Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Football 2013: DeMarco Murray Has Top-10 Upside

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Please stay healthy. Please stay healthy. Please, please, please.

I’m praying to the fantasy gods that they allow, even if it’s just for one season, DeMarco Murray to play a full 16 games in 2013. I’d love it, Dallas Cowboys fans would love it, and, perhaps more importantly, fantasy owners would love it. Murray has missed nine games due to leg injuries thus far in his career, just after having an injury history during his time at Oklahoma. And of course, while at the end of the day it’s just offseason talk, it is a bit encouraging to see Murray vow that he will suit up for all 16 games this year. If that does manage to happen, this kid has some serious top-10 fantasy upside.

Remember back during his rookie year when Murray took the starting job and was a dominant rusher? That rushing style and skill hasn’t gone away just because he’s been injured. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Murray reminds me of a (very) poor man’s Adrian Peterson. He has that violent rushing style, always seeking contact and looking for as many extra yards as possible. Perhaps that’s the reason he is often sidelined with injury. Still, he won’t change his running style, which makes him a threat to wear opposing defenses out on a consistent basis. We’ve seen how good this guy can be when he is on the field. In 2011, Murray’s rookie year, he averaged a healthy 5.5 yards per carry, rushing for 897 yards on just 164 carries. One year after, Murray missed six games, finishing with just 663 rushing yards. As a whole, Dallas was one of the worst rushing teams in football, ranking 31st in football. They ran the ball slightly over 22 times per contest, but I firmly believe they want to be a more balanced offense. Besides, part of the reason they were so unsuccessful running the football was the combination of Murray’s absence and a poor offensive line.

Of course, Murray can’t be considered anything more than an RB2 this year, but you can get a potential RB1 for a cheaper price tag. A ton of owners will be scared away because of injury concerns, which is fair, but considering how shallow the running back position is this year, you’ll have to take a shot somewhere. Murray has the opportunity to operate out of single-back sets because the Cowboys don’t even have a fullback on the roster. That will mean more two-tight end sets, which will spread the defenses out more. Again, the Cowboys want to establish more of a running game, having brought in new run-oriented offensive coordinator, Bill Callahan. Murray will get the opportunity to post the best season of his career, again … IF he can stay healthy.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.