Fantasy Football Disappointments: RB

Jan 18, 2016


Eddie Lacy was supposed to be the safest RB1 in 2015, but even he busted

Through writing articles on snap counts and quality starts throughout 2015, I have become well versed in the disappointments at the running back position this season. We say every year “this is the most injury-riddled season since ___” and it never is. No. This has to be the most injury-riddled season ever. People, it doesn’t have to be. You’re doing it yourself taking running backs early and tying your success to the most interchangeable part in your lineup. Disappointment because a player misses time is almost like a copout, right? They probably would have played well if they could have stayed healthy. It isn’t their fault you used a high draft pick on them. You should know better. Don’t tie your fantasy football success on a running back early, and they won’t be disappointments.

For the sake of this article, we’re giving a few guys a pass. It would be too easy to write about the guys who went down midseason with shredded knees or broken arms. Justin Forsett, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster were killing it when they went down. They were all on pace for great seasons; look no further than the success of Javorius Allen, DeAngelo Williams, Spencer Ware/Charcandrick West, and Alfred Blue.

Marshawn Lynch, did miss most of the season, and was not making waves this season at age 30. Lynch and his ADP of RB5 was RB37 at the time of his injury.

The guys who don’t get a pass are the ones who stayed relevant enough to start every week, and never returned on the investment.

In no particular order:

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Eddie Lacy – GB (ADP RB3, finished RB31)

What did you get when you drafted Lacy third overall? If you wanted a guy to finish as RB31, 10 spots lower than his backup James Starks, this was your guy. If you used your third pick because you wanted a 9.8 point average in PPR and six games under double digits, Lacy was the right player for the job. If you only wanted three games of 100 total yards and five total touchdowns, Trent Richardson, I mean Lacy, is your man. Huge bust.

Melvin Gordon – SD (ADP RB16, finished RB47)

Rookie hype usually doesn’t go well. With the Chargers taking him in the first round, fantasy owners felt like they should as well, or at least as high as 16. Zero games with 100 total yards. Zero touchdowns. He gave up touches early to Danny Woodhead and never gained Philip Rivers’ trust. He also lost four fumbles and totaled double-digit fantasy points only four times before being shut down in Week 16.

C.J. Anderson – DEN (ADP RB7, finished RB36)

Don’t let his 127.3 total points fool you. Anderson was a disaster in his 14 games during the fantasy season. He scored double-digit fantasy points in four games this season, three of which went to overtime. Another interesting note is that out of his four most productive games, three came in primetime against three of the better teams in the NFL (Green Bay, Cincinnati, New England). His only two 100-yard rushing games came against Green Bay and New England. Out of his 127.3 points, 62 came in those three games (48.7%), including all four touchdowns. In the other 11 games, he averaged 5.93 points per game, no touchdowns, and a high of 59 rushing yards. My favorite game of his was the Peyton Manning four interception game against the Chiefs where the first round pick ran the ball two times for nine yards. Thanks for 0.9 points, C.J.!

DeMarco Murray – PHI (ADP RB8, finished RB17)

His final ranking wasn’t too far off of his draft position, but it was how it went about that was tragic and frustrating. Murray was not a fit in Philadelphia under Chip Kelly. Smaller, shiftier runners fit the scheme more than the downhill runner that came to the Eagles from Dallas. Murray finished with 955 total yards and six total touchdowns on 225 touches, which is nothing to complain about on the surface. Given what Murray did in 2014 (2,261 yards, 13 touchdowns on 449 touches), his contract and his skill-set, Murray left fantasy owners wanting more. Chip Kelly is gone and their new head coach is Doug Pederson, the former Chiefs’ coordinator who guided Charles, West, Ware and Knile Davis into productive every-down backs over the last few seasons.

Next time, we will look at some disappointing wide receivers and tight ends.

Michael Vincent is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MVtweetshere.

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