A healthy DeMarco Murray has the potential to be highly effective tonight against an Eagles defense that’s on par with the fierce units fielded yesterday throughout America on Pop Warner fields. The problem, of course, is that a healthy Murray is a football species we’ve only really heard about, and he can only be discovered hidden in rocks far beneath the Earth’s crust.
You’re excited that Murray will most likely be active tonight for the Cowboys-Eagles game after he practiced all week, and barring some kind of last-minute strike by the fantasy gods from high above, that still appears to be the case. He’ll play, and he’ll play for the first time since Week 7.
After spending a second-round pick on Murray this year, you’re facing conflicting emotions. Mostly, you’re filled with rage after your top running back missed six games, and he’s only now returning during the final week before the fantasy playoffs in most leagues. For many of you — especially those who whiffed on Felix Jones on the waiver wire — that blow was far too difficult to sustain, and you’re now either out of the playoffs, or desperately reaching. Therefore, Murray is an asshole.
But despite that rage there’s also a temptation to start Murray solely because of the high price you paid. Simply put, regardless of the circumstances, if a top pick is healthy it’s difficult and painful to bench him. In Murray’s cause, though, starting him as anything more than a dice rolling flex play will be far more painful.
The Cowboys will quite understandably be careful with Murray, as despite his improved health and the appealing matchup against the Eagles, he’ll play in only a limited role while in a time share with Jones. That means at most you can likely expect 10 touches for Murray, which makes him a running back who needs to score a touchdown today to have any value of significance.
The flex spot is where gambles are made, and the overall lackluster play from the Eagles’ defense makes Murray worthy of a reaching roulette play that’s further complicated by the late start time. But wait one more week before deploying him in his normal RB1 or high-end RB2 capacity.