Chris Warren: A Buy Candidate In Dynasty?
With the news that Isaiah Crowell suffered a season-ending knee injury, the competition for backup running back in Oakland is wide open. Jalen Richard is the incumbent but his usage in 2019 suggests that Jon Gruden and his coaching staff think of Richard as almost solely a change of pace back. Chris Warren is more likely, to me, to serve in a “grinder role” that Gruden has favored in the past.
Chris Warren III was a backup running back in college, playing three seasons at the University of Texas while recording 204 rushing attempts, 23 receptions and 1,392 total yards with 15 touchdowns. His college profile isn’t really that different from Josh Jacobs in its totality but it doesn’t make him a “prospect”. Warren would have been a non-prospect who we expected to get cut had he not played so well in the 2018 NFL Preseason. If you play preseason DFS, you definitely already know who Chris Warren is.
According to JustBlogBaby, an Oakland Raiders blog, “Warren had a strong start to his preseason, racking up 86 yards on 13 carries against the Detroit Lions, and having his best outing in the second week of the preseason, going for 110 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams.”. Warren likely would have split time with Doug Martin some in 2018 had he not succumbed to a season-ending knee injury in the preseason.
What most interests me about Warren is that his agility score of 11.16 is elite for a running back who plays at almost 250 pounds. His slow 40 time is actually IDENTICAL to Josh Jacobs who plays at 30 pounds lighter than Warren. Of course, there is basically no chance that the Raiders pull a Seattle Seahawks and bench their first-round rookie running back for a UDFA but I do think that if Jacobs were to miss some time, Warren could fill in just fine. Given that Warren ran well in the preseason, Jon Gruden seems to like him and that there is a real gap at backup running back for Oakland, Warren is a really ideal add candidate in dynasty leagues. The price has obviously gone up for him the last several days but I would think a third-round rookie pick could get it done and that is a deal I would make.
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