While the prospects for the Raiders winning several more games before the year is over seem bleak, Reece’s outlook as a productive fantasy option is looking bright.
Following injuries to Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson last week, Reece took over the starting spot in the backfield and led the team in both rushing and receiving yards. This week, CBS Sacramento’s Ryan Leong reported both backs will be sidelined again.
Reece gained 103 yards on 19 carries while also catching four passes for 90 yards. Unfortunately for fantasy owners bold enough to play him last week, he did not get into the end zone.
But those who hesitated on playing him last week can feel confident about including Reece in their lineup as flex option.
Oakland is taking on the Cincinnati Bengals, who have allowed the 11th most fantasy points to running backs in ESPN leagues this season. This is not an especially tasty matchup for the Raiders' running back, but it is also one that shouldn’t cause fantasy owners much concern.
Any Raiders' rusher should be evaluated with nothing more than cautious optimism as the team currently ranks 30th in rushing yards. However, Oakland also ranks seventh in passing yardage—tenth in total yardage.
Reece is involved in both the passing and the running game. Between his 19 carries and five targets against the Saints, he has proven he can be successful as an integral part to the offense.
Fantasy owners should continue to worry about Reece finding the end zone, as the Raiders rank 22nd in points per game. This is concerning enough to leave him out of the lineup in leagues without flex spots.
However, few second-rate receivers and running backs will be as involved with their team’s offense as Reece will be on Sunday.
If the Bengals stack the box, Reece will likely get receptions as Palmer’s check-down option. If Cincinnati chooses to back off the line of scrimmage, the 6’3”, 240-pound back will be productive as a rusher.
Fantasy owners who have Reece on their roster would be wise to have him in their lineups this weekend.