The Raiders added Marshawn Lynch to their backfield this offseason, and he will replace Latavius Murray as the starter. But DeAndre Washington will still play a prominent role. He will likely compete with fellow second-year running back Jalen Richard for playing time, which is what happened in 2016 when Washington had 87 carries for 467 yards (5.37-yards per carry) and two touchdowns and 17 catches for 115 yards. Lynch will likely get carries on first and second down and work at the goal line, but there will be chances for Washington and Richard this season. And we like Richard slightly better than Washington as a Fantasy option, although it's close. We would only draft Washington with a late-round pick in the majority of leagues.
Washington had four carries for 14 yards in Saturday's preseason game against the Rams. After Marshawn Lynch made a brief appearance on the opening drive, Washington played the next two series and then handed things over to Jalen Richard, who had three carries for 18 yards while finishing out the first half. Washington has worked ahead of Richard through the first two weeks of the preseason and much of training camp, but there's a good chance the two backs will split whatever touches Lynch leaves behind. The backup work likely will include passing-down snaps, which should work to Washington's advantage.
Washington had five carries for 16 yards in Saturday's preseason opener against Arizona. With Marshawn Lynch held out, Washington started and got the first carry, but he then split work with Jalen Richard -- who had five carries for seven yards -- throughout the rest of the first half. Washington and Richard are battling for the No. 2 spot, though there's a good chance they end up splitting the backup work, just as they did last season behind Latavius Murray. Washington seems to have the slight edge in handcuff value at this stage.
Washington has been getting the Raiders' second-team reps at running back during training camp, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Washington and fellow second-year tailback Jalen Richard have jockeyed for positioning on Oakland's depth chart since entering the league. Last season, it was behind Latavius Murray, but Marshawn Lynch figures to occupy the Raiders' starting spot this time around. While that caps his fantasy upside, the fact that he's edging Richard early on is still encouraging. In 14 games as rookie, Washington averaged 5.4 yards per carry en route to 467 rushing yards and two scores, adding 17 catches on 23 targets for 114 receiving yards.
Washington is "a lot more comfortable" at this time of the offseason than he was last year, but will still need to compete for playing time, Raiders.com reports. Washington is slated to split backup duties at running back with Jalen Richard once again, but this time they'll be positioned behind veteran newcomer Marshawn Lynch on the depth chart. Washington racked up 467 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just 87 carries in 14 games throughout his rookie campaign, but Richard displayed a great deal of elusiveness and remained involved in the high-flying offense as well. It'll be tough for either depth option to emerge in terms of consistent fantasy production, while rookie Elijah Hood could also vulture short-yardage carries when Lynch is off the field.
The Raiders may view both Washington and Jalen Richard as complementary backs in need of being paired with a power runner, The San Jose Mercury News reports. With Latavius Murray officially out of the picture, Washington and Richard -- both rookies last season -- are left atop the Oakland depth chart in some order. While both players easily topped five yards per carry last season, they struggled when an injury to Murray forced them into larger roles. Luckily for the Raiders, there are still some interesting power backs available in free agency, not to mention the upcoming draft. If the team surprisingly decides not to make any notable additions, Washington and Richard likely would battle for the starting job in training camp. The more likely scenario is a committee backfield featuring Washington, Richard and an offseason addition.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/17||New York Jets||15||17.00|
|6||10/15||Los Angeles Chargers||26||19.88|
|7||10/20||Kansas City Chiefs||17||17.59|
|11||11/19||New England Patriots||9||15.26|
|13||12/03||New York Giants||7||14.88|
|14||12/10||@Kansas City Chiefs||17||17.59|
|17||12/31||@Los Angeles Chargers||26||19.88|
|3 Year Avg||87||467||2||17||115||0||69|