Week Seventeen Analysis: Last week DeMarco Murray tied a season-low with 11 carries against the Saints, failed to score for the first time in four games, and lost a costly fumble. However, he still managed 91 total yards, and his average now sits at 95 yards in the four games since his return to action. While Washington ranks fifth in the league in rushing yards allowed, they've surrendered four touchdowns to the position in the last three games. Moreover, Ray Rice and LeSean McCoy have each totaled over 120 yards against the Redskins this month, so consider it a neutral matchup for Murray.
Week Sixteen Analysis: DeMarco Murray scored just three touchdowns in his first 18 NFL games, but he's now scored in three straight since returning from injury. Moreover, he's ranged from 75-to-112 total yards in the three games, and he's also added four receptions in each. While the Saints rank 31st against opposing backs in rushing yards, and 30th in receiving yards, they just held Doug Martin to 16 rushing yards, and they did the exact same thing to Michael Turner last month. However, Turner is terrible, and Martin's performance last week feels like a blowout-induced fluke. The Saints season-long sample size still paints this as an incredibly favorable matchup for Murray.
Week Fifteen Analysis: DeMarco Murray's first two games back have been near carbon copies of each other, as he's carried 23 and 21 times, caught four balls in each game, and scored a one-yard touchdown in each game. The rub is that he's averaged an inefficient 89 combo yards on 3.1 yards per carry, and he'll be hard-pressed to improve on those numbers this week. Pittsburgh's top-10 run defense surrenders just 3.8 yards per carry, and in their last four games, opposing starters have averaged 67 rushing yards and a half a touchdown. The hope here is that Dallas lands on the one-yard line for the third consecutive game.
Week Fourteen Analysis: After missing nearly two months with a cryptic foot injury, the logical assumption was that DeMarco Murray would be eased back into action against Philadelphia last week. So much for logic! Murray touched the ball a season-high 27 times, racking up over 100 combo yards and a score. This week he'll look to build upon that performance against an improving Cincinnati run defense. The Bengals have only allowed one score to the position in their last five games, and opposing starters have averaged just 83 combo yards during that span. Still, you have to be encouraged by Murray's use last week, so consider him a viable second option.
Week Six Analysis: Everyone assumes that the Baltimore Ravens are a premiere rushing defense based on their historical performances, but a quick glance at this year's stats shows that age may finally be catching up with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and their crew. The Ravens have allowed the sixth-most rushing touchdowns this season, and they are in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards-per-game allowed. DeMarco Murray has done nothing the last three weeks, but he's faced three of the top six rushing defenses in the league. Jason Garrett has stated he wants to utilize Murray more in the passing game to keep him involved, so he might finally break through this week. With five of his next six games versus bottom half rushing defenses now is a great time to "buy-low" on Murray.
Week Four Analysis: Last week DeMarco Murray scored for the first time in his last seven games, but he's now failed to top 50 rushing yards in four of his last five outings. We knew his offensive line would struggle, but this unit is getting smoked like Nate Newton's hookah. Don't expect things to get any easier for them this week against a Chicago front seven that's given up just one rushing score and 3.5 yards per-carry to opposing backs. Granted, Murray is a significantly more talented runner than Donald Brown, Cedric Benson and a gimpy Steven Jackson, but his fantasy shortcomings are completely out of his own control.
Week Three Analysis: DeMarco Murray is a bit of a mystery. He's a dual-threat back who dominates the workload in a high-functioning offense, and he combines the strength to move the pile with the speed to hit the homerun… yet he simply doesn't score touchdowns. In his 10 games as the Cowboys' lead back, he's scored just twice. Fortunately, he should get a little help with that this week. No team gave up more touchdowns to backs than Tampa Bay last year, and the Giants' Andre Brown just rolled up 90 yards and a score on 15 touches. This matchup is compelling enough to say that Murray is out of excuses.
Week Two Analysis: DeMarco Murray looked the part of a top-tier fantasy back in the opener. It was his sixth career 20-carry game, and in those six contests he's averaged a gaudy 164 combo yards. However, despite eating up massive chunks of yardage, Murray has scored just twice in those six games. Seattle's solid run defense allowed just 3.8 yards per carry last season, and after feasting on Arizona's inept attack, a well-rested Murray will be their first real test of the new season. He should get his yardage one way or another, but his brief history suggests that we shouldn't expect a touchdown.
Week One Analysis: DeMarco Murray burst onto the scene last year with a four-game midseason binge that saw him roll up 682 combo yards. During that span he ran at a ridiculous 8.0-yard per-carry clip! Unfortunately, after an injury to fullback Tony Fiammetta, Murray's average plummeted to 3.4-yards per-carry over the next three games, and then a broken ankle ended his season early. While Fiammetta's free agency departure can be pacified by the addition of Lawrence Vickers, the Cowboys' disastrous interior line will be badly overmatched by New York's talented front seven Wednesday night.
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