DeMarco Murray vs. LeSean McCoy
This is a decision that has been met with much debate and discussion this past offseason. Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly gave away one running back to add one from a division rival. McCoy and Murray are definitely different in their style of running, which was the reason (supposedly) behind the trade of McCoy. Which running back will excel in their new environnmet? Who would you take when the clock is ticking in your fantasy draft?
Let’s start with some strengths and weaknesses of each player from a fantasy standpoint:
DeMarco Murray (Philadelphia Eagles):
- Coming off a career year in Dallas, confidence and motivation to prove not one-year wonder
- Great scheme fit and running style for Kelly’s offense
- No. 1 back in an offense with lots of value in the run game
- Played with Sam Bradford in college in similar offense, good connection
- Was his production based on offensive line play?
- He is not the absolute focal point on offense, many options on offense, will limit opportunities
LeSean McCoy (Buffalo Bills):
- Will be focal point of offense
- Motivation to prove he shouldn’t have been traded and is still one of the best backs in the league
- Coach Rex Ryan depends on the run
- Only person that will take carries from McCoy is Fred Jackson
- Does his running style match the Bills’ offensive linemen’s abilities?
- Without a true quarterback in place, will the defense stack the box?
The Argument for Murray over McCoy:
You want to talk about a player with a chip on his shoulder? Look no farther than Murray in Philadelphia. He has been told he is a product of a great offensive line, that’s he’s not an elite talent at running back. Dallas didn’t dish out the money to keep him in a Cowboys’ uniform. What do you do when you feel disrespected? You go to the rival team and destroy your former team twice a year! He will fit well in Kelly’s system as a north-south runner who hits the holes with tenacity. McCoy is an east-west lateral running back who couldn’t cut it in Kelly’s system. Murray has a nice fat contract and is ready to prove he is the reason for the running game success in Dallas last season!
The Argument for McCoy over Murray:
Let’s break this down from a personnel standpoint. McCoy will have opportunities for carries taken away by two players, Fred Jackson and gadget plays from Percy Harvin. Murray will have opportunities taken away from at least three players: Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and wide receivers taking screen passes in that high-flying Eagles offense. Do you trust Kelly to guarantee 20 carries a game to Murray? His offense is all about spreading the ball around to keep the defense off guard. McCoy is the offense in Buffalo and will be a huge aspect to any offensive production the Bills have this season. Did I mention that McCoy was a top-2 fantasy back before Kelly’s system came along?
Would You Rather Draft…Decision:
LeSean McCoy (Buffalo Bills):
I’m taking the workload of McCoy each game compared to the offense in Philadelphia. McCoy is the offense in Buffalo because if he doesn’t succeed, the passing game will not succeed. Murray could average 15 carries a game due to the amount of distribution the Kelly offensive system needs to succeed. McCoy will easily average 20 carries a game and will receive at least 75 percent of the red zone touches. Murray will battle in the red zone with Mathews, Sproles and the screen game due to Kelly’s insistence on being unpredictable in his offense. The Eagles offense may have improved this offseason, but not Murray’s fantasy value. The trade will benefit McCoy and his ability to be the lead guy in a different offensive scheme like he was before Kelly came to Philadelphia.
If you have a “Would You Rather Draft…” for Dan Collins, tweet your idea to @Shep_Collins and he may pick yours to debate in an upcoming article. Follow for fantasy football and NFL Draft insight.