Las Vegas Raiders Fantasy Breakdown
Let’s get straight to it and dive into this breakdown of the 2020 Raiders.
Key offseason additions:
LB-Corey Littleton, LB-Nick Kwiatkoski, DB-Damarious Randall, DT-Maliek Collins,
TE-Jason Witten, S-Jeff Heath,
DE-Carl Nassib, QB- Marcus Mariota,
WR-Henry Ruggs, CB-Damon Arnette,
RB-Lynn Bowden jr, WR-Bryan Edwards,
LB-Tanner Muse, OL-John Simpson,
CB- Amik Robertson
Key offseason loses:
S-Karl Joseph, LB- Tahir Whitehead,
DE-Benson Mayowa, RB-DeAndre Washington
Quarterback: Derek Carr quietly had one of his best seasons last year. Over the course of his career, he has seemed to progress yearly. Last year in 2019 Carr had his highest single season completion percentage of 70.4% with 4,054yds, 21 TDs, and only 8 ints. He was actually second in the NFL last year in completion percentage only behind Drew Brees. Let’s be fair here, the best receivers on his team last year were an injury riddled Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow. Not to talk down on those guys, but that’s not what we call elite weapons. No more excuses this year though, because the raiders just brought in plenty of talent than can catch the ball and make plays happen. Carr better come in fires up, locked and loaded and ready to win. If he doesn’t then they just brought in a back up who is looking for a second chance. Marcus Mariota, former heisman trophy winner and Qb of the Tennessee Titans is hungry and determined to prove the haters wrong. Mariota can play ball that’s a fact, this QB battle should be a fun one to watch!
Running back: Josh freaking Jacobs!!! I love this guy and he is a heck of a running back! As an eagles fan I was hoping for us to draft this guy so bad. This man can run over you, through you or just break your ankles. In only 13 games last year in his rookie campaign Jacobs showed out compiling 1,150yds 7 TDs on 242 carries he averaged nearly 5 yds a carry. The only thing I’m still dumbfounded about is the fact that they didn’t throw him the freaking ball and this dude can catch. I’m curious to see if they continue to use Jalen Richard as the 3rd down back or will we see more of a complete 3 down back from Josh Jacobs in his sophomore season. He only got targeted 27xs and hauled in 20 receptions for 166yds. If the raiders can get Jacobs involved in the passing game, it’s a no brainer he will be talked about as one of the top backs in the league. Grab Jacobs all day at the end of rd1 in all draft formats. Incoming rookie Lynn Bowden Jr is a playmaker and is gonna be used as the “joker” in gruden's offense. Bowden is a playmaker and anytime he gets the ball in his hands can be lights out. Expect Bowden to line up In the slot, out wide, running back, quarterback and anywhere else they can fit him in. Stash him in deep dynasty leagues in hope for an increased role in years to come.
Wide receivers: I remember having Tyrell Williams in my starting lineup the first game of the season last year when he threw up a 6/105/1 stat line and I was really excited. It lasted basically all of one game. He scored a touchdown in his first 5 games and never found the endzone again. He finished the season with 42/651/6 All though Williams did suffer through injuries he just isn’t what we consider elite. Hunter Renfrow is a very reliable receiver who dominates out of the slot. In Renfrow’s rookie campaign he posted a 49/605/4 stat line. Before I wrote this article I would have been screaming for an uptick in volume and production out of Renfrow in his sophomore campaign, but that is until coach Gruden came out and said that Henry Ruggs III will work mostly out of the slot this year. The wide receivers room got a huge upgrade this offseason. Henry Ruggs III brings blazing speed and deep threat ability every snap. He ran his 40 in 4.28 and was solid for the crimson tide this past year posting 40/746/7 stats with an 18.1 avg ypc. Ruggs was the raiders #1 pick and the first receiver taken off the boards. Although that’s true, he isn’t the best receiver on the team in my opinion. The raiders ultimately got two first rounders by selecting Bryan Edwards In the 3rd rd. If it wasn’t for a broken foot while training in the offseason we would have been talking about Edwards as a for sure 1st rounder. Bryan Edwards brings the size, athleticism, strength, playmaking ability, and hands to produce WR1 numbers for this team. He had a college breakout at the age of 17 freaking years old. This guy can be a PPR machine and the whole organization is raving about how great he looks, including his starting QB who just came out saying he looks and plays like Devante Adams. I’m not scared to say that you can draft both Ruggs and Edwards with confidence late in dynasty startups and in the 1st-2nd rds in rookie drafts. All together I expect a big upgrade in this passing/receiving game this year.
Tight ends: The only thing fantasy relevant in this offseason outside of running back was Darren “the baller” Waller. Darren Waller had a breakout season catching 90 out of 117 targets for 1,145yds and 3 TDs. He averaged 12.7 ypc and was extremely productive. The only thing that hurt him the most, was Foster Moreau coming in and stealing away 5tds from him. Darren Waller is easily a top 5 TE in the league, lets just hope he can maintain the volume and find the endzone more! Don’t worry bout Jason Witten, he ain’t stealing a thing from Waller.
Defense: The Raiders had some good defensive offseason additions. Last year’s D was not great, but I believe they were 3-4 players away from a great squad. Getting Jonathan Abram back from injury has the safety position looking promising. Additions of Corey Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski has the LB corps looking nice and Demarious Randall and Jeff heath will bring some depth and skill to the DB room. The addition of Maliek Collins brings some veteran presence and a stud in the middle to pair up with the dominant rookie duo of Clelin Ferrell and Max Crosby. Carl Nassib will be great depth on the edge as well. I expect a big turnaround out of this defense.
The raiders in whole are an interesting team for 2020. I can easily see them making a complete 180 and getting back to the good ol days. This offense is finally packed with some firepower and even though the majority are rookies and scophomores I expect a lot out of them. All success falls into the hands of Carr this season in my opinion and if he fails to step up, expect Mariota to take over!