One of the biggest questions surrounding the Oakland Raiders revolves around just how much Marshawn Lynch will be utilized running the ball. Based on the crazy amount of fans flocking to buy his No. 24 Raiders jersey, people are expecting big things from Beast Mode.
Based on what Raiders beat writer Jimmy Durkin of the San Jose Mercury News wrote in his training camp preview, he might be utilized far less than you imagine.
“The depth at running back means he won’t have to shoulder a huge load,” Durkin wrote. “Something in the range of the 195 carries Latavius Murray had last year should suffice, perhaps less if both Washington and Richard see an increase.”
That’s kind of an eye-opening scenario. Throughout his career, Lynch has generally been a workhorse. In his 10-year career, only two seasons ended with Lynch below the 200-carry threshold. Though, it’s worth pointing out he’s no spring chicken any more, either, at the age of 31.
Furthermore, the Raiders have Super Bowl aspirations. And there’s no better way to keep Beast Mode in peak form than by keeping his workload down during the regular season. Chances are, the Raiders will have plenty of firepower offensively even if he’s only toting the rock 10-15 times per game.
On a different note, Durkin’s prediction about Lynch’s workload means fantasy football owners will need to really be careful about overdrafting the veteran back.
At this point, it appears he might be more of a complementary player than many realize. Though, based on what we’ve been seeing and hearing about this offseason he’ll be primed for some big games, too.