If there's one thing I've learned the past couple year, it that predicting Doug Martin's good years are near impossible. Or is it? Matting has been consistently inconsistent. The infamous muscle hamster tends to go off every 3 years. Can you guess what year this is? Dougernaut part 3 is on the horizon, and it might be the best since his rookie season.
Now slow down before you hurl hate comment after hate comment. There is more to this bold take than a mere trend. Let's look at the case. Over the offseason Martin was cut by the Bucs. He proceeds to go to Oakland where he gets an improved O-line and QB. However, another ancient RB stands in his way: Marshawn Lynch. What's worse is Lynch was actually sneaky good last year. Nonetheless the countless high-upside young running backs on the depth chart. Martin might not even make the cut.
Nonetheless, let's say he does. Gruden has been loading Oakland's offense with veteran talent. Perhaps he doesn't have faith in the Raiders youth. That leaves Lynch as the only veteran ahead of him.
I don't expect Lynch to lose the starting job. What I think will happen is Lynch gets hurt. After all, he's 32 years old and one active season removed from one in which he struggled with injuries. Not to mention he has over 2,600 career touches to his name. Per an article from numberfire.com, RBs tend to drop off after accumulating 1,800 carries.
Lynch showed he was already starting to drop off prior to retiring. While away from the game he had time to rest up. Allowing his body to recover for a decent season in Oakland last year. With no break year to help this time around, he might not hold up so well. All it takes is one, unfortunate injury to happen for Martin to become the starter.
An interesting case indeed considering Gruden is the coach. In his past jobs he has typically used committee. However, 8 of 11 teams Gruden coached had a RB rack up 40 or more catches. In Martins good years, 2012 and 2015, he averaged 41 catches. In addition, receptions will only bring him more yardage, much like Grudens other RBs. Hence explaining why Grudens also had a RB reach 1,000 yards 10 times (Richards 2018).
Therefore if Doug gets the starting role it wont matter if hes sharing with the likes of Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. All he needs is to surpass Lynch to feast from the touch buffet Gruden will bring to Oaklands running backs. When Doug is fed and happy, so are fantasy owners. Grab him as a lotto ticket in the last round of your draft and let him sit there till week 7 at least. Theres a legitimate chance he goes off this year. A potential RB1 with your final pick sounds fantastic to me.