DeMarco Murray is arguably the most polarizing fantasy football player in 2013; he’s listed as a sleeper, bust and breakout candidate because frankly, no one knows what to expect from the Dallas Cowboys‘ running back this year. But all that uncertainty revolves around Murray’s health issues over the first two years of his NFL career, which should still be taken into consideration this year. However, if Murray stays healthy in 2013, he could be the top-scoring running back in all of fantasy land.
The hype surrounding Murray’s third season has been minimal because of his limited work during the preseason and his name appearing so often on the injury report in 2011 and 2012. The Cowboys are obviously taking it easy with Murray to avoid another injury to their rising star but we should see a much bigger dose of him in Dallas’ fourth preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday. All of the Cowboys’ starters will reportedly play at least the entire first half, including Murray.
Even if Murray misses a little time in 2013, he’s still a lot more valuable to fantasy owners than many “experts” are saying. He average almost five yards per carry in his first two seasons and proved he could break long runs with gains of 91 and 48 yards. In addition, Murray is a workhorse running back when healthy as he received at least 20 carries eight different times in his first two injury-riddled seasons.
That should make him an even more intriguing fantasy option in 2012 since Bill Callahan is now calling the offensive plays in Dallas. Unlike Jason Garrett, Callahan doesn’t have a trigger finger as itchy as Barney Fife’s, so he’ll rely on his powerful young runner a lot more than the Cowboys’ incompetent head coach, which means more work for Murray.
If he stays healthy, Murray could easily eclipse 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2013, and that’s a very conservative prediction. Of course, that’s a big “if’ considering he’s battled the injury bug throughout his entire college and NFL career. But if you’re brave enough to take him somewhere in the neighborhood of the third round, you might just ride the Cowboys’ young stud to a fantasy championship.