Michael Turner has clearly slowed down toward the end of each of the past two seasons. A ProFootballTalk.com post today detailed just how great the discrepancy between Turner’s early season and late season performance has been.
In 2011 Turner started out averaging 5.57 yards per carry but over the final 7 games of the season he averaged just 3.38 ypc, and that includes a 17 carry, 177 yard game against the Buccaneers in the season finale. He saw his 2010 YPC numbers go from 4.88 to 3.57 as the season wore on. Falcon’s running back coach Gerald Brown said the team is going to monitor Turner’s reps more closely in hopes of keeping him fresher later in the year.
FFToday.com projects 278 carries for 1,113 yards and 9 TDs for Turner. See their RB rankings HERE.
CBS still believes that Turner should be a low end RB1 for fantasy owners in standard scoring leagues. They say look for him in Rd 2 in standard leagues and Rd 3-4 in PPR leagues.
FANTASY FOOTBALL SPIN
Turner may be a bit undervalued heading into drafts. There are a couple of ways to look at this. If the Falcons do indeed limit Turners workload that could have positive effects as the season progresses (including the all important fantasy playoff weeks). If Turner does get around 275 carries he’s still a mid to low end RB#2 in Falcons offense that scored the 8th highest points last season (25 PPG) . Obviously he has lower value in PPR leagues, but news of a potential decreasing workload could lead to Turner falling further than he should and at some point he will represent too good a value to pass up.
Right now his ADP on FantasyFootballCalculator.com is 32 overall (#17 RB off the board). If we were to see Turner fall a little further and drop into the 4th round in PPR leagues – he becomes very attractive. Sure, he may barely get you double-digit receptions, but he will get you a lot of touches and likely sominate goal line touches. It’s unlikely that he’s going to get less than 275 carries (topped 300 carries the past two seasons) and he’s almost a lock for double digits in touchdowns. It’s worth noting that last season was his best ever in the pass catching category where he posted 17 catches for 168 yards and 2 TDs.
Jacquizz (that’s a ridiculous first name) Rodgers is the guy you should be looking at as Turner’s handcuff at this point. Even if Turner stays healthy you will likely get the benefit of 115-135 touches from Rodgers as the Falcons look to keep the 30 year old Turner burning hot well into the playoffs.