Marshawn Lynch will be a top 10 running back in fantasy for the 2017 season.
Now that I have your attention let me break down why Marshawn Lynch will be a top 10 running back this upcoming season.
Beast Mode will be a true RB1 this year to many people’s surprise. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard will be nice change of pace backs in this offense but any thought of them posing a legitimate threat for Lynch’s job, or even creating a Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman situation, is completely unwarranted. This is Lynch’s job to lose and he will be granted all of the red zone opportunities at the very least. That alone is a very valuable notion as the Raiders figure to be in the red zone a lot with their high-powered offense.
As far as draft positioning goes he should be a late 2nd round pick or early 3rd. If someone in your draft wants to reach in the first round to get him let them but if he is still around late 2nd or early 3rd smart owners should pounce on Beast Mode for the following reasons:
Red Zone Looks
Take a look at Latavius Murray last season, he had a subpar final yards mark, only 788, but he had 12 touchdowns. These touchdowns are a direct representation of the offense, not Murray, as he garnered 43 carries within the ten-yard line. Compare this to a very similarly used Marshawn Lynch in 2014 when he had 13 touchdowns on 40 carries within the ten-yard line. Point being this, regardless of the change of pace roles that both Washington and Richard will undoubtedly have Lynch will get the majority of the red zone looks on a great offense. I’m predicting another 1,000 yard rushing season for Lynch and at least 10 touchdowns if he’s on the field all year. Beast Mode has a lot to prove but with the offense in place on the Raiders, he will hit pay dirt more often than not next season. Let’s just hope if Oakland gets in a playoff game and there on the 1-yard line they learn from the Seattle Seahawks, and give the ball to Skittles.
The Oakland Raiders O-Line is Legit
Ranked 4th by Pro Football Focus in overall performance this unit is going to open up a lot of holes for Lynch to walk right through. This unit is extremely efficient allowing the fewest sacks in the NFL last season (18). In addition, the whole cast appears to be returning ready to go this offseason, (Osemele, Hudson, Jackson, Howard, and Penn). With a group this talented, Rodney Hudson, Donald Penn, and Kelechi Osemele were all Pro Bowlers, it seems to be the perfect storm for Marshawn Lynch to return to his previous dominance.
The Adrian Peterson Effect
Many doubters will look towards Marshawn Lynch’s age as a red flag but completely ignore the fact he took last year off. His body will be fresher than it has been in years if he has prepared properly giving him a chance to duplicate what the suspended Adrian Peterson accomplished in 2015.
This break at the verge of 30 made Adrian Peterson ready to fire in 2015 but the buzz wore off by 2016 as father time had seemed to catch up to Peterson.
This leaves Beast Mode in that same bubble of youth Adrian Peterson was in after a year off the field. Peterson rushed for 1,485 yards in 2015 and in Beast Mode’s last full season he rushed for 1,306. I fully expect Marshawn Lynch to approach these numbers once again. He will be fresh and hungry to prove he can still be a premiere NFL runner.
Beast Mode is back in Oakland
If nothing else will motivate Marshawn Lynch to produce this year it will be the fact that he’s back home. Lynch has made it no secret that the only reason he is back in the NFL in the first place is because the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas before the 2019 or 2020 season.
This means he wants to put on one last show for his hometown and Marshawn Lynch will do just that. He is finally in front of his hometown fans, and not to mention on a competitive team. With all the stars aligned to make this the year of Marshawn don’t be surprised if we see similar numbers to his old days in Seattle, at least for this season.