Fantasy Football

Do Not Draft Marshawn Lynch in Fantasy Football 2017


Marshawn Lynch was a beast. The dude was a virtual lock to finish in the top five at his position while he was running with the Seattle Seahawks. And while there is still a chance that he possesses some of that same ability now, the likelihood is much lower than it was just three years ago.

Lynch is currently going 21st overall in fantasy drafts, according to Fantasy Football Calculator. That puts him at the back end of the second round, where you are still drafting the cream of the crop. At 31 years old, this is a ridiculous price to pay for a one-trick pony.

Do Not Draft Marshawn Lynch in Fantasy Football 2017

Why Are People Drafting Him So Early?

Latavius Murray and Reputation

First of all, let’s take a look at why so many drafters are taking Marshawn so early. He is currently the 11th running back off the board, which is absurd. The biggest reason for this is what former Oakland running back Latavius Murray was able to do the past two seasons. In 2015 Murray finished as the RB11 and in 2016 he finished as the RB13 despite. Plus, Murray ran for 12 touchdowns this year in a very good offense.

So with Lynch, the optimists would say that Oakland added a better back, and should have an even better offense. Theoretically this could be true. The ceiling for Lynch with this offense allows a legitimate shot at 20 touchdowns. So if the Oakland offense could lift Murray to back to back top 13 finishes and 12 touchdowns last year, why can’t Lynch do the same thing?

Why You Should Not Draft Marshawn Lynch

Embed from Getty Images

Usage and Touchdown Dependance

Yes, Murray nearly finished as an RB1 for two straight seasons in this offense. However, there is reason to believe that the workload for Lynch will be less that what Murray received. Last season, Murray only got 195 carries. So the main reason he finished at No. 13 was because of his 12 rushing touchdowns.

First, there are already signs that Lynch will also fail to crack 200 carries. The Raiders have two effective change of pace backs in DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. Despite playing fewer snaps than Murray, the two caught more passes combined. In addition, Oakland will not be straying away from those two on passing downs.

Also, touchdowns are awfully unpredictable. The best thing a running back can give a fantasy owner is opportunity, and if Lynch does not get a large workload, he will have to score to produce fantasy points. A player like LeGarrette Blount looks great at the end of the year. But when you look at his week to week consistency, he finished outside of the top 20 running backs in 6 weeks last season. Lynch is going to play a similar role that Blount played for the Patriots last season, relying on touchdowns to carry him through.

He’s Old As Dirt… In Running Back Years

Lynch is now 31-years-old. Now, this is normally a red flag for a running back who is coming off a great season – let alone a guy who is coming off the couch. Not only is Lynch now 31, but he is coming out of retirement. The last time we saw Lynch in 2015, he ran for 3.8 yards per carry through just seven games before getting injured. Hence his early retirement.

It remains a positive argument that he took the year off to recover, but I would argue the opposite. Taking a full season off at the NFL level could be extremely detrimental to his body. At 31 and more than 2.000 carries, his body is unlikely to hold up over the course of a full season.

His Price Is Outrageous

If Marshawn was going as the No.20 running back, then maybe this article is completely different. But he’s not. Lynch is being drafted at the end of the second round!

At his current ADP, he is being drafted ahead of Amari Cooper, T.Y. Hilton, Lamar Miller and Doug Baldwin. All of whom are guaranteed touches and carry much less risk. In 2016, only one of the top 12 running backs had fewer than 225 carries. And all but one had over 1,000 yards on the ground. The exception to this, Melvin Gordon, also received for over 400 yards, which is something that Lynch has never done and will not do in Oakland.

So in order for Lynch to return his current draft price, he will need at least 200 carries and over 1,000 yards. This, in an offense that revolves around Derek Carr and his dynamic wide receivers. As well one that uses two talented pass catching backs in Richard and Washington.


Embed from Getty Images
Lynch is 31 years old and coming off of retirement. He is entering a good situation, but the red flags with backfield competition and a light workload are real. At the end of the second round we should be targeting players with guaranteed workloads and a low range of possible outcomes.

Lynch checks neither of those boxes at this draft position. At his best, he is a touchdown dependent LeGarrette Blount type. Right now drafters are showing that there are only 10 running backs that they would rather have, which is ridiculous.

Lynch is shaping up to be a low-floor, low-ceiling player. As the 11th running back off the board, he is being drafted at his ceiling rather than his floor.

2017 Fantasy Football Position Previews
QuarterbacksRunning BacksWide ReceiversTight Ends

For more F6P preseason coverage please visit our 2017 Draft Kit section.

Don't Draft Marshawn Lynch in 2017 Fantasy Football

About Trent Smith

I am a huge sports fan, and even bigger fantasy football addict. After competing in fantasy leagues for a number of years I decided to get into the industry myself as a writer.

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.