The Patriots didn't have a true bell-cow tailback with Josh McDaniels running their offense in New England. McDaniels is likely to apply the same approach in Las Vegas to his offense.
Vic Tafur from TheAthletic.com took a closer look into the Raiders' tailback options. The new regime made an earlier decision to not exercise Josh Jacobs' fifth-year option (pictured), which is less surprising considering McDaniels' use of running backs.
Matchups are often the driving force behind it. It is often driven by game plans. One week, one running back becomes the central point. It could be another man. It could be a combination of more than one.
This approach will confuse fantasy owners. It will require maximum buy-in from all the options available to the position. They must put in the effort and wait for their chance.
Jacobs, Kenyan Drake and Brandon Bolden are the top names on this depth chart. Ameer Abdullah is fourth-rounder rookie Zamir White is also prominent.
Tafur points out that former coach Jon Gruden saw Jacobs as a bell cow back. McDaniels believes that there is no bell and there can be interchangeable cows based on their approach with the Patriots.
This keeps labor costs low at the position and no one becomes a star player that will fetch big money. This is important considering the amount of money spent on the passing game. Receiver Davante Adams recently signed a market-level extension and receiver Hunter Renfrow recently signed a healthy extension. Tight end Darren Waller also deserves a major upgrade.
McDaniels's past experiences with running backs (if applicable to Raiders) will also be of great value to fantasy and wagering purposes.
Damien Harris had 202 rush attempts last year, which netted him 929 yards and 15 touchdowns. Rhamondre Stephenson had 133 carries, for 606 yards. Each player averaged 4.6 yards per attempt.
Bolden only had 44 rush attempts but led all running backs in receptions with 41. Harris had 14 receptions, while Stevenson had 18.
Harris had 137 rushes in 2020 -- almost matching Cam Newton's total of 137. Sony Michel was the first to carry the ball 79-times, with Rex Burkhead bringing it home 67 times. In 2021, only one of these four players was on the roster.
McDaniels will not ignore the running game, but it won't just be one man's show. There's also a possibility that many names and faces could change from one year to another.