Look, Marshawn Lynch is an absolute machine. I love what he's done in Seattle and the way he produces, especially from a fantasy perspective. But it's time to separate the love I have for his runs and think with my head. And sadly my head tells me to bail on Lynch for 2014.
We all make tough choices in life, and this is one most fantasy owners in the middle of the draft will be faced with.
I'd love to see Lynch continue to run through walls and produce quality, consistent fantasy numbers. I just don't believe we'll see it. Which is why I advise you to pass on Lynch all draft long (obviously there's a point where he's worth drafting, he'll just never fall that far down boards for me to get him).
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Running Back Lifespans
We all know that running backs in the NFL have a shorter life-span than other positions. Many fantasy experts refer to the age of 27 as being the last year of a running backs prime. Slowly descending after that until they're just has-beens of the fantasy world.
For every Emmitt Smith we've seen we've seen hundreds of others like David Wilson. Prime with talent that just couldn't survive in the NFL game.
One thing that both Shaun Alexander and Lynch have in common is that they both had five career 1000-yard seasons. After Alexander's fifth, he was full of injuries and fell off the fantasy football scene.
Lynch has had more than 900 carries in the past 3 years. That's a ton of touches and at some point he has to slow down.
Now I don't wish that fate upon Marshawn Lynch or anyone. But I'm jumping off the train now, even if some believe it's a bit too early. History has a funny way of repeating itself and so do I.
Are The Seahawks Ready to Fly?
Despite relying on their defense and run game earlier in 2013, it appeared that the Seahawks began to air it out more as the season went on. With Percy Harvin returning healthy for 2014, is there a chance this team becomes heavier on passing?
I'm not saying they'll become a passing team, but if a good run and pass combo works they'd be foolish to move away from it.
Lynch is dependent on getting frequent touches. A more pass heavy approach would worry me.
Their Running Back Depth
Listen, Lynch is absolutely going to be the starting back when the season opens. He's going to get the carries and we'll see where it goes.
For me, the fact that he's the starter isn't enough. His backups worry me enough that he'll lose some touches and therefore fantasy value. Lynch's value has always been tied to being a bellcow running back, I just don't think he'll be the same guy he's been.
I'll minimize my risk in the first few rounds, and Lynch is too big a risk for me to take.
What to Do With Marshawn Lynch
Things are boom or bust for the Seahawks in 2014. They want to repeat their championship and are prepared to ride the hell out of Lynch to do it. However they may take it easier on him during the season (which matters most for fantasy). I think they'll save the real work towards the playoff push and post-season play. After-all, they're not gonna pay hime all that money in 2015. They might as well get it all out of him while they still can.
Lynch is a risk in the early rounds, a risk you shouldn't be taking.
He'll be loved by others more than me, which means I won't own Lynch in any leagues this year. Were he to fall into the late second round/early third I'd snag him, but we both know that will never happen.
This was all written prior to news breaking about him being investigated for an alleged assault. I'm not saying he's guilty or innocent, but it's just another thing I won't have to worry about by not owning him.
If you love Lynch and think I'm crazy, tell me below. I'm always down to talk fantasy football.href="http://fantasyfootballpros.org/best-fantasy-football-team-names-2014/" data-color-override="false" data-hover-color-override="false" data-hover-text-color-override="#fff">Button Text
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.
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