By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Transaction: The Oakland Raiders sign RB Doug Martin to a 1-year deal
2018 Fantasy Outlook: Remember the days when the Muscle Hamster, or Dougernaut, was a fantasy standout every other year? If it feels like a distant memory, that’s because it was. His rookie season saw him with a RB2 finish in fantasy, behind only Adrian Peterson. He ended the year with over 1,900 total yards — 1,454 rushing — and 12 TDs. He wouldn’t have another productive season until 2015 when he again rushed for over 1,400 yards and finished as RB6. Then came the injuries and suspensions and the migraines. The migraines belonged to us.
It’s no wonder the Bucs finally decided to part ways with Martin two years after signing him to a lucrative five year contract. It didn’t take long for Martin to latch on with another team however, signing a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders. The part I and many others are wondering: how does Martin fit in with Jon Gruden’s offense? They have Marshawn Lynch as their lead back and a pair of standout pass catchers in Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington to handle third downs. Martin is adept in the passing game, with 49 and 33 receptions in his two top 10 fantasy finishes. Will he steal playing time away from the Mighty Mites? Or is he the 4th RB on the roster, giving Lynch the occasional breather on 1st and 2nd downs?
I’m not going to pretend to know what Martin can do in Oakland. My uneducated guess is nothing more than 50 carries for around 200 yards and a touchdown. That’s with a healthy Lynch. Lynch isn’t someone who has a long history of injuries but he’ll be 32 when the season starts and one never knows how a 30+ year old RB respond to 200+ carries in a season. I’ve never been one to promote a handcuff to a stud running back. That’s all Martin is in 2018. If Lynch gets hurt, Martin will hold some value. Then you remember that Lynch finished as RB24 in 2017 and Martin isn’t Lynch. Maybe he returns top 30 value, but he’s a frustrating FLEX play at best in the event of a Lynch injury. Draft at your own risk.