Card: Sage HIT 2013
Acquired: 2015, Target Autograph Memorabilia
Latavius Murray is a prospect as intriguing as his name suggests. At 6’3″, 230, he can run the 40 4.38 seconds but he tumbled to the 6th round of the 2013 draft. Due to a perceived lack of experience, Tay Train rarely saw the ball, carrying a grand total of 307 times, thanks in part to the presence of UCF quarterback Blake Bortles, who rightfully saw the bulk of the action. In his senior season Murray finished with 1,106 rushing yards and 19 total touchdowns.
His rookie season in 2013 ultimately ended in disappointment as injuries sidelined him for the majority of the year. He was then buried on the depth chart behind Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden. It’d be in week 11 that Murray finally got his chance to shine on the NFL stage. He finished the 2014 season with 82 carries for 424 yards (5.2 ypc) and 2 TDs.
Latavius was considered a sleeper pick in many fantasy leagues entering the 2015 season. I attempted to snag him in my league fantasy draft but missed out by two picks. He ended up having a solid campaign, rushing for over a 1,000 yards to go along with, 6 TDs, and 42 receptions. His best game came against the New York Jets in which he rushed for 113 yards on 20 carries, to pace the Raiders to a 34-20 victory.
Card: Sage Hit 2013
Acquired: 2014 BB, Target Autograph Memorabilia
Longhorn Kenny Vaccaro punctuated his college career at Texas by being made a first round choice of the New Orleans Saints in 2013. He logged 231 total tackles (158 solo/73 assists), 14 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions, and 24 pass defensed. With a good overall set of athleticism, loose hips, and strength, Vaccaro was seen as a starting caliber safety in the NFL.
The Saints porous defense was going through transition with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan trying to retool the defensive backfield. Kenny fit right in playing nickle, strong, and free safety. He’d start 14 games for the team nabbing 62 tackles, 1 sack, 7 pass defensed, 1 interception for 29 yards, and 1 forced fumble. He was considered a rising star in the young defense. In 2014, the Saints played him at both free and strong safety, but with the team having a difficult season, Vaccaro was benched after 13 games. While the team values his aggressive play, the double-edged sword was his caliber of recklessness. Vaccaro finished his season with 51 tackles, 5 pass defensed, and 2 picks for 45 yards.
I don’t grab the Target Autograph Memorabilia as much as I had in the past because of the lack of names that I had been pulling from them, but wow, I got a nice hit out of the Target grab bag with this one. Another member of Texas DBU down.
Card: Sage 2013
Acquired: 2014, Box Breaker
A boom or bust product since he blew up the college scene, Cordarrelle Patterson was one of the top ranked recruits in the country. Forced to hone his skills at the JUCO level, he again emerged as the top ranked JUCO product and transferred to Tennessee for 2012. Stepping into the starting lineup he blew by opposing offenses as a receiver, return man, and runningback, shattering school records for all-purpose yards, and SEC marks for combined kick and punt return average.
Considered a raw talent due to his lack of true college experience, his underwhelming blocking skills, and difficulty managing physical cover men, Patterson ended up being the 29th pick of the first round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Cordarrelle had a strong rookie season as an electric play maker for the team, stepping in and replacing former incumbent wide receiver Percy Harvin’s all-purpose role. Patterson would record the longest TD in NFL history on a 109 yard kick off return, and was the first player to have a 100+ yard kickoff, a 75+ yard TD catch, and a 50+ yard TD run in one season. He finished his rookie season with 1,393 yards on 43 kick returns, an impressive 32.9 yard average, and 2 TDs. Cordarrelle also contributed 12 carries for 158 yards and 3 TDs on the ground, while catching 45 passes for 469 yards and 4 TDs. Although many fantasy websites were abuzz with Patterson as the hot sleeper name from the 2013 season to own, Patterson’s 2014 was plagued by inconsistent play.
Still Patterson shows proven value on the market as the Texans inquired about his availability after the Vikings traded for receiver Mike Wallace during the 2015 off season.