by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We already know that Marshawn Lynch will miss Week 8, as he has been suspended for one game (barring him winning his appeal). That leaves the Raiders with a committee of DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard heading into a matchup with the Buffalo Bills. The question is, will either of them emerge as a viable fantasy option for the coming week?
Neither were particularly productive running the football against Kansas City after Lynch’s ejection:
- DeAndre Washington – 9 carries for 33 yards (3.7 YPC) and 1 TD
- Jalen Richard – 9 carries for 31 yards (3.4 YPC)
They were both targeted 4 times in the passing game, with Richard racking up 4 completions for 45 yards while Washington managed 3 catches for 7 yards. None of those numbers are going to blow you away or make you think that either one will be the better play.
If you look at the season numbers it would be Richard who is having the better year, totaling 311 yards and 1 TD on 47 touches (Washington has 127 yards and 1 TD on 37 touches). He’s been the more dynamic runner, even more than Lynch, averaging 4.5 yards per carry on the season and making the most of his opportunities to catch the football (12.8 yards per carry).
Does that guarantee anything? It does not, and the fact that the opportunities were split evenly in Week 6 tells us that. You also get an extremely difficult matchup against a Buffalo defense that’s limited opposing running backs all season long.
If you had to roll the dice and take the gamble we’d lean Richard. That said there are too many factors working against him:
- Uncertain touches (could Oakland go hot hand, as opposed to a true split, or pass heavy once again)
- Difficult matchup
At best he’s a low-end FLEX play, but in most cases this is going to be a situation to avoid in Week 8.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
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