Injuries happen all the time. This year, COVID might happen too. Teams need depth. When looking at depth pieces, one player is being WAY too overlooked. Even in my league, this player went for a dollar but shouldn’t have been. Latavius Murray needs to be taken seriously as an elite fantasy handcuff.
When targeting a backup running back, you want upside. If Melvin Gordon gets hurt, Phillip Lindsay obviously has more value. However, Lindsay will still split time with Royce Freeman who has been in the plan the last two years. If Alvin Kamara goes down… GAME CHANGER ALERT.
Latavius Murray was the 5th best running back in fantasy from Week 7-10 last year. Obviously, Kamara did not play during that stretch except Week 10 which was his first week back. Kamara dealt with an ankle injury last year. Murray proved that he’s a top tier running back in this offense when Kamara is not available.
The funny thing is, Murray is still involved even when Kamara is around. Kamara has never topped 200 carries in a season. Murray is now in his second year in this Saints offense. My concern was prior to last year that Mark Ingram is gone and nobody would come close to his workload. Ingram got 138 carries in 2018. Murray had 146 last year.
Now those numbers are a little skewed because Ingram didn’t play in all 16 games that 2018 season. Still, the more surprising part was Murray was involved in the passing game. 34 receptions was a career high outside of 2015 in Oakland when Murray was the primary starter.
Murray also averaged 4.4 yards per carry which is a more than respectable number. The reality is that the Saints don’t want Kamara to be a workhorse back. They also don’t trust Kamara to get every single goal line carry either. Murray and Kamara had the same number of touchdowns in 2019 (5).
When targetting hand cuff running backs, Latavius Murray is one of the running backs you want. If something happens to Alvin Kamara, Murray is a fantastic player to have for fantasy. Even if Kamara is healthy, Murray is still very much involved in the offense.