Drafting the right workhorse will win you a fantasy football league championship.
On the flip side, selecting the wrong one will cripple your club. Don’t be the guy who’s saying at the end of the season, “If I only would’ve chose LeSean McCoy over Chris Johnson, I would’ve won the title.”
Here are three big-name running backs to let other owners waste their precious early picks on.
3. Steven Jackson
For the first time since 2005, Jackson failed to surpass 300 carries in a season when he played more than 12 games. The St. Louis Rams offense isn’t his anymore—the reins have been handed over to Sam Bradford.
If Mr. Run-Run-Run (aka Jeff Fisher) does attempt to use Jackson as a workhorse again, he’ll break down. When St. Louis was still using Jackson as a battering ram in 2010, he carried the ball 330 times for only 3.8 yards a pop. His numbers were plummeting then, and now he’s two years older.
2. Michael Turner
Turner is 30 years old now, so you know what that means—don’t touch.
Refuse to let Turner’s 4.5 yards-per-carry average in 2012 fool you. A few breakout performances early in the year inflated his numbers and hid the fact that he really wore down on the back nine. In Turner’s last six games of the season, only twice did he average more than 3.5 yards per carry.
Throw in the fact that Matt Ryan has another offseason under his belt and Julio Jones is expected to blow up, and like Jackson, Turner’s role will decrease—not that he could carry a greater one anyway.
When the Seattle Seahawks signed Marshawn Lynch to a four-year, $31 million contract, every Buffalo Bills fan on the planet couldn’t stop laughing for a
week month. It’s a mistake to pay the maddeningly inconsistent Lynch that much money.
Before his breakout year in 2011, Lynch hadn’t rushed for more than 600 yards and six touchdowns in a single season. Hmm, anyone else find it odd that a halfback in his sixth year in the league randomly blows up? Can you say, “Contract year?”
Now that Lynch has his money, expect him to resort from Beast Mode back to his old lackadaisical ways. For crying out loud, he’s already begun.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.