Fantasy football owners who held on to DeMarco Murray or traded for him while he was out with a foot injury should pat themselves on the back and put the Dallas Cowboys running back in their lineups for the remainder of the season.
This past Sunday, Murray played his first game since October 14 when he injured his foot against the Baltimore Ravens. The Cowboys proved they had no plans to ease him back into action against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the second-year pro hit the ground running.
He received 23 carries and gained 83 yards while scoring a touchdown. This is the type of performance fantasy owners had been expecting from Murray all season long.
Demarco Murray said he will practice tomorrow. He played with 3 plates in his shoe.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) December 5, 2012
There is little reason to doubt that he will play this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The former Oklahoma Sooner proved in his rookie season that he is an exciting talent. He has the speed to break off long runs and the power to finish them.
Dallas turned to him as its feature back for its 2012 campaign, and the only concern surrounding Murray was his checkered past with injuries. He has once again missed significant time, but he is back on the field just in time for the most important fantasy football weeks of the year.
Should Murray start for the rest of the season?
Even though the Cowboys next two matchups are not ideal, Murray is still far too talented to be kept out of any lineup.
He will take on the Bengals’ 11th ranked rush defense before going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have allowed the fifth fewest rushing yards of any team this year.
For those fantasy owners still in contention in Week 16, Murray will face the New Orleans Saints, who have the worst rush defense in the NFL.
While he is obviously a must-play against the Saints, he will still receive 20 or more carries in the other two games.
Going forward, he will be the Cowboys most-used offensive weapon, and that, in addition to his abilities, makes him a must-start player for the rest of 2012.