Fantasy Football Impact
The first day of free agency has come and gone. It was fast and furious, exciting and dramatic depending on who you root for. A ton of players changed uniforms, and it has definitely had a major impact on fantasy football heading into 2016. Over the next few days we will go over some of the players and situations it has impacted the most.
Starting with…DeMarco Murray.
D Mo is heading to the Titans. It’s a big move, but what does it all mean for the fantasy football world?
Word is Murray and his agent worked to find a team who was interested in acquiring the 2014 NFL rushing leader. It’s a terrific fit. They have no one at the position (sorry Antonio Andrews, your day was short lived), they have the money, and are in line to draft a tackle first overall. Oh yeah, and they have this kid named Marcus Mariota playing quarterback. The 2015 second overall pick out of Oregon had his moments as a rookie, but lacked any real support and wore down as the season expired. The Titans know they must insulate their franchise player.
I was inspired to write this article comparing this move to a young Michael Turner joining the Falcons to support an even younger Matt Ryan back in the day. Murray will come in and take the pressure off Mariota. Run, run, run, then throw a play-action pass. That’s Mike Mularkey football. The strategic symmetry was uncanny. Then, halfway through this piece it hit me…Mularkey was the offensive coordinator of the Falcons at that time. I should’ve known immediately, this is the NFL afterall.
This one will likely go down as one of the best fits of the off-season. Yes DeMarco Murray had the same 3.64 yards-per-carry average as current starter Antonio Andrews, but that was in Philly…for Chip Kelly. He is no longer there, and neither are more than half the players he acquired last summer. Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell were also shipped out, heading to Miami in a swap of top picks. It’s clear that what went on there wasn’t good for anybody involved, so look for some of these talented players to land on their feet in the next chapter of their careers wherever it may be. DeMarco Murray might be the most talented one.
Look for Murray to run the rock a ton, and be the Titans number one red-zone threat. This will open up rollouts for Mariota, and eventually things in the passing game. They are not the Cowboys, or Eagles with a deep investment in the 28-year-old. Tennessee will run him until he runs out of gas, the only question is the interior of that offensive line. Chance Warmack isn’t the player he was suppose to be coming out in 2013, while Brian Schwenke and Quinton Spain aren’t exactly household names.
I expect him to grow into the consistent veteran, rather than the enigmatic center of attention he’s been his whole career.
Murray should easily top 1000 (1250?) yards and get close to 10 TDs on over 250 carries. I give him a high second-round grade in fantasy football drafts.