Follow the Author: @Thee_CurtMaGurt
Ahhh yes, the Oakland Raiders, the trendy pick to actually do something in the NFL this year. What is weird about that statement is that it has a decent chance to happen. The Raiders have long been one of the NFL’s lowliest of teams but after a few strong draft choices, *cough* Khalil Mack *cough*, this is a team that looks capable of contending very soon. The question remains though how does this Raider team stack up from a fantasy perspective? Quite well actually.
Let’s start at the most logical place, the quarterback. Derek Carr is entering his third season as the Raiders QB and is coming off a very impressive sophomore season. Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles may be getting a lot of love for the strides made in his second season but Derek Carr is also worthy of some praise here as well. David Carr’s baby brother finished the year with 3,987 Yards, 32 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Those are fantastic numbers and if Carr can repeat those numbers you are looking at a potential QB1. Carr certainly warrants a pick in the latter half of your draft, and could end being a great player, especially if…
Amari Cooper continues to develop the flashes of brilliance he had during his rookie campaign. Cooper was the team’s first round pick last year and did not disappoint, putting up 1,070 yards and 6 TD’s. Cooper will be primed to take a bigger step forward this year as his relationship with Carr continues to grow. The Alabama product is probably a third round selection and he shouldn’t hang around much longer than that. The other wide receiver option on the Raiders is Michael Crabtree. Crabtree’s career looked like it was dead in the water after leaving San Francisco for Oakland but moving across the bay turned out to be one of the best decisions he’s made. “Crabs” had just under a thousand yards but hauled in 9 TD’s this past season. While the TD numbers could drop this year, Crabtree would make for a great WR2 or FLEX option.
Then there is Latavius Murray, who, while inconsistent, is a home run threat for the Raiders. He was a fantasy darling in pre-draft rankings last year but has seen his hype die down this year. That is not to say Murray is not a good back, but he has his ups and downs in the running game and does not score too many TD’s (only 6 last year). Murray is still worth picking in the third or fourth round due to the lack of top backs in the NFL this year.
The Raiders will have a slightly harder schedule this year because the managed to not finish in last in the AFC West but it is not overly hard and could they could be involved in some high scoring games.
QB Derek Carr; RB Latavius Murray; WR Amari Cooper; WR Michael Crabtree