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100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 44: Marshawn Lynch Isn’t a Top 10 RB

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Last year, I wrote an article on why I won’t own Marshawn Lynch in any leagues. If you substitute “2014″ into that article, it still pretty much sums up my thoughts on Lynch:

There’s been a lot of rotoViz content written on Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, but I have him ranked so unimaginably low that I had to chime in on a running back who I think is the most overrated consensus first-rounder that I’ve ever seen. Shawn Siegele has already suggested that Lynch is a strong sell, citing his drop in yards after contact, while Frank DuPont notes that Lynch is overvalued.

There’s Risk, But Where’s the Reward?

What happens if Wilson gets injured? Lynch’s value would instantly plummet; there’s probably not a back in the NFL, save Alfred Morris, whose play is so tied to the health of his quarterback. You already have to worry about running back health as it is, so the fact that Lynch would likely see a dramatic decline in efficiency if Wilson gets injured just makes him a bigger risk.

And then there’s Lynch’s age. He came into the league at a young age, so Lynch is “only” 28, but that’s still pretty over-the-hill for a running back. In my book Fantasy Football for Smart People: What the Experts Don’t Want You to Know, I researched historic running back production by age. Below, I charted the results by fantasy points per touch.

RB Percentage of Peak Production

You can see that running backs are basically as efficient as they’ll be from the moment they step on the field, and it’s a slow decline from there. Total production peaks in the mid-20s (because backs typically see heavier workloads), but again, Lynch’s workload is priced into his ADP.

Because of these numbers, I’m rarely ever higher than the consensus on an older running back. The only time that’s the case is if the back’s situation has changed dramatically and it isn’t properly reflected in his ADP.

I currently have Lynch rated even lower this year in my 2014 Draft Package.

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