Posted by Andy Rioux
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 10:35pm
It has been over 10 years since the Raiders had a winning season and when teams struggle, roster turnover is a constant. Fullback Marcel Reece is one of the few players who has been a Raider Nation regular in recent years. With many modern fullbacks doing nothing but blocking, Reece bucks the trend as an accomplished runner and receiver. Despite his unique skill set, previous Raider regimes have only made Reece a lead back in times of emergency. Will a new staff actually try to get more out of Marcel?
Statistics are overblown in many cases, but when someone rushes for 103 yards and catches five passes for 90 yards (as Reece did back in 2012 against New Orleans), it is evidence they can handle a starring role. History has shown that if circumstances break right, Reece can be a very helpful in-season acquisition or daily fantasy contributor.
The good news is new head coach Jack Del Rio and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave like to run the football. The bad news is Oakland is grooming Latavius Murray as their new feature back, with Roy Helu playing in passing situations. The Raiders also unwisely signed Trent Richardson over the summer. While Richardson may not make the final roster, the tag team of Murray and Helu looks promising. In other words, pretty much the only place you will see Reece play is at fullback. And with Helu and new receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on board, there will not be many passes for Marcel. He caught 52 passes in 2012, but will not approach that total in 2015.
Now 30, Reece's long-running outside chance at becoming Oakland's number one back is pretty much over. If something shocking happens and he becomes an integral part of the offense (even for just a game or two), try to add him to your roster. His problem is utilization, not a decline in play.