For your fantasy football draft prep and advice, continue to check on this page for updates regarding the Oakland Raiders.
Jack Del Rio will remain in the AFC West, but has shifted over to coach the Raiders. Rio's specialty is defense, so he's hired Bill Musgrave to handle the offense. Musgrave was the QBs coach in Philadelphia in 2014. His Eagles averaged 29.6 points per game (third-most). Prior to that, he was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota for three seasons, including the year that Adrian Peterson rushed for over 2,000 yards. If he can combine that run attack with a fast-tempo offense that produces points, look out.
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Bye week: 6
Rookie impacts: Amari Cooper (WR)
In his final season with Alabama, Cooper caught 124 passes for 1,727 yards (13.9 yards per catch) and 16 touchdowns. He will enter camp with lofty expectations and the chance to become the No. 1 receiver in Oakland.
Quarterback: Derek Carr
In 2014, Carr was 19th in passing yards with 3,270. He threw for over 300 yards once last season and it was against the Browns. Even with his improved weapons I'm bullish on the young QB. In my rankings, Carr is my QB27.
Running back: Latavius Murray
In a Thursday night game against the Chiefs, Murray burst onto the scene. He rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns…on four carries (28 yards per touch). It was with that fourth, and final, rush attempt that Murray received a blow to the head and left the game with a concussion. He returned three weeks later, but failed to reach the 100-yard plateau or find the end zone for the remainder of the season. The NFFC (National Fantasy Football Championship) lists Murray as the 20th highest drafted running back. I placed him around the same spot (RB21).
Running back: Roy Helu
Murray might start with the running back job, but he has two players waiting in the wings. Helu is most dangerous when he catches the ball out of the backfield. In a limited role, Helu caught at least 30 passes in three of the last four seasons. It will be interesting to see how Helu and fullback Marcel Reece coexist when it comes to receptions. Reece made 37 receptions on 59 targets for 265 yards. Trent Richardson will also be introduced into the mix. TRich has failed to make an impact in Cleveland and Indianapolis. However, it only takes a couple injures for Richardson to become relevant.
Wide receiver: Michael Crabtree
Cooper will likely be the team's No. 1 option, but Crabtree's stock will improve with his new club. He caught 68 passes in his final season with San Francisco. Crabtree's new quarterback, Carr, attempted 599 passes last year. That was 121 more passes than Colin Kaepernick.
Wide receiver: Rod Streater
Streater only played in three games last season. A foot injury forced Streater to watch the rest of the season from the sidelines. In 2013, Streater caught 60 passes for 888 yards. With Crabtree and Cooper now on the roster, Carr should be salivating with his new weapons.
Wide receiver: Andre Holmes
In a surprise that no one saw coming, Holmes led the Raiders with 693 receiving yards in 2014. Look for his production to fall drastically with the three previous receivers earning the lion's share of the targets.
Tight end: Mychal Rivera
The TE was one of two players to receive over 100 targets for Oakland last season. However, Rivera was just the beneficiary of playing time on a team that was constantly trailing in games. The Raiders spent their third-round pick on a tight end, Clive Walford. That could spell bad news for Rivera in 2015.
Placekicker: Sebastian Janikowski
He was tied with the fewest amount of field goals made in 2014 (19 FGs). Though he has a powerful leg I wouldn't spend a draft pick on Seabass this year.
Team defense (D/ST):
Last year, Oakland allowed a league-high 28.3 points per game. Del Rio will have his hands full with improving the Raiders' defense. I will be avoiding this defense until I see a significant improvement.