Not much has gone right for the Oakland Raiders over the last few seasons. They traded nearly half the farm for Carson Palmer to stay there only two seasons. Darren McFadden gets injured almost every other week. They selected JaMarcus Russell with the first pick at the 2007 NFL draft. There are more but you get the point.
I think they got something right this week when signing Marcel Reece to a three year contract extension. Reece was arguably the best back in Oakland last season. When McFadden went down last season, Reece came in and proved worthy of being a starter. He finished 2012 with 52 receptions, 767 all purpose yards and a Pro Bowl selection, not bad for a backup pressed into starting duties.
I wrote during the preseason about Reece being one of the top running back handcuffs, with this new deal, the handcuffs are off and Reece will certainly become more featured in the Oakland offense.
Terrelle Pryor doesn’t have many other options. McFadden is still a threat, but he is closer to the RB2 group than he his RB1. McFadden will remain one of the few names circled on the boards of opponents, and most will let anyone but McFadden and now Pryor beat them. That leaves Denarius Moore, who is quick, but has hands of stone. Rod Streater shows promise, but is still learning. Reece gives the Raiders a solid piece they can build around, why would they not increase his workload? He can catch the ball out of the backfield, he has the power to run through some defenders, and he has the moves to make some miss.
I’m not saying he is now a RB1 who will win you your league, but clearly with McFadden in the final year of his contract the Raiders don’t have plans to bring Run DMC back. I expect Reece to start seeing a bigger role in the offense.
If you own McFadden, you absolutely need to have Reece on your fantasy bench. If you don’t own McFadden, scoop up Reece anyways. Given the favorable schedule this season and McFadden’s propensity to get hurt, it is only a matter of time before Reece is the guy getting 20+ touches each week. That sounds like a solid case to have him in your RB2 or flex spot if you ask me.
As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.
Read more from Dustin here.