Not Ideal: Demarco Murray vs Jacksonville

Demarco vs the Jags isn't as juicy as it seemed a week ago.

Not Ideal…I’ll tell you what’s not ideal…getting hit in the head with a nailgun. You know what else isn’t ideal? Starting your studs and then having them put up bench numbers and losing because of it. It’s the worst. These are guys you likely paid some heavy draft capital to get and are generally top 12 players at their position. You put them in your lineup and forget about them…until they screw you over. Seriously, if you started Dez Bryant last week you weren’t happy because he got 6.4 points in a ppr. But you know what? That was easily predicted based on his past performance again Janoris “The Jackrabbit” Jenkins (seriously…the jackrabbit…that’s what he wants us to call him). I got an extra 4 points by sitting Dez this week in favor of Sammy Watkins. It’s tough to do, but sometimes you have to pull the trigger.  I’ll be writing this article every week and look for it to come out every Tuesday, barring a knee surgery or something crazy. I’m going to focus on consensus top 12 players, but players that you can stomach taking out of your lineup. You’re likely not going to ever take the Le’Veon Bell’s, Julio Jones’s, or Rob Gronkowski’s out of your lineup if they’re healthy. This is going to focus on those guys that should be in your lineup, but many of you can afford to take out. I’ll also recommend some replacements. If I have a 50% hit rate on these predictions, I’ll be impressed.

Me if I get half of these right...

Me if I get half of these right…

I’ll review the previous weeks’ prediction at the beginning of each article. This isn’t an easy task, but I hate myself, so I’m going to give it a shot.  On to our first victim…Demarco “Loves Chip Kelly” Murray.

You probably paid a 1st round pick for Demarco (at worst a 2nd) and you want to start him. In the words of my buddy Chris on the FakePigskin Dynasy Zone Podcast…”DRAFT CAPITAL.” You have to do it in an Urkel voice though…I digress…You probably looked at the matchup against Jacksonville this week and probably started drooling. Well, Jacksonville’s defense is sneaky good (not so sneaky after 10 sacks though).

The biggest problem, however, might not necessarily  be Jacksonville’s defense. It’s the Titans offense. They are still trying to find an identity. After, being the best running team in the league last year, they went out and got some weapons, mainly Corey Davis, to make the transformation into a passing team.
playdraft

I bought into Marcus Mariota big time, like a lot of people. But you know what…this comes at the expense of the run game. The Titans threw the ball 41 times against the Raiders in what should have been a shootout (thanks for not hitting the OVER you dicks). That number is tied for the 3rd most pass attempts in Mariota’s NFL career. Demarco Murray ran the ball only 12x for 44 yards and had 2 catches for a total of 16 yards…NOT IDEAL. Murray only averages 3.67 yards a clip on the ground. NOT IDEAL. If you take away his 21 yards run, he averaged 2.09 yards per carry. It was like he got Munsoned out in the middle of nowhere which would be…NOT IDEAL.

Demarco Murray's YCA was 2.09 without a 21 yard run.

Demarco Murray’s YAC was 2.09 without a 21 yard run. YACK.

The one bright spot I found was that he was involved in nearly 30% of the plays he was on the field for (14/47). But is that enough? I don’t know. I think Tennessee is going to involve Derrick Henry more as the season progresses in order to keep Murray fresh. NOT IDEAL. The most alarming thing about the Raiders game was that Murray didn’t have more targets. Mariota is going down the field much more now that he has better targets. He’s not checking down. They seem to be passing to set up the run now and not the other way around (Andy Reid-Kool Aid Man approves). Hopefully this loosens the box up (that’s what she said) by the line of scrimmage and Murray (and Henry) have more room to run in the future, but I don’t know if we see that this week.

One thing Demarco Murray is VERY good at is pass protection. Common sense dictates that the Titans will likely be keeping Murray in quite a bit in order to slow down a pass rush that had a whopping 10 sacks last week against Houston….NOT IDEAL. That’s a lot of sack lunches…

NUM NUM NUM

Murray has to prevent the Jacksonville defense from eating those sack lunches. NUM NUM NUM

Does that mean that Derrick Henry gets more early down work to keep Murray fresh and in on 3rd downs? Murray can’t exactly catch the ball or get targets if he’s tasked with keep Mariota off of his back now can he? This is my biggest concern about Murray’s usage.

Some of the reasons I’ve given above may give you conflicted feelings on whether or not to start Murray… That unfortunately is the problem with your so called studs. It’s not ideal having to sit them. Some of this column is a gut feeling that I can back up with statistics, but statistics can be twisted to prove whatever point I want. So at the end of the day, it’s always YOUR call. It’s also based on your other options. If you don’t have any other options, then he’s in your lineup. If you do though, you have a tough choice to sit a possible stud. I have Demarco Murray currently ranked 16th going into week 2, and I feel like I could drop him outside my top 20. These guys are all under him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they outscored Murray, which if you started Murray, would not be ideal… Ok…I’m going to go preemptively punch myself in the face so if I’m wrong you don’t have to! Follow me on twitter @DynastyInfidel to tell me I’m stupid or smart. Until next week!!!!

 

Likely available on waiver wire: Tarik Cohen @TB, Jacquizz Rogers CHI, Chris Carson SF, James White @NO

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