On The Decline
Michael Turner is coming off an impressive 2011 campaign, where he rushed for 1,340 yards and 11TDs. So why am I doubting the runner heading into 2012? Well, he is 30! Everyone has heard about the 30-Year-Old Running Back Theory, which suggests that a running back declines in production at the age of 30…. but how accurate is it? Find out here.
Michael Turner Is 30 Years Old
When looking at most all of the elite fantasy football rushers of the past, only Curtis Martin, Priest Holmes, Emmitt Smith, Eddie George, Corey Dillon and Thomas Jones truly excelled at, or over, the age of 30. In fact, only Martin, Smith and Jones were able to excel at 31, but the bottom line is that most runners have that last elite season at 28 or 29… This means that the odds are stacked against Turner heading into 2012 (his 30-age season). Shaun Alexander ran for 1,880 yards and 27TDs during his 28-age season, but then he dropped off the face of the earth at 29… he didn’t even make it to 30. The great LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 1,110 yards and 11TDs at 29, but after that season, LT2 never sniffed 1,000 yards rushing again. Not every runner even makes it to 30 while still playing at that elite level… the list goes on and on, so check out the article.
The one thing Turner has going for him is that he really didn’t get a chance to get starter carries until the age of 26, so it’s possible Turner ends up becoming one of the very few outliers that have dominated at 30 years of age. That said, my advice is to roll with the numbers and the numbers suggest that Turner is most likely done as a 1,000-yard, 8TD back. Could he squeeze out 1,000 yards? Sure, but even then, the touchdown production won’t likely be there, and the cost is not worth the risk (given his current ADP is in that 3.01-3.04 range)… I recommend avoiding the running back at that cost. My advice is to grab an A.J. Green, Julio Jones or even a Brandon Marshall, all of which also have third-round redraft ADPs.