Evaluating DeMarco Murray's 2015 fantasy value

Did your fantasy football question not make into the Mailbag? You can still get an answer! Submit it to Fantasy Genius and have your question seen by millions of fantasy fans just like you!

Marcas Grant: That's just one of the reasons Murray's 2015 won't look like his 2014. He'll definitely be Philadelphia's starter this season, but he'll have to contend with Ryan Mathews taking carries. Oh, and there's still the matter of Darren Sproles needing to see snaps and targets. But the biggest obstacle to Murray repeating last season's success could be the downgrade in offensive linemen. The Cowboys front five at times looked like some combination of unstoppable force and unmovable object. That's not to suggest that the Eagles line is terrible, it's just not as good. Not to mention that until Chip Kelly is done tinkering, who knows what other surprises the Eagles offense could have in store.

M.G.: Now that we know Marshawn Lynch is coming back for another season, I like him as the third running back off the board behind Eddie Lacy and Le'Veon Bell. There are certainly still concerns about Beast Mode's heavy workload over the past few seasons, but there aren't too many bona fide workhorse runners out there. Plus after last season, are you going to be the person who doubts Lynch? I'm not.

M.G.: It's fairly close, but I'm going to lean toward McCoy. Murray is dealing with the issues I mentioned above, which could hamper his production in 2015. As for Shady, he'll now be the featured option in the ground-n-pound attack Rex Ryan brings with him to Buffalo. That should offer plenty of touches -- especially as the Bills figure out what they're doing with the quarterback position. As for Fred Jackson, it's hard to envision him being a serious threat to any of McCoy's touches. But if you draft Shady, it wouldn't be a bad idea to grab Jackson as a handcuff for safety.

M.G.: I don't quite have the guts to do it, but it's not a bad plan of attack, especially if you're drafting in the latter half of your league. There might be five running backs who could be considered first-round locks. After that, there's a good chance that you'll spend your season mixing-and-matching at the position for much of the season. Consider that Justin Forsett, Lamar Miller, C.J. Anderson and Joique Bell were among the backs that finished in the top 15 and it's clear that there is value in the later rounds and on the waiver wire. In the meantime, you can use those earlier picks to beef up your quarterback and wide receiver spots.

M.G.: Not as much as you might think. The Broncos are likely to incorporate C.J. Anderson into the game plan a little bit more, but they're not going to look like the Seahawks overnight. With Julius Thomas now in Jacksonville, there will be a few more targets to go around and Demaryius Thomas should benefit from that. The other plus is that Denver finds different ways to get Thomas the football, namely through bubble screens that can help pad his PPR numbers. I wouldn't worry too much about Demaryius' fantasy future for the time being.

M.G.:Peyton Manning is no longer THE number one fantasy quarterback, but we've known that for awhile. However, he still is A number one fantasy quarterback. Even with his late season fade in 2014, Manning finished as the fourth-best signal-caller in fantasy. I could make a case for The Sheriff ending 2015 outside the top five, but I'd be hard-pressed to come up with 10 quarterbacks that I'd consider better. Look for Manning to fall in drafts this season, but as long as you don't expect the video game numbers he posted in 2013 you should be fairly happy with his production.

M.G.: In a standard league, I'd tell you stick with the running backs. But in a two-QB league, you've gotta hold on to Luck. We're talking about the player widely considered to be fantasy football's second-best quarterback. If you release Luck back into the wild, you could end up like NFL Fantasy LIVE producer Hytham Kilani who nearly caused me to spit water all over my computer monitor two seasons ago when he asked if he should start either Mike Glennon or Blaine Gabbert in his two-QB league. Don't be that guy.

M.G.: I certainly hope so. My football squad in the soon-to-begin epic League of Leagues is banking on it. The Dolphins quarterback had a sneaky good 2014, finishing eighth at the position. But there is reason to be concerned about his supporting cast in 2015. Jarvis Landry had a good rookie season, but is he ready for the extra attention he'll garner with Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline now out of South Florida? Jordan Cameron steps in to replace Charles Clay and could be a nice target for Tannehill as long as he can remain on the field.

M.G.: Yes, yes and yes. I've got Antonio Brown as the top wideout in any format. He's averaged 120 catches and 1,598 yards over the past two seasons and could see more opportunities early in the season if Le'Veon Bell is forced to sit out a couple of games. Right now, Brown is the most productive receiver in fantasy football and is just entering his prime in his age-27 season. He'll be off the board before the end of the first round in plenty of leagues.

M.G.: I'm certain we'll have this discussion again later this summer, but for me the sweet spot is just after the third preseason game. By that point, you have a good idea of what a team's depth chart is going to look like and most of your stars are pretty assured of avoiding any major injuries heading into the regular season. Of course, I'm sure to see plenty of tweets in early August from people who lost their first-round pick because of some terrible season-ending injury suffered in training camp. Let's get this straight: Drafting early doesn't add more difficulty, only more stress. Those aren't the same thing.

Bonus question:

M.G.: Since I have declared that Samurai Champloo's Mugen is my spirit animal, it's only fitting that we determine who is worthy of being the equal and opposite. It's down to either Around the NFL's Marc Sessler (aka, the Sun Tzu of the newsroom) or the wise and mysterious Jim Reineking. Either way, you can't go wrong. And if you disagree, just listen to this and meditate until the next Mailbag. Until then, folks...

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who wants to be a samurai when he grows up. Tweet him your swordplay tips or fantasy football questions @MarcasG.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.