According to FantasyPros, Alfred Morris' average draft position is 10th overall, and ninth among running backs.
Why such a high average draft position for Morris? Why on earth not? He ran for more yards than any other running back not named Adrian Peterson in his rookie season, proved capable of being trusted with over 300 touches and also plays on a high-scoring, run-heavy offense. When defenses line up across from the Redskins offense and have to pick their poison—Morris or Griffin—Morris is the lesser of two evils. As a result, Morris has had the benefit of facing vulnerable defenses, but even when he didn't, he still thrived in the Redskins backfield.
He's a bruising back who never shies away from contact, again ranking below Adrian Peterson in yards after contact and just four yards behind Tampa Bay's Doug Martin, according to Pro Football Focus. Additionally, Morris' average of 3.0 yards after contact ranked fifth in the NFL. Whichever way you slice it, Morris picked up yards on the ground, and motored his way to being a top-five running back in standard fantasy leagues in 2012.
So what about 2013? There's not much to suggest Morris can't have another great season anchoring the Washington backfield, but like everything in Washington, much will depend on the health of Robert Griffin III. If Griffin is his usual self, Morris numbers could be on par with what we saw in his record-setting season last year. If Griffin is to miss some time and defenses key more on Morris, then I'm still not overly concerned. Morris' yards per carry may take a hit from his gaudy 4.8 mark from a season ago, but because the Redskins are such a run-heavy team and because Morris is a proven bell-cow, his volume will compensate for a diminished average.
For fantasy purposes, Morris reminds me a lot of when Michael Turner first came to the Falcons, and even how Arian Foster stands now in the fantasy world. Even if they don't blow you away with highlight reel runs—and that's not to say Morris doesn't or can't—they are pretty much automatic for 20 to 25 carries and at least 90 yards each week. Morris' volume makes him a high-floor fantasy back as well as a high ceiling one, and because of this, he is absolutely worthy of his high average draft position, especially in standard scoring leagues. Expect another big year for Mr. Plow.
Rushing Projections: 315 carries, 1,420 yards, 4.5 yards per carry, 11 rushing touchdowns.
Receiving Projections: 10 receptions, 74 yards, 0 touchdowns.Follow @PFF_Dan