While going through the upcoming fantasy football rankings, I couldn’t help but notice the declining value of Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray. Murray is on everyone’s list of busts and he is currently ranked 26th among backs by the experts at ESPN.
However, his spot on the list seems rather low considering some of the names ahead of him in these rankings. Running backs like Chris Ivory, Darren Sproles, and Montee Ball have all been ranked ahead of Murray this preseason. Yet, these backs are inconsistent/unproven options and don’t even have sole control over their own backfield. Murray is at least the number one back and will continue to be as long as he can remain healthy.
Over his first two seasons in the league, though, Murray missed nine total games and has been branded with an injury tag. He also missed significant time at Oklahoma with a knee injury, so staying on the field has always been a problem for the back.
However, Murray has showcased an amazing one-cut ability and an above average set of hands out of the backfield. Murray caught 35 balls last year for 251 yards and proved to be an extremely valuable receiving option. His value instantly goes up in P.P.R formats, but the extra receiving yards will give him a slight uptick in standard leagues as well.
Murray even ended the season on a high note, so not all was lost. Murray scored three times in his final five games of the season, while averaging 66.6 rushing yards and 26.6 receiving yards per contest over that stretch. He showed that he could be an outstanding RB2 when healthy and he is still someone worth keeping tabs on this summer.
The team drafted Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle in the fifth round of this past year’s draft, but he shouldn’t have too much of an impact at first as he is extremely unpolished. The team also has Lance Dunbar in the mix for carries. Randle and Dunbar may be handcuffs down the stretch, but for now consider this Murray’s job.
I would take Murray in the third round all day long and would consider him an absolute steal in any round after that. Fantasy football is sometimes about taking risks and Murray is one gamble I would bet on in 2013.