Oakland Raiders 2016 Preview

Oakland Raiders 2016 Preview

2015 Season Review (7-9)

2015 Pass Attempts 605 – Rank: 14th
2015 Rush Attempts 370 – Rank: 29th
2015 Total Offensive Plays 1,008 – Rank: 24th
2015 Yards Per Play 5.3 – Rank: 23rd

Last Season, Derek Carr drove fantasy owners crazy, and he’s burst out of the gates with a 105 QB Rating through the first 8 Weeks of the Season. After that however, he struggled mightily down the stretch. When he’s on his game, the Raiders offense is fun to watch. He’s one of the most talented young QB’s in the league, however, and when he’s off his game, he’ll drive you crazy. That all being said, entering his 3rd Season in 2016 and his 2nd full year with Amari Cooper, I’m expecting big things from Carr and the Raiders Offense this Season.

For DFS Purposes, I will mention this. If you’re planning on using Carr, try to use him Early in the Season as his first five games are much easier (on paper) than the rest of the schedule afterwards.

Their Offense is going to be led by 3 of the best young players in the league, with veteran WR Michael Crabtree being the old man of the bunch. (QB) Derek Carr, (WR) Amari Cooper, (HB) Latavious Murray and (WR) Michael Crabtree should be on your radar week in and week out this year for DFS. All four of these guys are going to be viable in all formats. Although, I would tend to avoid using Crabtree in cash games. Murray is a great cash game running back, especially in PPR leagues because he catches a lot of passes out of the backfield. Carr and Cooper will be a highly owned stack/combo nearly every week, so, from a game theory perspective, it might be wise to fade them in large field GPP’s when you think their ownership will be high. As with most young players, if you invest too heavily in them you are going to get burned from time to time. As I said earlier however, I’m expecting, Carr, Cooper and Murray to take that next step this year, and really turn the corner as a group.

Oakland is no longer a laughing stock in the AFC West as they have a solid offense with a young core of players that could take them to the top of this division.

If you’ve read everything above, you should already know that I’m on the OVER on the 7 game win total set by Vegas early on. I believe the Raiders have a legit shot to win the AFC West this year, for all of the reasons I stated above. The Silver and Black is Back!!!

Oakland Raiders Depth Chart
  1 2 3 4 5 6
QB Derek Carr Matt McGloin Connor Cook      
RB Latavius Murray DeAndre Washington Marcel Reece Taiwan Jones George Atkinson Jamize Olawale
WR Amari Cooper Michael Crabtree Seth Roberts Andre Holmes Max McCaffrey  
TE Clive Walford Mychal Rivera Lee Smith Gabe Holmes    
K Sebastian Janikowski

The Core by xBenJamminx

The Raiders are coming into the season with their Big 3 Core being relatively young and athletic, should have progression from last year.

The Silver and Black has a good looking young squad with Derek Carr and his 32 Touchdowns in 2015 leading the way. He ranked top 10 in Pass Attempts (573), Pass Touchdowns (32) and Interceptions (13). He was just under 4,000 Passing Yards in only his second year playing. They have a very tough schedule this year though, on all fronts. Even though Amari Cooper is the WR1 here, Michael Crabtree led the team with 146 to Amari’s 130, playing the same amount of games. I expect this to change a bit, but it’s worth noting that they were both in the top 20 in total targets. The difference between them is Crabtree had 85 receptions compared to Amari’s 72. But Amari had six 40+ yard plays, opposed to Crabtree’s zero. Amari Cooper is the bigger play maker and should come into his own even more this year. I’m really looking forward to seeing Latavius Murray have another good season, this kid is big and he runs hard. He had 6 games with 5 or more targets and led the league with the largest % of workload, handling 72% of all of the Raider’s rush attempts for 2015. There were only 5 other RBs in the NFL who were over 60% of POW. After averaging 16.6 rush attempts per game for over 1,000 yards in 2015, there’s nothing holding him back from putting up similar workhorse numbers. His longest run of the year was 54 yards and with only putting up 6 TDs last year, I believe he can bring that number up, depending on how the Raiders operate in the red zone this year. One person that could come out of nowhere is TE Clive Walford who is like a big wide receiver. He catches the ball with his hands, snagging it instead of letting it come to him. He’s 6’5 250, strong, athletic and versatile; I see him playing a big role down the stretch.

Cash Thoughts: The only thing that worries me here is the schedule. Since I’m speaking in generalities for the most part anyway, let’s assume they’re playing a league average team. I like the Derek Carr to Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree as a QB/WR1 or QB/WR2 stack. I used both of these last year but actually saw myself gravitating towards Crabtree more of the time because of the constant targets he was getting, and I play more DraftKings NFL which is PPR. But Crabtree also scored 9TDs to Amari’s 6. I would use Latavius Murray as a standalone option in a good matchup here but it would be hard to get me to pair QB/RB here in cash.

GPP Thoughts: You can go any direction with this core and still be GPP viable. The amount of targets the WRs receive and the % of Workload we see from Latavius Murray, they could all be viable options. I personally would be looking for the cornerback matchup and make a decision on one of the WRs and go QB/RB/WR or go with both WRs with QB/WR1/WR2. We have to wait and see what happens with Clive Walford but he may end up playing a big role in the offense and would certainly become an option to mix in.

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