2017 Fantasy Football Preview: Oakland Radiers

Michael Kelley

I have been playing fantasy football since 1991. My first draft I had the first pick and the first player I ever drafted was Randall Cunningham. I remember that because he broke his leg in the first series of the season. Since then I have been hooked on fantasy football and I have not and will not ever draft a QB in the first round again.

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2016 Fantasy Recap

The Oakland Raiders were having a magical season in 2016. They were cruising to the 12th win in week 16. They were a lock for the playoffs, they were firing on all cylinders, and then boom their star quarterback breaks his right leg effectively ending all hopes of a Super Bowl run. The Raiders ground game was not great but it was good, with the help of one of the leagues top offensive lines. They had one of the top wide receiver tandems in the NFL. Their defense might have been their weak spot, which was in the lower half of the NFL in all categories. But it seemed their offense was good enough to overcome their spotty defense. Can you revive their 2016 magic in 2017? Time will tell.

 

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Key Additions and Losses

Additions:

Losses:

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Quarterback Fantasy Outlook

Derek Carr had a super season. His yards were a little low at 3,937, but he had 28 touchdowns to only six interceptions was awesome. Had he played the whole year he would have been a top eight quarterback. So can he come back from his broken leg and be the same or even better quarterback than he was last year? I think so. He is entering his prime, they still have an excellent offensive line, they still have their top wide receivers, and with the addition Marshawn Lynch their running game should be improved. Carr should finally break through the 4,000-yard mark this year and I can see a touchdown total in the low 30’s. Despite missing the one plus game he still managed to finish as a QB1. Currently Carr is going in the sixth round and I think that is a little high for him only because from about QB8 through QB16 the difference could be pretty marginal, last year it was a little over one point per game, so taking a QB that falls in that range in the sixth round is a little too early for me when you can get just as good in the 10th round. That is not a knock on Carr, but rather an acknowledgment of how deep the quarterback position is.

Grade: A-

Running Back Fantasy Outlook

I am so excited to see Marshawn Lynch, aka Beast Mode, back in action. Beast Mode and I have been through a lot together. I drafted him ahead of Adrian Peterson in a dynasty league their rookie year. We struggled early, but when he went to Seattle we won three championships out of his five full years there. My man crush is still in full gear. So you have been warned that this review might be a little bias. Beast Mode will run for 2,000 yards. There I said it, I don’t mean it though. I do think he will have a very good year. I think he can still run and this might be the best o line he has run behind. I see him going for at least 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. I mean come on Murray got 12 touchdowns last year. Beast Mode will only come out when he wants to, they will not be saving him for anything. This is a one year shot at the Super Bowl. Making all other running backs next to worthless in Oakland. You could make a case Jalen Richard in PPR formats, but it is not a great case because I don’t think the Raiders will be asking Beast Mode to catch too often. DeAndre Washington will be the backup to Beast Mode and will only come in when the Beast lets him. Currently, you can get Beast Mode in the third round which will be a steal if you can do that, he will give you top 10 numbers at the running back position.

Grade: B+

Wide Receiver Fantasy Outlook

When it comes to the Raiders receiving corp it really is just two guys, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Those two accounted for 52% of the passing yards and almost 30% of the receptions. They had 89 and 83 receptions respectively and no other Raider went over 40 receptions. I do not expect anything to change this year either. Cooper and Crabtree will dominate in the passing game again and both guys will finish as high WR2 with Cooper having the potential to be a mid to low WR1. Cooper is getting drafted in the 10 – 14 range and Crabtree is getting picked up in the mid third round. Both spots are appropriate considering the return you will get from them. The only other receiver you can make a case for is free agent pick up Cordarrelle Patterson, and that case can only be made if you get return yardage points and it is a 16 team league. If you don’t get return yardage points and it’s not a deep league I would not waste my time on drafting him.

Grade: A

Tight End Fantasy Outlook

Clive Walford gave the Raiders 33 receptions for 359 yards and three touchdowns. Not exactly what you want from a starting tight end. So the Raiders went out and added Jared Cook. Generally speaking I like the deal, but I the problem with Cook fantasy wise he always seem to have one or two really good games early in the season leading everyone to think that he is finally going to live up to his hype from six years ago and then proceeds to tease you the rest of the year and never coming through especially when it counts. Any way you cut it don’t get fooled into taking a flyer on Cook. There are a lot of far more reliable tight ends out there and just let someone else deal with all the busts for the so few booms.

Grade: C

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Defensive Fantasy Outlook

The Raiders were in the bottom half of all major team categories last season on defense. They have not improved nearly enough to make a big enough change on defense. Do not draft them, do not waste your time, outside of a game against the Jets in week two, I am not sure they are worth a start any week.

Grade: D

Michael Kelley is a member of the Going For 2 team. You can check out his website Dynasty League Problems for more writings or find him on Twitter @mikekelleydlp spreading fantasy knowledge for the masses.


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I have been playing fantasy football since 1991. My first draft I had the first pick and the first player I ever drafted was Randall Cunningham. I remember that because he broke his leg in the first series of the season. Since then I have been hooked on fantasy football and I have not and will not ever draft a QB in the first round again.

Michael Kelley

I have been playing fantasy football since 1991. My first draft I had the first pick and the first player I ever drafted was Randall Cunningham. I remember that because he broke his leg in the first series of the season. Since then I have been hooked on fantasy football and I have not and will not ever draft a QB in the first round again.

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