It’s the end of the third round/early fourth round and you are starting to panic because you don’t have a running back yet. This is where I see a lot of uneducated drafters make the mistake of picking a player based on their favorite site’s rankings, or by looking at a players average draft position. For this specific example I want to point compare five running backs.
Which mystery player would you pick, based on their ADP and statistics?
2015 Stats: 147 carries, 906 total yards, 9 receptions and 5 total TDs
Standard League Point Total: 111
PPR Point Total: 120
2015 Stats: 152 carries, 903 total yards, 25 receptions and 3 total TDs
Standard League Point Total: 103
PPR Point Total: 128
2015 Stats: 218 carries, 1287 total yards, 44 receptions and 7 total TDs
Standard League Point Total: 159
PPR Point Total: 203
2015 Stats: 115 carries, 523 total yards, 11 receptions and 3 total TDs
Standard League Point Total: 66
PPR Point Total: 77
2015 Stats: 266 carries,1298 total yards, 41 receptions and 4 total TDs
Standard League Point Total: 148
PPR Point Total: 189
Having seen the numbers, you should know that Player 1 was Thomas Rawls, Player 2 was CJ Anderson, Player 3 was Matt Forte, Player 4 was Carlos Hyde, and Player 5 was Latavius Murray.
Understanding that what a player does the year before shouldn’t dictate exactly where you draft him the following year, but it needs to be taken into consideration. First, Murray has been blessed with what Pro Football Focus says might be the best offensive line in the NFL. The second main point is that his playcaller is Bill Musgrave, who already has a 2,000 yard rusher under his belt. Another reason why we are high on Murray is because of the five players mentioned above, Murray is the only one who has missed one game or less over the past two seasons (Anderson 2, Forte 3, Rawls 3 Hyde 11).
While Murray might not possess the same skill-set as Forte, he’s younger and in a much better situation. We would also put him above Rawls because the Seahawks invested three draft picks in running backs, which is never a good sign, and Rawls’ workload is no guarantee. We simply can’t trust Hyde to stay healthy (no to mention his team sucks) and CJ Anderson is going to have issues when opposing defenses stack the box with Mark Sanchez under center.
When you are faced with the dilemma of choosing between these five running backs on draft day, I encourage you to look Murray’s way.