Fantasy Football Projection: Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders Helmet

Derek Carr has done his level best to puzzle fantasy owners over the first four seasons of his NFL career. The quarterback suffered through a rocky rookie campaign before bouncing back with excellent seasons in 2015 and 2016. Carr profiled as a favorite in the fantasy community ahead of 2017 as a top-tier sleeper to join the ranks of Rodgers, Brees, and Brady, but the young gunslinger faltered. His 2017 campaign looked like a throwback to his rookie year as he managed only 22 TD and 3500 passing yards over his 15 starts. Still, there’s a new wave of hope in Oakland based on the additions of receiving threats like Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant. The duo will unite with Amari Cooper to form a formidable complement of weapons for Carr to utilize along with tight end Jared Cook and running backs Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch. Carr will be fantasy relevant, likely finishing Top 10 and he should be more than affordable in most drafts as a later pickup.

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Speaking of Martin and Lynch, we have the makings of a legit battle for carries in the Raiders backfield. Lynch returns as the starter and his ability to contribute in the passing game is an edge over Martin. A major concern for Lynch is his age and mileage at 32 years old and over 2300 career carries. Martin is an ideal fit as a grinder who can take some of the early down work and help close out games to keep Lynch rested. Versatile back Jalen Richard will likely help out on passing downs giving the Raiders a full rotation of fresh, healthy backs. Lynch is the guy to draft here but be careful about expecting starting RB value out of him. Both Martin and Lynch are RB2’s if the other should get hurt.

Mentioned above is the return of Cooper who is coming off a horrific year where he amassed only 48 catches or 680 yards after putting 70+ catches and 1050+ yards in each of his first two seasons. Part of the issue was injuries as Cooper played in only 14 games and never seemed quite right for most of the season. Cooper will see some extra protection in the passing game with the arrival of Nelson and Bryant. Nelson’s ability to be a dependable possession man and Bryant’s big play skills will open up a lot of single coverage for Cooper. All three receivers should find plenty of room to work as long as Carr can deliver.  Wrap in Jared Cook at tight end and you have a very talented group who should all find themselves on fantasy rosters. Cooper and Nelson are WR2 caliber pickups, Bryant is a WR4/bench stash and Cook is a suitable starter at TE in all formats.

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2018 Projections:

NAME POSITION CMP ATT PASS YD PASS TD INT RU YD RU TD
Derek Carr QB 360 570 4100 30 15 60 1

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Doug Martin RB 135 545 4 15 125 1
Marshawn Lynch RB 165 630 6 25 215 2 1
Jalen Richard RB 60 255 1 30 245 1

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Jordy Nelson WR 80 1070 8
Amari Cooper WR 75 1025 6
Martavis Bryant WR 55 700 4
Seth Roberts WR 25 260 1
Jared Cook TE 55 645 4
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Ben Stecker

Ben Stecker

Author SportsTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
Writer, sports connoisseur, Pacific Northwesterner. Rarely met a sport I couldn't be great friends with. Follow me on twitter @Softball_Guy
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