The way I feel for Alfred Morris from a fantasy football perspective is no secret. He was on my “Sit” list for pretty much the entire season. He made an appearance on our “Do Not Draft” list as well. The numerous debates with Fantayshed’s own Eric Frank have always resulted in me saying the same thing..”Hes’ a JAG” (Just a guy) . But is he? Or is that just a misconception that many in the industry have had of him? Well, in 2015, Morris did exactly what I thought he would do. Bust. His one touchdown and 3.7 yard per carry average, left most owners no choice but to keep him on their bench. If you look at his career numbers, its very clear that his attempts, yards, and avg. YPC, have decreased considerably.
Those numbers are less than spectacular, (except 2012) but when you think about how Morris is only behind Adrian Peterson for most rushing yards since 2012 (Bob Sturum, Dallas News) , it changes the dynamic. Or does it? Not for me. That just further shows how much of a passing league it really is. Which leads me to one of the main reasons I haven’t recommended Morris for your fantasy team. He can’t catch. Forty-seven career receptions. That number would be good for 12th among running backs for just LAST SEASON!
Now, talking about 2016 and the Dallas Cowboys. Darren McFadden, and Lance Dunbar are still on the team. The Cowboys have openly talked about the possibility of drafting a running back in April, and the signing of Morris isn’t negating their stance. It is far to early to even predict what Morris will do in 2016 from a fantasy standpoint. Is he splitting carries with McFadden? Is McFadden going to be cut? Too many variables exist right now to give an accurate assessment of not only Morris, but any running back in that backfield. If someone tells you otherwise, they’re lying.
The fantasy landscape for the running back position is a mess, and this won’t be the last time you hear me say that this season. Morris will have some value. So will McFadden. And so will Dunbar. Get the point? Could Morris be a top 10 fantasy RB in 2016? In that system, with that offensive line and a healthy Tony Romo, Yes he could. However, it would have to be a situation where HE is the bellcow. He is the goal-line back. If for some reason that is the case, and Jason Garrett announces that over the summer, well than now fantasy owners are going to be over-drafting him and could very well be disappointed like they were the past couple of years. I don’t anticipate that being the case and therefore as fantasy owner, I would have no problem drafting Morris to my team, as long as it is as good a value as what the Cowboys were able to sign Morris to. No risk financially with a “good” upside. From a real life stand-point, this was an absolute steal of a signing for the Dallas Cowboys. From a fantasy stand-point, it needs to be the same for you. It is a situation that will need to consistently be monitored throughout mini-camp, training-camp and the preseason.
Alfred Morris is what he is. He’s a durable guy (has played in every game of his career-never inactive) and can run between the tackles. That is great news with the Cowboys O-line. What he isn’t, is a guy that will make you miss and turn on that second gear (he doesn’t have one). He’s also not going to be in there on 3rd downs and catch the ball out of the backfield. He’s good. He’s not great. Right now…He’s just a guy (JAG)
UPDATE: The Cowboy selected Ezekiel Elliot with the 4th overall pick in the 2016 draft. This makes Morris’s fantasy value plummet even more. We’ll need to see how all these backs are used, but Morris looks to be headed to a training camp battle with Darren McFadden for touches with this team. One of them could be the odd man out.