It’s been a pretty rough season for DeMarco Murray’s fantasy football owners. He’s been pretty bad, and not just normal bad. He’s continued to split reps with Derrick Henry, and he’s looking increasingly likely to be on another roster in 2018 unless he takes a backup role. While he’s been slipping this season, he’s still shown some ability to break the long one (his 75 yard run against the Seahawks springs to mind), but he’s been incredibly unreliable. This week the Titans take on the Cincinnati Bengals, who are quickly circling the drain. With four teams on Bye, is DeMarco Murray a player to slot into your lineups despite his struggles this season?
Well, DeMarco Murray hasn’t been all that great this year. That 75 yard carry mentioned above? It was a red herring to get you nodding along. It is literally his only carry above 21 yards this season. He has one carry for 75 yards, one carry for 21 yards and literally no other play for over eighteen yards this season. That’s incredibly bad. For reference, Murray had six such plays last season, and he didn’t have the seas inexplicably part for a 75-yard rumble to pull it off. He’s just not the same player. Remove that 75 yarder from his season-long total and here is what you have: zero games over sixty yards rushing. That’s horrible. Oddly enough, at the end of the day, he’s #32 in fantasy points per game on the season, so he isn’t the worst play ever. He catches a bunch of footballs (okay, more specifically, the same football multiple times a game), so this helps overcome his issues through sheer volume.
Volume, unfortunately, will not save Murray this week. He takes on a Bengals team that has allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. They’ve gone up that list a bit recently, as four running backs have double-digit fantasy point production over the last three weeks. Those four players have done it on a good amount of volume, which, unfortunately, Murray does not get. It took Le’Veon Bell 38 touches to get his production, and it took Chris Ivory 23, for example. Murray is much closer to Ivory than Bell this season. Keep Murray on your bench this week. I have a league where I can start four running backs, and I’m not taking the chance on Murray this week. You shouldn’t either.