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Jalen Richard (RB, OAK) - Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14-Team PPR Leagues

OWNED IN: 7% of Leagues

ANALYSIS: Despite a rock start to the year, Jon Gruden and Derek Carr have certainly found ways to effectively deploy members of the Oakland backfield. While "Beast Mode" has managed to bulldoze his way past opponents this year for 300 rushing yards and three touchdowns, Jalen Richard has made a sizable impact for the Raiders without hardly taking a carry. Richard has managed just 25 rushing yards on eight carries through four games this year: hardly worth a second look. However, he has accumulated an impressive 152 receiving yards from 18 receptions out of 23 targets this season. Even more significant, when excluding his absence from the passing game during week two from consideration; Richard averaged six receptions out of 7.67 targets for 50.67 receiving yards per game.

The promising news is that this proclivity of Derek Carr's to find Richard in the passing game of late appears to be the direction that the Oakland offense is trending as opposed to being results of individual game circumstances, as Marshawn Lynch has accumulated six receptions out of eight targets over the last two weeks, though for a significantly lower total of receiving yards (49). Lynch is obviously the Raiders' main red-zone threat at running back, and Carr has options in the passing game ahead of Richard, but don't count him out of the red-zone conversation. So far this season Richard has seen one target in the red-zone (coming inside the opponent's ten-yard line) while he has grabbed eight balls in ten targets for 75 yards between the opponent's 49-20 yard line. So while he takes a back seat to Lynch in terms of scoring opportunities, his high frequency of use in opponent territory lends credence to the idea that he will find the end-zone as a passing-game asset soon. Now that he appears to have jumped head-first into the Theo Riddick-role for an Oakland offense that seems determined to utilize their running backs from the air, Jalen Richard is an interesting option in deeper PPR leagues.

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