The New Orleans Saints love to run the football. Over the past two seasons they have ranked fifth in rushing attempts. Using a combination of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, head coach Sean Payton has had one of the most dynamic backfields in the National Football League. But sadly for NOLA, Ingram took his talents to the Baltimore Ravens this offseason. To replace him the Saints signed former Minnesota Vikings tailback Latavius Murray. That may look like a downgrade on the surface, but Murray is no slouch. He is a solid runner that could help you win your fantasy league.
Last season Murray averaged 4.1 yards per carry behind an atrocious offensive line. The Saints lost star center Max Unger to retirement this offseason, but their line is still better than any combination of players that blocked for Murray in 2018.
Alvin Kamara is still on the team and will most definitely be the lead horse in that backfield, but Murray has the chance to take over the role that Ingram had. Sean Payton is still non-committal about that scenario but you have to figure Murray takes that spot with the only other RBs being Dwayne Washington, Matt Dayes, Jaquizz Rodgers, and the very well known Devine Ozigbo. That isn’t to say those guys won’t get carries but Murray is just a better player. If you are the better player, you play.
Even if Murray doesn’t completely take the Ingram role, he still has a ton of value on a high-powered offense: he will be getting carries (including goal line work). With an average draft position 9.02 in 10-team leagues, Murray is an extreme value. He is currently being drafted behind Derrius Guice, Darell Henderson, and Miles Sanders: all of whom have very questionable roles. Murray on the other hand does not, making him a guy you should definitely snatch up in the ninth round.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)