It's time to start thinking about fantasy football, and we have started going team by team to let you know what each NFL franchise can do for your fantasy squad. You can click here to see if your team has been previewed yet. If it isn't there, chances are it's coming soon. We have finished the NFC West and have moved on to the AFC West.
*Rankings are based on a 12-team, standard scoring format.
2012 RECORD: 4-12
2013 BYE WEEK: 7
TOP DRAFT PICKS: (1) D.J. Hayden- CB- Houston
(2) Menelik Watson- OT- Florida State
(3) Sio Moore- OLB- Connecticut
QUARTERBACK: There is not much positive to say about the quarterbacks in Oakland. Matt Flynn was acquired in a trade after Russell Wilson's emergence made him expendable in Seattle. He is the starter by default, but there is not nearly as much hype around him going into this year as there was last season when he signed with the Seahawks. He essentially worked his way from 7th round draft pick into a starter's salary in free agency with one 6 touchdown performance against the Lions in 2011 in the last game of the season. Maybe with a chance at full time snaps he can show more of that, but by the time you read the rest of this you will not see much reason to own Flynn. Unless you play in a 2 QB league, you can probably find 28-33 quarterbacks worth drafting before Flynn. Terrelle Pryor is #2 on the depth chart for now, but they may be looking to trade him, as he is the only Al Davis holdover left on the depth chart. Undrafted rookie from Penn State Matt McGloin has outperformed 4th round pick from Arkansas Tyler Wilson, leaving the Raiders with a decision to make. Regardless, none of these players are worth owning.
RUNNING BACK: Darren McFadden is the only Raider guaranteed to be drafted in the majority of leagues, despite the fact he has shown that he will never be able to stay healthy. He missed 4 games last season, and even when he was healthy he played poorly. His 3.3 yards per carry was the lowest of his career, and he rushed for only two touchdowns last season. As always, his playmaking ability makes him an intriguing option when he is healthy, but it is hard to expect that after starting his career with 5 injury plagued campaigns. He is a low-end RB2 option, but if you do draft him you better take a backup early. Rashad Jennings is the backup, but fullback Marcel Reece may see more work than him. Reece is only remotely interesting in a PPR format.
WIDE RECEIVER: Denarius Moore is the #1 option in Oakland. He had 7 touchdowns and 741 receiving yards last year. It is hard for me to project those numbers improving, as I look at Flynn as a significant downgrade from Carson Palmer. Moore has good speed and is basically assured to be the most targeted receiver on the Raiders, but I can't recommend him as anything better than a 4th wide receiver for fantasy purposes. Rod Streater had 39 catches for 584 yards and 3 touchdowns, and is likely to be the 2nd wide receiver. Streater is not a top 60 WR, thus only needs to be drafted in the deepest of leagues. Juron Criner, Jacoby Ford and rookie Brice Butler make up the rest of the receiving corps.
TIGHT END: Brandon Myers cashed in on a solid season last year and is now with the Giants. The tight end situation in Oakland is murky at best. David Ausberry seems most likely to take over as the starter, though he didn't do much as the 2nd tight end last season. Richard Gordon and rookies Mychal Rivera and Nick Kasa could also be in the mix. None of them are worth drafting.
KICKER: Sebastian Janikowski is one of the elite kickers in the NFL, and is probably even better for fantasy purposes. He has the strongest leg in the NFL, and there are few limits as to what the Raiders will let him try. He connected on 9 field goals of 50+yards last season, and 10 the year before. He is the only Raider I would be moderately excited to have on my team on draft day.
DEFENSE-SPECIAL TEAMS: The Raiders are not a great defense. They force turnovers, which is always a positive, but they allow too many points. They also didn't have anyone with more than 4 sacks. It is hard to think of a reason why you would even spot play this team.