These running backs have avoided living up to their fantasy potential through 4 games this season. Though all 4 of these players are letting fantasy owners down, some have more potential to breakout of their slump than others.
Marshawn Lynch: Lynch has not produced any noteworthy performances this season, even missing the Seahawks’ Week 4 win against the Detroit Lions, his second missed game in 6 years with the team. Before sustaining a hamstring injury, Lynch’s best game was in Week 1 against the Rams, taking 18 rushes for 71 yards (4.1 yards per carry), and hauling in 5 receptions for 31 yards. Owners should not be too worried about Lynch’s status moving forward, as he is already expected to play Week 5. The Seahawks entire team has been in a bit of a slump, but with that likely to turn around due to Kam Chancellor’s return, and Wilson’s usage of veteran Jimmy Graham and youngster Tyler Lockett, Lynch should be put in a position to score multiple times per game moving forward.
DeMarco Murray: DeMarco Murray’s abysmal play is certainly a cause for concern, as he has not been able to help move the chains in what was supposed to be a powerhouse Philadelphia offense. Murray has rushed 29 times for just 47 yards, amounting to 1.1 yards per carry. Murray’s hamstring injury kept him out of a Week 3 matchup with the New York Jets, and back-up RB Ryan Mathews propelled the Eagles to a 24-17 win behind his 108 rushing yards on 24 carries, and 2 receptions for 20 yards and a TD. If Mathews can be successful against a stout Jets defense, and Murray could not be serviceable against the Redskins, Falcons or Cowboys, then maybe he just isn’t fit to be the feature back on a team with a less than stellar offensive line. Consider DeMarco Murray’s status as an RB1 highly questionable moving forward, with a major potential drop-off.
Alfred Morris: Alfred Morris’ value has fluctuated heavily due to rookie Matt Jones’ push for more carries. After Morris led the team with 17 carries for 62 yards, it looks like he’s atop the depth chart, but his spot isn’t safe by any means. Morris’ numbers don’t look too bad, as he has rushed for 4.0 yards per carry thus far, but Matt Jones, and his 4.7 yards per carry, has much more appeal moving forward. All it takes is one more solid game from Jones to push Morris further back, securing the starting tailback position. Jones runs with more explosiveness than Morris does, and has displayed his ability to break tackles, more so than Alfred Morris. Though this situation is clearly a timeshare for now, expect Jones to emerge as the lead back in weeks to come, making Alfred Morris close to irrelevant in standard fantasy leagues.
LeSean McCoy: LeSean McCoy is dealing with a significant hamstring injury, and could miss 3-4 weeks. Despite his inability to play in the near future, his fantasy value has plummeted, as he has made close to zero impact in Rex Ryan’s run-heavy Bills offense. There’s no reason he has not found the end zone on any of his 43 carries (but caught 1 TD against the Dolphins), rushing for 146 yards (3.4 yards per carry). Even his YPC statistic is deceiving, as his Week 2 performance was the only one in which he rushed for more than 2.4 yards per carry. McCoy can’t blame anyone other than himself for his early-season struggles, as Bills rookie tailback Karlos Williams has been very effective thus far, rushing for 226 yards and 3 TDs on 42 carries, one less than McCoy. With McCoy sidelined, Williams will continue to lead the charge, and at this rate, establish himself as the more efficient rusher, making breakout performances from McCoy hard to come by in the future.