by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The days of a true workhorse running back appear to be a thing of the past, complicating decisions for fantasy owners. In some cases we know who the “lead” back is going to be, or there are obvious defined roles, but that’s not always the case. That’s why we are going to go around the league, checking in on each situation, to try and shed some light on who fantasy owners should be targeting.
Things are a little bit different in St. Louis, where they did something many teams will no longer do… They spent a first round pick on a running back. Lucky for them he proved to be a workhorse in his rookie season, but will he be among the elite in ’16? Is there anyone else who could bring value?
He got a late start to the season, playing in just 1 game (6 carries) in September. However he poured it on over the final three months of the season:
- October – 68 carries for 433 yards and 2 TD (6.4 YPC)
- November – 90 carries for 352 yards and 4 TD (3.9 YPC)
- December – 65 carries for 312 yards and 4 TD (4.8 YPC)
For the year he totaled 1,106 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Throw in 21 receptions for 188 yards and you get an impressive package. If we project his 12 game production for an entire season you get a mighty impressive line:
1,463 yards and 13 TD
The yards would’ve placed him second in the league, behind only Adrian Peterson (1,485). The TD would’ve led the league (there were four players with 11 rushing TD). Maybe he’s not quite that good, but there’s no doubt that he’s among the elite RB in the game and a potential Top 5 pick on draft day.
Mason got an opportunity to play in his rookie season, but he’s never proven overly capable of catching the football (34 receptions) or have an ability to stay on the field (25 games played in two seasons). There’s little chance that he makes much of an impact this season, barring an injury.
He has 71 receptions over the past two seasons and could be an intriguing option in the deepest of PPR formats. That said, 10 of his receptions this past season came in September when Gurley was a virtual nonfactor. He only had 16 thereafter, showing that when Gurley is active there simply aren’t going to be enough opportunities for anyone else.
Source – ESPN
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