Why you should Raiders RB Latavius Murray on your Fantasy NFL radar
Darren McFadden has trouble staying healthy, so Latavius Murray could become a star.
Following along, please.
Last year, Rashad Jennings finished as the No. 21 Fantasy running back and had a seven-game stretch with at least nine Fantasy points in six games. In 2011, Michael Bush was the No. 8 Fantasy running back. And in 2012, Marcel Reece had a four-game stretch with at least nine Fantasy points.
The Raiders surprised us all by bringing McFadden back as a free agent on a one-year deal. We hope he's healthy and can play at a high level, but we've been down this road before. He's missed 19 games due to injury the past three seasons, and he's been a disappointment since his breakout year in 2010.
Murray is expected to back up McFadden, but he's an unknown commodity. The second-year running back missed his entire rookie year with an ankle injury, but if he's healthy this season he could be a difference maker for Fantasy owners. He's definitely a sleeper this year.
"Latavius is a guy that I think has a lot of potential," coach Dennis Allen told me at the NFL owners meetings. "When you look at him from an athletic standpoint, he's a little over 6-2, he's about 230 pounds and ran a 4-3 40-yard dash. He had the injury last year, and he was never really (healthy). When I saw the tape from him in college, I was very impressed with him as a runner. He's a big, physical back that has excellent footwork and lateral movement. And he has good vision.
"The problem is I never really saw Latavius Murray from the time that he walked on campus. Because really even then in the rookie minicamp he wasn't 100 percent healthy. From all indications, he's healthy now, and so I'm excited to see what he can do."
McFadden is someone to avoid on Draft Day unless he lands in your lap as a No. 4 Fantasy running back. But Murray is someone to target with a late-round pick. You'll have to be patient with your roster and wait for a McFadden injury, but if (when) it happens then Murray could turn into a star.
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