing it. In fact, the only time I ever truly heard the name Morris with any resemblance of spotlight is when coach Mike Shanahan’s legacy of successfully picking late round running backs is mentioned. I would say this qualifies Morris, who just finished arguably one of the greatest rookie years of any RB in NFL history, as the official Rodney Dangerfield of the league – dude gets zero respect.
And I am confused by it. Sifting through the mountains of stats Morris put up one year ago I can find no correlation between the numbers and Morris’ Average Draft Position (ADP) in most preseason mock fantasy drafts (consensus has him outside the top ten).
Do you know how many running backs finished ahead of Morris in rushing yards last year? One, Adrian Peterson. Do you know how many running backs finished ahead of Morris in touchdowns last year? One, Arian Foster. Do you know how many RBs toted the rock more than Morris last season? Two, Peterson and Foster. Only Peterson finished ahead of Morris for average yards per game. Are you starting to see my stance on this one? I find nothing proving Morris is anything more than a top two to three back in any and all fantasy football formats.
Sure, his name isn’t as flashy and he isn’t the first name spewed out by NFL fans when debating the greatest of the game today, but that’s perfectly fine by me. For those that enjoy flash, draft a flashy name. I’ll take the lesser-respected Morris and the hardware he’s certain to bring me after this year’s ride.