The Oakland Raiders will not have the talents of Marshawn Lynch for Sunday’s meeting with the Buffalo Bills, and they will need Jalen Richard to step in and fill the void. Richard split carries with DeAndre Washington in Week 7 after Lynch was ejected from the game in the second quarter for roughhousing an official. Richard finished the night with nine carries for 31 yards and four catches for 45 yards. The second-year rusher had only one more touch than Washington in the contest but outproduced his teammate by 36 yards on the night.
Richard will not have an easy go of it in Buffalo Sunday. The Bills have the second-best defense in the NFL and play very well against the run. They do have some weaknesses in the passing game, however, and they’re vulnerable against rushers who can catch out of the backfield. Richard is the best pass-catching running back on Oakland’s roster.
Fantasy impact: Richard is fantasy relevant for two reasons. One, Lynch is out and he will get the start. Two, the Raiders will likely pass a lot this game and he has more big-play abilities as the better catcher out of the backfield. Unfortunately, he also has a strong chance of struggling against the Bills this week. The Bills are going to shut down the run, and that means Richard will have to compete with a crowded receiving core. He has potential, and during a tough bye week period, desperate owners may want to give Richard a look. Still, they should not expect much from Richard in Week 8.