Oakland Raiders Team Profile 2016

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

Team Profile Oakland Raiders

 

Team Profile Oakland Raiders by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

Jack Del Rio was hired as head coach of the Raiders in January 2015. He had previously been the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 until 2011, the second head coach in the Jags history. Del Rio is a defense-minded coach having played linebacker in the NFL for 11 years. In his first season with Jacksonville, the Jags finished the season with the second-ranked rush defense and sixth best overall defense. Since Oakland finished dead last in most defensive categories, the Raiders will be hoping that Del Rio can bring that kind of success to the West coast.

2015 Team Outlook – The Raiders only won 3 games last year. They share the AFC West with the division bulldozing Broncos and two other very good teams in the Chiefs and the Chargers. Oakland has a new head coach, a quarterback that’s only going into his 2nd season, a running back that’s only had 5 starts, and a receiving corps that has no real #1, so what should 2015 expectations be? They want to be competitive in every game, and find things to build on for the future. (Peyton can’t play forever.)

2015 Fantasy Outlook –


QB–
In an article that I wrote about this time last year entitled “Who’s #1“, you can read where I conceded that Blake Bortles was going to be the #1 QB taken in the draft, but I thought it would be Houston doing it. Nonetheless, Bortles went first and in my opinion, QB Derek Carr should have gone 2nd. It didn’t turn out that way, as Cleveland wasted their 1st rounder on Johnny Rehab, and look where they are now. Meanwhile, the Raiders, with their 2nd round selection, have a QB for the the future. Carr ended the 2014 season with a respectable 3270 passing yards, 21 TD passes with only 12 INTS. (Bortles had 11 TDs & 17 INTs.) Carr’s stats from 2014 landed him #20 among NFL quarterbacks. He didn’t get pounded like his brother years ago, and he proved he could be a starter in the NFL. UPDATE: Raiders released QB Matt Schaub and signed former Viking QB Ponder to a 1 year deal.

RBs– There are certain things in the NFL that are simply “head-scratchers” for the average Joe to try and understand. Like, why are there retractable roofs in Houston and Arizona, and open roofs in Foxborough or Cleveland? How can the multi-billion dollar NFL industry still be considered a tax-exempt, non-profit organization by the IRS while taxpayers are still paying millions a year to subsidize it?…And why did the Oakland Raiders start RB Darren McFadden and MJD for 3/4 of the 2014 season while RB Latavius Murray sat the bench? In Murray’s first start vs the KC Chiefs in week 12, he only had 4 carries due to a concussion he suffered early in the game. Those 4 carries resulted in 112 yards and 2 TDs. Those 4 carries resulted in more yards than Maurice Jones-Drew had for the entire season with 43 carries. Those 4 carries resulted in same number of TDs that RB Darren McFadden had for the entire season. RB MJD has since retired, and the Raiders won’t resign McFadden. RB Murray is locked in as the Raider #1 and new OC, Bill Musgrave has stated that he is planning to “tailor” his run game to fit Latavius. UPDATE: Raiders signed former Brown/Colt RB Trent Richardson and former Washington RB Roy Helu to 2 year deals. Neither are good fantasy options.

WRs–
If you’re a corner back or safety in the NFL, names like James Jones, Brice Butler, Andre Holmes or Rod Streater don’t exactly have you up with worry the night before the game vs Oakland. These are all gifted athletes because they are in the NFL, but they are not Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson or Demaryius Thomas. WR James Jones was the #1 WR for the Raiders in 2014, but compared to the other wide receivers in the league, he barely ranked in the top 50. Therefore, the Raiders need a bona fide #1 wide receiver and there just so happens to be a couple (or a few) in the upcoming NFL Draft. The Raiders have the #4 overall this April, which is an ideal spot to grab either Amari Cooper or Kevin White, the two top WR prospects coming out of college. UPDATE: Raiders re-signed restricted free agent WR Rod Streater to a one-year deal. The Raiders selected 6’1″ WR Amari Cooper in the 1st Round, pick #4. Cooper immediately becomes the team’s #1 WR and a huge sleeper for 2015.

TEs–
Sophomore Mychal Rivera showed some flashes of being a big-time play maker at the tight end position last season for Oakland. He had a respectable #18 ranking in the league, made possible because of 3 stellar games in 2014. His best production of the 3 came in Week 14 vs Washington – 109 yards and 1 TD. Unfortunately the rest were duds. He did play in 15 games, so if he stays relatively healthy, perhaps QB Carr will find him more in 2015.

K-
Sebastian “Seabass” Janikowski started kicking in the NFL back when players wore leather helmets (or at least it seems that long ago). Over the span of his career, all with the Raiders, he has made over $45 million dollars, kicking field goals. Nice! His job was especially light in 2014, as he was only asked to attempt 22 field goals the entire season, little more than one per game.

DEF–
The Raiders have signed to their coaching staff Ken Norton Jr. to be the team’s defensive coordinator. Norton reunites with head coach Jack Del Rio, as the two men played together in three seasons while in Dallas. Norton has served as the linebacker coach for USC under Pete Carroll. On January 11, 2010 he became the Seahawks linebacker coach again under Pete Carroll. Raider fans are hoping that the combo of Jack Del Rio and Ken Norton Jr can get the Oakland defense out of the NFL basement. UPDATE: Oakland resigned Charles Woodson. Signed former Cardinal NT Dan Williams and former eagles Nate Allen. Re-signed DT C J Wilson.

2014 Oakland Fantasy Surprises – There’s little doubt that QB Derek Carr had a better year than expected (just ask Cleveland who drafted rehab manziel in the 1st round) carr wasn’t expected to start 16 games because Matt Schaub was brought from Houston to do that. The Dennis Allen firing was in part for having two sloths handling running back duties for better part of the season.

2015 Free Agents that Oakland Needs to Address –
RB Sloth McFadden (signed w/ Dallas)- WR Vincent Brown (signed w/ Indy)- WR Denarius Moore- TE David Ausberry- C Stefen Wisniewski- DE C J Wilson (re-signed)- DE Lamarr Woodley (released)- DT Pat Sims- CB Tarell Brown- CB Carlos Rogers- S Tyvon Branch-(signed w/ KC)

2015 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Oakland are at wide receiver, all over on defense, and a deeper offensive line. The team needs young play makers for QB Carr (WRs), the Raiders have OLB Khalil Mack who was sensational as a rookie, but they were second-to-last in the league in sacks so they need reinforcements on defense (DE/DT) and have 2 corner backs heading for free agency (CB). They probably also need to replace Stefen Wisniewski (C). UPDATE: Oakland’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- OAKLAND’S DRAFT

Did You Know –
Del Rio became only the second NFL head coach since 1993 to wear a suit on the sidelines during a November 20, 2006 regular season contest against the Giants, following then 49ers head coach Mike Nolan who had sported the look the previous day vs Seattle. A sponsorship deal between the NFL and Reebok at the time prohibited coaches from wearing anything but Reebok clothing. HC Nolan petitioned the league for permission to wear a suit and since Reebok was planning to unveil a formal line of clothing in 2007, this led to the NFL adopting a rule that permits coaches to wear a suit twice a year. During the 2007 NFL season, both Del Rio and Nolan were given permission to wear a suit at all eight regular season home games. Since his firing as Jaguars coach, however, he no longer wears a suit.

All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Team Home Page: www.raiders.com