Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch did not have a big game in Super Bowl XLVIII, with 15 carries for 39 yards, though he did score a touchdown in Seattle’s decisive victory. He did tie for the league lead in rushing touchdowns during the regular season with 12, and he now has three straight seasons with at least 1,200 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns (35 total).
Lynch is sure to be regarded as a top-tier fantasy running back once again in 2014, but can he live up to that billing?
Lynch has 901 regular season carries over the last three seasons, and including Seattle’s five postseason games he has 1,002 carries (334 per season) over that span. His role as the clear-cut No. 1 running back for the Seahawks won’t change next season as long as he is healthy, and it’s noteworthy Lynch’s role in the passing game increased this past season (36 receptions for 316 yards and two touchdowns).
Lynch will turn 28 in April, and even with just 322 carries during the 2009 and 2010 seasons combined he still has 1,753 career regular season carries and over 1,900 touches. Add in his punishing running style, and it’s worth wondering when Lynch will start to break down physically as he nears the age when running backs begin to succumb to Father Time.
Lynch will still be a legit high-end RB1 for fantasy football owners next season, and an argument can be made for him to be the first running back drafted in non-PPR leagues. But those that use a first-round pick on Lynch in deep leagues would be wise to consider using their final pick on the No. 2 tailback for the Seahawks, and a likely training camp battle is looming between Christine Michael and Robert Turbin for that role.