Joseph Randle (RB) – Rookie

07/11/2013 8:57 pm by in Rookie Spotlights

dallas cowboys

Looking for a fantasy handcuff that may have an impact this year? Dallas Cowboys’ 5th round pick Joseph Randle may very well be your guy. The Oklahoma State product is used to carrying the load, with his 6’0″ 204lb frame, and was featured as the goal line running back while in college.

In fantasy football, touches and opportunities is what makes a player worthy, as well as what that player does with those opportunities. The last two seasons in Dallas, DeMarco Murray, their current lead back, averaged 21 touches per game (rushing and receiving). In the games he has played since becoming the starter in 2011, Murray has averaged 16.3 fantasy points (PPR) and 13.0 (non-PPR) per contest.

The problem with Murray has been his injury issues. In 2011, he missed all but the last four games of the season due to injury. Last year he had a 6-game stretch where he was unable to suit up. He also struggled with some different injuries in college as well while at Oklahoma. This is not good. We may be witnessing the next Darren McFadden here guys. Sure he can produce when he’s on the field, but how often will that be?

So at some point, when we figure Murray goes down again this season, next man up is none other than rookie back, Joseph Randle. Last season he averaged over 23 touches per game while at Oklahoma State. His last two seasons, he averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Sure this is against much weaker defenses than he would be facing in the NFL, but it still says something for a workhorse RB to stay above 5.0. On top of that, he also found the endzone 38 times–not bad, not bad at all.

The Cowboys have made a fair attempt to revamp their offensive line this year with 1st round draft pick Travis Frederick (center/guard), and with Phil Costa (center) coming back from injury, along Bill Callahan taking over offensive coordinator duties, the running game should be much improved from a year ago. Murray also has this year and next to prove he can be the man, as well as stay healthy, otherwise, as we’ve seen in the past with Dallas RB’s (ahem, Felix Jones), when your rookie contract runs out, and you can’t stay healthy, your time has run out as well.

Bottom line: the Cowboys has proven to move from one younger back to the next–Julius Jones to Marion Barber to Felix Jones, and now to DeMarco Murray. All of these backs played well their first 2-3 years before their time in Dallas came to an end. Look for Joseph Randle to continue this tradition, and maybe even starting in his third year, and playing much more anticipated in even his first year as an NFL running back. He could prove to be a very good dynasty back for those willing to wait a year or two.

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