Dynasty owners who were stubborn with their investment in Toby Gerhart look like they will finally reap the rewards in 2014. Gerhart is out from behind the enormous shadow of the all-world Adrian Peterson in Minnesota and is poised to be the main ball carrier and running back option out of the backfield for the Jacksonville Jaguars. While, Gerhart patiently waited for his chance to shine, many dynasty owners had given up on him even though he put up very respectable numbers when given the chance for the Vikings.
Robert Turbin owners are in an even tougher situation in Seattle. Not only is Turbin behind the rock-steady Marshawn Lynch, but he has the next Adrian Peterson, Christine Michael, leaving tread marks on him as he flies past him on the depth chart. I have seen some Turbin owners become disillusioned with his future prospects when all they ever hear is how good Christine Michael is going to be. I’m here to say stay strong brothers of Turbin ownership.
You are going to have to play the long game with Robert Turbin. Turbin is signed cheaply though the 2015 season in Seattle, and is too valuable to the Seahawks as a pass catching option, who can pass protect. While those skills are appreciated in Seattle, they may be even more appreciated somewhere else in 2016.
What does Turbin have going for him in 2016?
There are a ton of 27 year old and older starting running backs in the league right now.
Jamaal Charles 27
Matt Forte 28
Adrian Peterson 29
Marshawn Lynch 28
Chris Johnson 28
Ryan Mathews 27
Toby Gerhart 27
Reggie Bush 29/ Joquie Bell 27
Rashad Jennings 29
Maurice Jones-Drew 29
Frank Gore 31
Pierre Thomas 29
Arian Foster 27
Steven Jackson 30
Ray Rice 27
Not only are there a ton of older running backs at the back end of their productivity, but there are a couple of teams that are unsettled at the position.
Patriots- Is Ridley over his fumbling issues? Can Shane Vereen make it through a season healthy?
Cardinals- Can Andre Ellington carry the load?
Dolphins- Knowshon Moreno is probably a stop gap if he even starts. Lamar Miller has not shown mcuh in his two seasons.
Redskins- Does Alfred Morris fit the new offense? Are Lache Seastrunk or Roy Helu able to be three down backs?
Robert Turbin will be 26 as an unrestricted free agent in 2016 when NFL teams may just be primed to pick up a young veteran who can play all three downs.
Turbin is a very strong and talented running back. He just happens to be joined in the Seahawks backfield with two studs. Here’s a highlight video of his rookie season from YouTube. Careful it’s NSFW. Watch without sound if you are at work or offended by curse words in songs.
Turbin’s size and speed stack up well against two running backs in Carolina, that he could eventually replace. Here’s a chart from MockDraftable.com that shows his Combine Stats and how they rate against other running backs.
One more thing he’s got going for him, that actually means next to nothing in football skill terms, is he has the biggest biceps on a running back since Thomas Jones or Eric Bieniemy.
Things that are not in his favor:
-Robert Turbin does not have the pedigree that Toby Gerhart did coming into the NFL. Gerhart was a Heisman Trophy runner up, to Mark Ingram, and won the Doak Walker award as the best running back in the country his senior year at Stanford University. Turbin was a small school running back, Utah State, and was drafted 106th overall in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Where you’re picked and where you went to school don’t matter after you’re in the league, but if you don’t shine in your chances and really create an impression that you’re an NFL starter caliber running back then you have an uphill battle when it comes to getting a chance to start in free agency.
-The 2015 NFL draft class looks like it will be loaded with talent at the running back position. While running backs may not ever go as high as Trent Richardson just a few years ago, they still dominate from the second round on as NFL teams try to stack talent in their backfields.
Karlos Williams Florida State
Todd Gurley Georgia
TJ Yeldon Alabama
Melvin Gordon Wisconsin
and at least for or five more backs that could be drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round.
-There are young backs behind some of the old guard around the NFL that may be able to step into a lead back role.
NYG-Andre Williams or David Wilson
BLT-Lorenzo Taliferro or Bernard Pierce
SD- Marion Grice
My Final Thoughts on Robert Turbin’s dynasty fantasy football outlook:
I’m not trying to sell you on the fact that Robert Turbin will eventually be a top ten fantasy football back in any format. I’m just trying to sell you on the fact that there is an opportunity in Turbin’s future to become a valuable piece in your dynasty fantasy football team. I think he’s more talented then Rashad Jennings and Jennings looks to have grabbed the starting job in New York, at least for the time being, and he’s younger and more talented then some running backs that other people have ranked ahead of him.
So…..if Turbin happens to be dropped in your dynasty league scoop him up and carve out a nice spot on your bench that may pay off decent dividends in 2016. If you can sneakily include him in a potential trade acquisition where you are set up at the running back position for the next two years then do it!