Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is Marlon Mack On The Verge Of A Breakout?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We mentioned it in our 10 Lessons Learned article on Monday (click here to view), but for the sinking ship that is the Indianapolis Colts it is fair to wonder how much longer it will be before a change is made at running back.  Just look at the performances for Frank Gore and Marlon Mack in Week 7:

  • Frank Gore – 9 carries for 34 yards (3.4 YPC)
  • Marlon Mack – 5 carries for 26 yards (5.2 YPC); 4 receptions for 40 yards

Gore, who is now 34-years old, has failed to impress all season long.  He’s averaged 3.4 yards per carry and has broken just one run of more than 16 yards (a 21 yard rumble in Week 3).  In fact he has only two games where he’s averaged more than 3.8 yards per carry and has gone four straight games without a TD.

As for Mack, while he has missed time he’s averaged 4.9 yards per carry, has shown some receiving ability when given the opportunity (i.e. his 4 receptions on 6 targets this past week) and has been the far more explosive runner.  Just consider for a moment that he has 4 carries of more than 20 yards, tied for second most in the league.  Outside of Tevin Coleman (4 out of 44 carries having gone for 20+ yards), Mack is the only running back with fewer than 50 carries and at least three carries of 20+ yards (let alone four of them!).

For an offense that’s averaging the fifth fewest points per week (17.0 points per game), why wouldn’t you turn towards the more dynamic runner and potential home run threat?

Gore is never going to fall fully out of the rotation, and there is a good chance that Mack may not be the long-term solution for Indianapolis.  It’s a position they may target in the draft, and there is significant talent there to be found, but the team needs to find out if Mack could be the answer, or at least part of it.  We all know that Gore isn’t, and it’s only a matter of time before Mack assumes the role.

In dynasty formats it makes sense to target him now, before the opportunity comes.  Even in yearly formats grabbing him makes sense given the potential upside and workload.

Sources – ESPN,

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
10 Lessons Learned From Week 8: Deshaun Watson, T.Y. Hilton, Tarik Cohen & More
The Ditch List: Is It Time To Cut Bait With Terrelle Pryor?


  1. Haggy says:

    Emanuel Sanders is on the wire. He he worth picking up.

  2. promillo says:

    Hi Prof!

    Thx for the article, I got Gore, Mack and Muarry. Which one should I start besides Martin?

  3. MikeinMacon says:

    I have Derrick Henry in two leagues lounging on my bench. Should I drop him in both leagues for Mack? I DO NOT have DeMarco Murray in either league.

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