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Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, More Fantasy Outlook After Marshawn Lynch's Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2018

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 16:  Running back Doug Martin #28 of the Oakland Raiders carries the ball against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter of a game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on September 16, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders suffered a blow when head coach Jon Gruden revealed Marshawn Lynch is suffering from a groin strain, The Athletic's Vic Tafur reported Tuesday.

The Raiders have a bye in Week 7. Should Lynch's injury carry through beyond that, Doug Martin, Jalen Richard and Co. will have to step up in Beast Mode's absence.

In the wake of Lynch's injury, fantasy football owners were likely scrambling to check on the status of Martin in their league. If he was available, he immediately became a must-add.

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opted to save $6.75 million in cap space by releasing Martin during the offseason, it's important to remember the veteran is a two-time Pro Bowler. He has two 1,400-yard campaigns through his first six seasons. However, inconsistency has plagued him to this point and thus made him expendable in Tampa.

Martin's career trajectory is a good sign for Oakland. The 29-year-old has gone through two cycles of a 1,400-yard performance followed by two 400-yard seasons; if history repeats itself, he is due in 2018. 

For those looking to cash in on points per reception, Martin may not be the best option. After catching 49 passes as a rookie, he has averaged just 16.2 receptions over the last five seasons, including a career-low nine last year.

Through six games, Martin has caught four passes for five yards.

Meanwhile, that opens the door for Richard to see more snaps in passing downs should Lynch miss time. Richard has piled up 56 catches for 450 yards and three touchdowns in his first two years in the league.

His role in the passing game has grown in 2018. He has 31 receptions for 253 yards.

Perhaps more importantly for Richard, the former undrafted free agent has proven he can pick up yards in bunches. He has averaged 5.5 yards per carry and 8.0 yards per reception thus far. He was the team's most-targeted back last year.

As Pro Football Focus noted, nobody was better than Richard at picking up yards after contact just two years ago: 

Pro Football Focus @PFF

Jalen Richard was extremely effective in limited time as a rookie https://t.co/uNAqr7Abjb

While his yards per carry dropped last season, he did pick up 9.5 yards per reception in 2017.

DeAndre Washington figures to be Oakland's third option on the ground with undrafted rookie Chris Warren still on injured reserve. Washington has yet to make an appearance this season, so he's not worth much of a look in standard leagues.

Martin's fantasy value figures to soar if he has to move into the starting role. He has proven in the past that he can be a featured back, picking up yards on the ground as well as finding the end zone. On the other hand, Richard figures to be the classic boom-or-bust PPR back for fantasy owners. He has a knack for picking up chunks of yards at a time, but he is most valuable catching passes out of the backfield.

Depending on availability, both Martin and Richard could be worth a look if Lynch has to miss time.

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