Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray is looking forward to stepping onto the field with his new team this fall, and many fantasy football owners are have trouble determining his value after a disappointing season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 2014 NFL rushing leader had a dismal year in 2015, in which he rushed for 702 yards averaging a career worst 3.6 yards per carry. “Obviously it was tough last year, and I’m looking for a huge back bounce year this year,” Murray said, via the Jim Rome Show. “I don’t mean individually but collectively as a team, and we know how hard we have to work to make our goals happen and it’s definitely going to take a lot of hard work.”
Tennessee hasn’t reached the postseason since 2008, and a run to the playoffs in an improved AFC South is unlikely with the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Jacksonville Jaguars all making moves this offseason to help their position in the division. While the postseason may be a stretch for Tennessee in 2016, there is no where for them to go but up, as their record over the past two seasons is a collective 5-27.
The Titans have their franchise quarterback in place with Marcus Mariota, and solidified their offensive line in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft selecting Jack Conklin out of Michigan State. Tennessee’s offense could turn a huge corner this upcoming season, but that could very well rely on Murray finding his form in a new uniform.
The Titans newly acquired top running back feels head coach Mike Mularkey’s offense is a better fit than Philadelphia, as it better suits his running style. “I do. It’s strictly downhill and that’s what I’ve been accustomed to my entire life,” Murray said. “Nothing against last year or what happened, it just didn’t work out, but I’m very excited about this upcoming season and looking forward to it.”
Fantasy football owners should have some concern with taking the Titans running back too early in fantasy drafts, but the two-time 1,000 yard plus rusher should definitely still find himself atop a list of the best running backs in the league. There is some caution for fantasy owners with rookie running back Derrick Henry likely taking some of the snaps away from the talented veteran, but that shouldn’t deter people from selecting Murray in the early rounds of the draft.
Murray should likely be viewed as anywhere from a third round to fifth round fantasy prospect depending on the depth of the league, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if some decided to take him as early as the second round. Murray surely could return to form behind a strong offensive line and a running game more suited for his play, and for that reason he should be a high-round fantasy target to keep an eye on heading into fantasy draft season.