Should you draft Marshawn Lynch at his ADP?
In his inaugural season in Black and Silver Marshawn Lynch not only did fulfill a childhood dream of playing for his hometown Raiders. He provided an efficient run game that the Raiders desperately needed. In his 15 games in 2017 he received 207 carries and went for 891(4.3ypc) yards adding 7 touchdowns. Along with being targeted 30 times and catching the ball 20 times to the tune of 151 yards. According to NFL.com he finished as the RB17(RB2) scoring 144 points in 2017. He added a spark and personality that the backfield was lacking but does he deserve a spot on your fantasy teams backfield?
The Raiders hiring of Jon Gruden and a 2yr/9mil dollar restructured contract guaranteeing beast mode 2.35m with a chance to make up to 9.25mil with incentives. The move all but locks up Lynch until he hangs them from street lights one last time. This signing also crystalizes some of his uncertainty coming into the season. The Raiders plan to utilize Lynch early and often, which is the only way he can sustain throughout the season. Last year through weeks 1-8 Marshawn only carried the ball 72 times for 266(3.8avg) yards and caught only 3 balls for 28 yards while scoring two measly touchdowns. However through weeks 9-17 bye week included Marshawn was given the ball 135 times and produced 625 yards (4.6avg)adding 5 touchdowns and was 6th overall in rushing in the NFL in weeks 13 through 17. The Raiders would be wise to work Lynch into the offensive flow quickly. In comes Jon Gruden.
As a head coach Jon Gruden was primarily a pass first play caller. From 98-08 he averaged 56% pass plays but never exceeded 59%. He believes in his Qbs but understands in order for them to succeed the RB needs to be utilized. Gruden was a committee guy since the beginning of his career incorporating pass catchers, bruisers and fullbacks in his committee. Gruden also ranked top 15 in rushing yards six times as a HC but only two of those RBs topped 1000 yards in one season. Throughout his career his reception distribution also favors RB production equating to 32% of all receptions. Now with a grasp of Gruden’s offensive philosophy, lets switch sides of the ball. Defensively Gruden was a mastermind of his day. Namely, in keeping points off the board. In his eleven years as a HC he place top 10 in points allowed 8 different years. When a defense can keep a game in reach the offense is not forced into pass heavy situations creating for a bit more opportunity for Fantasy players to get points. Lynch is in a spot to succeed, although he is not a primary pass catcher he commands the backfield until further notice. Doug Martin, Deandre Washington and Jalen Richard have done nothing to garner any more touches than they already have. Now, if he belongs on your team is a different question.
Lynch projects out to be between the 5.10 - 6.03 range in standard leagues and 6.1-07.02 in ppr leagues. According to fantasypros.com projections Lynch is expected to :
This is just slightly better than what he did in the last 8 games of the season in 2017(above).
Should you draft Marshawn Lynch at his ADP? Yes.
Lynch is an upside RB2 currently being selecting as RB#28 in consensus rankings.
As a Head coach his lead running back averaged 24.5 carries a game and this kind of role plays into Marshawn’s style. He wants to hit people over and over. I believe Gruden inherited the HC to incorporate a fast pass offense coupled with a power running back to chug out the dirty yards behind a line that rated #8th overall and are projected to also finish #8th overall according to Pro Football Focus grades. All signs point to Beast Mode repeating a RB2 finish and drafting him out of that range should be a no-brainer now.
Stay Tuned for more positional Raiders rankings.