Fantasy Football: Don’t Abandon Ship in Michael Turner

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by Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)

Heading into this fantasy football season and after Week 1 of the season, most managers were down on Atlanta Falcons running back and overall work horse Michael Turner.

The fact that Turner is now the cursed age of 30 years old and playing running back made managers worry and his three out of the last four seasons carrying the football over 300 times didn’t help matters. Apparently those worried managers didn’t noticed that he had over 1,300 yards in each of those seasons for the Falcons.

In a game where Chris Johnson goes from rushing for 2,000 yards in 2009 to 700 less than that the following year, Turner has been one of the most consistent backs out there. He has proven time after time that he has the ability to reach the 1,000-yard mark since joining Atlanta and that he knows how to get into the end zone.

Since coming over to the Falcons from the Chargers in 2008, Turner has posted 51 touchdowns over four seasons including the one he posted last Monday night. That’s more than Johnson, Steven Jackson and Ray Rice over that time period.

The other noticeable concern on Turner was the supposed new role that Jacquizz Rodgers would play in the Falcons offense. The second-year backup running back has totaled 10 attempts for 25 yards over the first two games of the 2012 season.

In those same two games, Turner has logged 28 attempts for 74 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Given, that comes out to 2.6 yards-per-carry which isn’t exactly ideal, but it’s clear that he’s still the same work horse that he’s always been for the Falcons based on his attempts.

The Chicago-born rusher has had some minor struggles to start his 2012 campaign but he’s proven over his NFL career that he’s nothing short of reliable in his production.

The Falcons do have some rather sexy weapons in the passing game like wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones but that doesn’t make the run game a non-factor in their offensive approach.

Even in Jones’ impressive rookie season where he had almost 1,000 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, Turner still posted 1,340 yards on 301 attempts with 11 trips to the end zone.

In the American justice system, you are innocent until proven guilty. In fantasy, I believe you treat the elite players until they are proven to have fallen off. Don’t expect Turner to do anything but keep on trucking along as this season goes along.

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