By Adam Harris-
(CBS) DeMarco Murray has not only carried the Dallas Cowboys to the top of the NFC East, averaging 130 rushing yards per game, but if you own him on your fantasy team, you are most likely above .500 and in a good spot to make the playoffs.READ MORE: Teen Charged In 8-Year-Old Melissa Ortega's Murder Has Criminal Record For Carjacking And Gun Charges
I mean, my goodness, Murray is a fantasy god right now.
Murray has been so good this year that I’m making him the first untouchable asset in fantasy football since LaDainian Tomlinson set the record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 28 in 2006.
I own Murray in The Score’s fantasy league, and I’m not going to listen to anyone who includes him in a trade offer, which is unique for me. I’m normally always open to a trade no matter who the player, but not this time. Not with Murray.
Of course, Murray leads the NFL in two important categories that generate fantasy points: yards from scrimmage (940) and rushing touchdowns (six). That alone, however, doesn’t make him untradable.
What makes Murray the first untradable fantasy asset since 2006 Tomlinson are his touches and the giant gap between him and the second-best in all statistical categories, especially among running backs.
Murray leads the NFL in rushing attempts with 159, 43 more than Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy, who has the second-most. Murray leads the NFL in overall touches with 180, 35 more than the next-best in Chicago’s Matt Forte. Murray averages 130.2 rushing yards per game, about 28 more the second-best player, Houston’s Arian Foster.
Murray has accumulated 147 more total yards than the second-highest total, produced by Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell, and perhaps the most impressive stat is in the rushing yards category. Murray’s 785 rushing yards this year are 243 more than the NFL’s second-leading rusher, Bell. I must remind you that this astronomical gap has been created after merely six games.READ MORE: New Bears GM Ryan Poles Continues Busy Schedule Of Head Coach Interviews
The gap between Murray and any other running back is eye-opening and surprising. This is something that commonly happens with other positions in fantasy, but it rarely happens with the running back position. There are defined running back studs each year, but rarely does someone run away with fantasy value like Murray currently is.
To establish the rarity of this, let’s look at last year and the exploits of McCoy, who was the rushing leader, finishing with 268 more yards than anyone else over 16 games. McCoy led Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch by only 13 rushing attempts, Forte by just three touches and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson in rushing yards per game by a mere 10 yards. McCoy was the most dynamic and sought-after fantasy back this past offseason because of his dominance last year, but by no means did he dominate like Murray is dominating this year.
In 2006, Tomlinson didn’t even create separation from the second-leading rusher but scored 31 total times, which was 12 more touchdowns than anyone else. That made Tomlinson untradable. Still, Murray is at a different level of untradability. You should send an owner’s email to the spam folder when trying to acquire Murray from you. Block the owner’s texts, hang up on him and de-friend them on Facebook.
Murray is injury prone, and there has been talk of limiting his touches week to week to keep him on the field and fresh, but those are not reasons to trade him. If the Cowboys want to win, they will keep giving Murray 25 to 30 touches a game.
Last week, Murray had 35 touches just days after owner/general manager Jerry Jones said backups Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar were going to see more work. By all means, every Murray owner should own his two backups, preferably Randle (assuming he’s not suspended following shoplifting charges), but the Cowboys pulled out a victory in Seattle because they pounded the rock with Murray.
Murray looks different than he ever has in his career. He’s making dynamic moves that we expect out of a back like McCoy, and he’s doing this with his normally stellar vision and toughness. He clearly put in the needed offseason work to continue his impressive finish to his season last year, and he appears faster and quicker than ever before.
Murray has last year’s Jimmy Graham-like X-factor capability, but his is at running back. That makes him even more valuable.
Keep him and enjoy him.MORE NEWS: 'That Loss Of Life Is So Tremendous': Little Village Residents React To Arrests In Murder Of 8-Year-Old Melissa Ortega
Adam Harris is a producer for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @aharris670 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.