Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Will Latavius Murray Ever Get An Opportunity?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Fantasy owners with an eye towards the future continue to wait for the Raiders to turn the page. They’ve done so at quarterback… They have young wide receivers and a young tight end… So why have they not given their your running back an opportunity?

The Oakland running “attack” has been abysmal this season, averaging 65.5 yards per game. Last season the worst team in the league was the Atlanta Falcons, at 77.9.

Since 2004 there have only been 9 teams to average fewer than 80 rushing yards per game, with the worst being the Detroit Lions back in 2005 (70.6 yards). That’s pathetic company and just speaks volumes to what the veteran duo of Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew have been doing. Just look at their yards per carry:

  • McFadden – 3.7
  • Jones-Drew – 2.1

Inexplicably Murray has been given 4 carries all season. It’s not to say that he’s going to be the savior, but at 0-8 what exactly do they have to lose?

We’ve posted this before, but prior to the draft NFL.com’s Gil Brandt said the following about Murray:

“At 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds, Murray is a big back, yet he was able to run under 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his pro day. However, he does not play as fast as his 40 time. Was productive at Central Florida, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2012. He’s also a good receiver out of the backfield.”

Why not see what they have, when the veterans are so bad and the season is already lost? It makes sense, especially before utilizing an early round pick in the draft to try and fill the role.

Who knows if the Raiders are going to finally give him an opportunity, but those who are desperate for running back depth should grab him now. Given the direction of the franchise, it certainly makes sense to see if he can at least be part of the answer. It’s not like McFadden or Jones-Drew are the future, or the present for that matter.

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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