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Fantasy Football Friday FLEX: Latavius Murray, RB, New Orleans Saints

Latavius Murray Saints
Saints running back Latavius Murray is a back you can expect to shine in week 2 with Alvin Kamara injured.

By Craig Forrestal

The Fantasy Football Friday Flex is where we name our FLEX Play of the Week. And for Week 2 the FLEX Play of the Week is…

FLEX Play of the Week: Latavius Murray/ RB/ New Orleans Saints

Many people will see Latavius Murray in this column and think the Saints have Alvin Kamara. What is he doing? Well, what I am doing is taking the writing on the wall and applying it to fantasy football. Here is why I think Latavius Murray is a tremendous FLEX option for Week 2.

  1. Latavius Murray totaled 15 carries for 48 yards and Alvin Kamara had 12 carries for 16 yards. Yes, Kamara had 2 TDs but there is more…
  2. Kamara received an anti-inflammatory injection in his lower back to address inflammation in his sacroiliac (SI) joint back in August. I’m no doctor but Sean Payton will not overwork Kamara this early in the season. Enter more work for Murray. Plus, the Raiders run defense is terrible.
  3. No Michael Thomas. So without Michael Thomas is it the unleashing of Tre’Quan Smith? Will Emmanuel Sanders turn back the clock and look like his younger self? Not saying that the Saints don’t have weapons but it seems like the better option is going run-heavy while Thomas is out.
  4. Bad Raiders Defense + No Michael Thomas + A somewhat injured Alvin Kamara + A solid offensive line = Latavius Murray Time
  5. The Raiders allowed 30 carries for 129 yards leaving an average of 4.3 YPC.
  6. Last week Murray played 33.8% of snaps and I expect that to increase. Murray recorded 15 touches on those 33.8% snaps (23 offensive snaps). Kamara recorded 17 total touches Week 1 and played 66.2% of snaps (45 offensive snaps). Murray received a touch on 15 of 23 snaps played; leaving a 65.2% Touch Rate. That means very for every 3 snaps played Murray got 2 touches.

Murray has proven himself as a capable back in the past and was a Pro Bowl RB with the Raiders, so maybe this is a revenge game for Murray. If Murray can log 15 carries again he could be a very dangerous play. If you are looking for a little help, then Murray is your guy in Week 2. Plus, there is always the possibility the Saints jump out to a quick 2-score lead and put themselves in melt clock mode which enhances the Murray outlook.

Production Prediction: 14 carries for 77 yards and 1 TD

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