The Oakland Raiders are not only down wide receiver Amari Cooper following his trade but have also placed running back Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve. In turn, this leads to both Doug Martin and Jalen Richard seeing extended work for the foreseeable future. In the eyes of many fantasy football players, jumping at the chance to land Martin was the first move, understandably.
But with the Raiders struggling quite a bit this season, the question has to become when they could potentially turn things at running back over to the younger Richard. One thing we know is that it won’t happen in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts. In turn, Martin should receive his fair share of work and finds himself in the mix as a potential starter for many fantasy football owners.
Let’s take a deeper dive into Martin’s situation, and evaluate whether he’s a start or sit in this matchup.
Should You Start or Sit Doug Martin?
The Colts have allowed 164 attempts for 669 rushing yards, along with 49 receptions for 384 receiving yards and four total touchdowns to running backs, per ESPN. On paper, this is a fine matchup for Martin, but the lack of touchdowns the Colts have allowed to the position is somewhat concerning.
One other key area which jumps out is that the Raiders seem to consistently find themselves playing from behind. If this proves to be the case, we’ll likely see quite a bit of Richard, who’s out-snapped Martin 51 to 11 percent in Week 5 and 40 to 10 percent in Week 6, per Football Outsiders.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict game flow and how the Raiders will look in this game, so you have to base it off the expectations for both players. Regardless of how you look at it, Martin and Richard will both see a larger workload, and the veteran’s projected touches alone make him an option in fantasy football. He should handle the bulk of early-down work which was previously given to Lynch.
I think Martin is a fine flex play in 12-team leagues and is in play across the board in 14-team leagues or above.