Oakland Raiders Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
Jack Del Rio is heading into his 2nd season as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Del Rio was hired in January 2015….previously the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 until 2011. Did you know Del Rio was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball out of high school in 1981? Later drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 3rd round of the 1985 NFL Draft. Jack hopes to improve on the Raider’s 7-9 record from 2015.
2016 Team Outlook –AFC West Division might be the hardest division to predict in 2016. The Raiders battle San Diego, Kansas City and the Denver Broncos. With Denver starting over with a new quarterback ( likely Brock Osweiler) and Oakland finally jelling as a team, any of these four teams could rise to top and represent the AFC West next year in the playoffs.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook –
QB– Cleveland took Manziel in Round One of the 2014 NFL Draft, while Oakland waited until Round Two, selecting QB Derek Carr ( and Oakland still has their quarterback.) Carr did not fall into the proverbial “Sophomore Slump” in 2015, on the contrary, he was even better. As a rookie, Carr ended the year as the #20 QB in the NFL with 3270 passing yards, 21 TDs and 12 INTs. In 2015, Carr ended the year as the #14 QB in the NFL with 3987 passing yards, 32 TDs and 13 INTs.
RBs– One game in 2014, bolted RB Latavius Murray from the bench, into the starting line-up in 2015. On only 4 carries in the game versus the Kansas City in Week 12 of the 2014, Latavius Murray had 112 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns, including a long 90-yard touchdown run. Murray played in all 16 games in 2015, ended as the #10 running back for the season. On December 24, Murray became the first Raider to reach the 1000-yard mark rushing, since Darren McFadden in 2010. His work was huge in 2015…so look for the Raiders to concentrate on a running back to spell Murray more in 2016.
WRs– Amari Cooper was the first wide receiver taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. Oakland had the 4th overall pick, and selected the Crimson Tide wide out over WR West Virginia’s Kevin White. (White was later picked 7th overall by the Chicago Bears, but never played in 2015.) Cooper was an legitimate weapon for the Raiders from the get-go, and his success helped open up the field for Michael Crabtree, who had an even better 2015 than Cooper did. Crabtrees 85 catches and 9 TDs were career highs. WRs Andre Holmes and Rod Streater, who played behind Cooper and Crabtree, are free agents in 2016.
TEs– For the first time in 3 seasons, TE Mychal Rivera wasn’t the top tight end in Oakland. In 2015, rookie Clive Walford was the preferred target by QB Derek Carr, with 28 grabs for 329 yards and 3 TDs. Walford was the 3rd overall pick by the Raiders, who used the 2015 NFL Draft to surround QB Carr with weapons. Walford should have a stronger 2nd year, with Mychal Rivera right behind him.
K- Since Sebastian “Seabass” Janikowski’s 2015 season was a relatively boring one, how about if I just write some of the records that he currently holds. Longest field goal in overtime: 57 yards…Most field goals in one quarter: 4…Most field goals of 60 yards or more in a career: 2…Most field goals attempted of 60 or more yards in a career: 8…Most field goals of 50 yards or more in one game: 3.
DEF– HC Jack Del Rio is a defense-minded coach having played linebacker in the NFL for 11 years. When with Jacksonville, the Jags finished the season with the second-ranked rush defense and sixth best overall defense. With Ken Norton Jr on board, the Raider’s defense went from #26 in 2014, to #15 in 2015. FS Charles Woodson has retired, putting an end to a career that began in 1998, so Oakland needs lots of help for their pass defense. UPDATE:
<strong>Raiders signed formerly Chief CB Sean Smith</strong> to a four-year, $40 million contract.
2015 Oakland Fantasy Surprises – Michael Crabtree was one of those “never-again” guys. Never again would I waste a fantasy football draft pick on that guy. In 2013 he played in only 5 games for the 49ers, with 284 receiving yards and 1 TD for the year. 2014 wasn’t much better. 698 receiving yards and 4 TDs. But the change of scenery was good for Crabtree, and he had chemistry with QB Carr. He played in 15 games, he had 923 yards with 9 TDs and ended 2015 as the #20 WR in the NFL. I hope he keeps it up.
2016 Free Agents that Oakland Needs to Address – WR Andre Holmes, WR Rod Streater, QB Matt McGloin (RFA), G/C Tony Bergstrom, P Marquette King, CB Neiko Thorpe (RFA), FS Larry Asante, SS Taylor Mays, T/G Khalif Barnes, LT Donald Penn, OLB/DE Aldon Smith, T/G J’Marcus Webb, OLB Benson Mayowa (RFA)
2016 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of Oakland is all over on their defense. FS Woodson’s retirement and previous draft busts forces Oakland to get two new starting safeties. A young slot corner is needed and also help on the defensive line. Oakland might use a late round pick on a running back.- OAKLAND’S 2015 DRAFT
Did You Know – The Raiders have had three players play for them named Napoleon. Napoleon McCallum, Napoleon Kaufman, and Napoleon Harris
Team Home Page: www.raiders.com
All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS