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Three Potential Running Back Busts to Avoid on Draft Day

As we approach the start of the NFL season, and fantasy football drafts are kicking it into high gear, we continue to provide fantasy football analysis on which players to draft or avoid for your teams.

Today we will be taking a look at three players that can potentially be 2015 running back busts for fantasy football, and you may want to think twice before drafting them. Avoiding the right players on draft day can be the difference between winning and losing your drafts.

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Potential Running Back Busts - Players to Consider Avoiding

Demarco Murray - RB, PHI

Murray was one of the big candidates for MVP of the 2014 fantasy season. He had a career year rushing for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns while hauling in 57 catches for 416 yards. Understand though, the Cowboys offensive line was the best in football and paved the way for Murray to do that. Don’t get me wrong, Murray is immensely talented, but his 392 rushing attempts in a season were the seventh most in NFL history and the most in a season since 2006. That much wear and tear is never good for a running back.

The Cowboys knew Murray was going to be a free agent and therefore rode him into the ground. If Murray were not to be a free agent, I’m sure the Cowboys would have persevered Murray for future seasons. Furthermore, Murray always seems to be nursing one injury or another. Murray has sat out of training camp lately, and although he said he wasn’t injured, that still scares me. Murray has had injuries relating to his hamstring, hand, knee, foot, and ankle over the course of his NFL career.

If Murray were still in Dallas behind that stellar offensive line then I would reconsider drafting him, but he now joins a platoon in Philly with Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles. I do not know if his body will hold up and if he will get enough touches to justify his first round pick. I would rather have a surefire first rounder then an injury risk and unlikely outright ball carrier.

 

Matt Forte - RB, CHI

Speaking of wear and tear, Forte is the epitome of that. The soon to be 30 year-old-back has accrued so many hits over his seven-year career with all his involvement in the running and passing game.

Last season, Forte was third among running backs in PPR scoring, and 4th in standard scoring league. His 102 receptions were extraordinary for a running back and placed him fourth among reception leaders last year. That was all due in part to playing in then head coach Marc Trestman’s system. But Trestman is off to Baltimore and new offensive coordinator Adam Gase is in, only hurting Forte’s 2015 fantasy success. The Bears will get back to being the classic Bears of running the football this season and Forte has said he is really excited. That may be good for his rushing total, but in PPR leagues that will not fly. All the bruising off a “smash-mouth” offense will take its toll on Forte.

 

Jaguars Running Backs

Stay away from Jaguars running backs, TJ Yeldon, Toby Gerhart, Denard Robinson, and Bernard Pierce. I was a huge TJ Yeldon fan at Alabama, but he played behind a line that regularly out-matched it's opponents and now has to join the lowly Jaguars offensive line. In 2014, the Robinson led the Jags in rushing yards with 582. Quarterback Blake Bortles was second with 419. The team had the 6th least rushing attempts all season with 360. 

Gerhart was Adrian Peterson's backup in Minnesota and looked promising, but he could not handle being the number one back last year. His 3.2 yards per rush last season are a testament to his inability to be a starter in the pros.  Pierce, like Gerhart, was Ray Rice's backup in Baltimore, but couldn't become the main guy. He lost his job to Justin Forsett and his time as a Raven came to an end. Robinson had flashes last season, but he will not stand out among this many backs.

There are simply too many heads to feed in this backfield and knowing that Bortles will take away rushing yards and carries will only give you more of a headache with this backfield. I would just stay away from all the Jaguars running backs.

 

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