Why so much Fantasy hate for Michael Turner?


BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner had the third most rushing yards in the NFL last season. Photo by: David Smith / Flickr

With Fantasy Football quickly approaching, it’s not a surprise to see NFL player rankings all across the wide world web.

From the experts themselves, Fantasy managers will be bombarded with a plethora of information on who to take in the first rounds of their respective drafts. Some will say, Tom Brady is a lock for MVP this season; while others are betting Maurice Jones-Drew will have a repeat performance of an incredible 2011 season. So how much are we supposed to buy into these early predictions?

From my experience, stay on your own and just go with your gut. I let the analysts from ESPN, Yahoo Sports! and even Twitter dictate too much of my draft last year, which resulted in me selecting Houston Texans running back Arian Foster with the No. 1 overall pick and later trading him straight up for Jamaal Charles, who tore his ACL in Week One.

Why did do this? Because the analysts told me so. Everyone was scared of Arian Foster’s legs. And while it did have him sidelined for the first few weeks, his return was nothing short of spectacular. So I’ve decided not to listen to the so called experts when it comes to draft time this Fantasy Football season, especially when it comes to running back Michael Turner of the Atlanta Falcons.

There has been a handful of reports about how the burner’s flame has extinguished at age 30. I’m simply not buying that for one reason and one reason only — consistency. Once Turner was acquired and finally given a starting role by the Falcons, he literally took the ball and ran with it. Turner has rushed for at least 1,300 yards in three of his last four season, which doesn’t include the 2009-2010 campaign when he played in just 11 games because of an injury.

The 5-foot-10, 250-pound speedster has also reached the endzone at least 10 times during the past four years and recorded 17 touchdowns in his first season with the Dirty Birds in 2008-2009. Turner also averages an impressive 4,5 yards per carry and about 82 yards per game, which not a lot of backs can do. If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to Turner it’s his ability to perform week in and week out.

There’s not a lot of safe bets when it comes to Fantasy Football. Sure, there’s superstar quarterbacks who can give you 30-plus points every week, but the running back and wide receiver positions are usually unpredictable. One week it looks like Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the NFL and the next he’s average. I do not believe this to be the case for Turner. When I select running backs, I’m looking for consistency and he’s one player who can provide it. After all, he was the third best rusher in the game last season. It’s crazy how none of these main stream bloggers can remember that.

Now, Turner may have his off weeks, but even than it seems like the burner has at least 80 yards on the ground and perhaps a touchdown. A lot of his recent critics believe he is irrelevant in the passing game, but last season was in fact his most productive when it comes to receiving stats. The guy also doesn’t fumble, which in some leagues can lose you points.

Now I’m not saying draft to draft Turner in the first round. He used to be worthy of that slot, but don’t dodge him because he’s running out of gas. If he has proven anything to Fantasy Owners it’s that he is worth your running back No. 2 spot or even a No.1 because he’s not going to go out and have a bad game. It might not be the greatest, but mark my words, Michael Turner will give you at least 12 points in every one of his starts.

So don’t worry about Jason Snelling or Jaquizz Rodgers, swooping in to take over the Falcons’ starting running back spot. Turner is a way better running back than those two. I know that only time will tell, but besides elite quarterbacks, Turner may just be the safest bet in your Fantasy Football Draft.

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2 responses

  1. I agree the hate has gone too far on Michael Turner. I was / am a little concerned that the Falcons will try to work in Rodgers eventhough Turner is better, but he will be the goaline back and should still get carries to run out the clock. Hit me back @fantasyfumble or fantasyfumble.com.

    June 27, 2012 at 9:57 am

    • Rodgers may have some hidden talent we haven’t seen. But I will be drafting the burner as my No. 2 running back for sure. Also, feel free to use this post on your website with proper attribution. Maybe we can build a relationship of sharing content / podcasts. Your thoughts? Thanks for the like, add and comment. Your guys’ site is legit. Keep it up!

      June 27, 2012 at 11:10 am

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