NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oakland Raiders 2013 Fantasy Team Outlook 

The Oakland Raiders are a disaster zone when it comes to fantasy football value. Everyone knows it, and few are afraid to admit it. However, even with the “black holes” of fantasy, there are still sleepers and players with upside.

Darren McFadden comes to mind, who despite being hurt in every season he’s played, is constantly regarded as a player on the verge of breaking out. He actually already broke out in 2010, but after two subpar seasons ravaged by injury, he’s on the path to breakout again.

But people still have their doubts about Run DMC, and if McFadden, clearly Oakland’s best player, isn’t a lock for fantasy success, is it even plausible for you to own any other Raiders player? Let’s breakdown their most relevant players to find out:

Matt Flynn (QB)

Flynn has one magical six-touchdown game in his last game as a Packer and since that he’s earned millions for holding a clipboard. Pretty awesome for a guy the Raiders aren’t confident can “consistently throw the ball 25+ yards”. That spells trouble for the weak-armed and unathletic Flynn, who looks more like the paperboy than an NFL starting quarterback. He’s not to be owned.

Terrelle Pryor (QB)

Pryor isn’t impressive in the pocket and has accuracy issues, but he’s a freak athlete with great size and a solid arm. If Flynn struggles – and he will – Pryor has a great chance to see a lot of starts. The Raiders are destined to lose 12 or more games anyways, so what do they have to lose, right? Pryor is a shaky fantasy option, but he also carries a lot of upside. He’ll be a guy to watch if he ends up under center in 2013.

Darren McFadden (RB)

McFadden’s injury history has been well documented. He hasn’t been able to play more than 13 games in a single season and owns just one 1,000+ yard rushing season to his name. He’s clearly one of the biggest risks in fantasy, but he also still has the elite talent and upside to pay off. Considering you probably are drafting him as your RB2 or Flex, the risk may be worth it.

Rashad Jennings (RB)

Jennings face-planted as a spot-starter for the Jaguars last year once MJD went down, so I’m not overly confident in his talent anymore. With that said, I’m more than confident he’ll hit the field at least a few times as a starter. When that happens, he could be worth plucking off the waiver wire. Until that happens, though, he’s not worth talking about.

Latavius Murray (RB)

Murray is an interesting talent with some definite upside, but he’s third in the pecking order and hasn’t impressed this off-season. He could be worth a look if thrust into action, but for now isn’t even worth a late-round flier.

Marcel Reece (FB)

Reece’s value came as a checkdown option in 2012, where he became a PPR threat with 52 receptions. With the noodle-armed Flynn checking down early and often, Reece could fill those PPR shoes once again. It will never give him anything more than Flex value, but he’s worth a late-round flier in deep PPR leagues this year.

Denarius Moore (WR)

Moore is an athletic receiver who can stretch the field with his speed, so he does hold some upside. Unfortunately, his starting quarterback won’t be able to get him the ball consistently. That caps him out as a WR3 until further notice.

Rod Streater (WR)

Streater us locked into Oakland’s #2 receiver role and looked pretty good last year as a rookie, so there’s some optimism going into 2013. What’s even better is that Flynn won’t likely challenge down the field much, which means Streater could be targeted more on intermediate and short routes. At this point, his ceiling is capped, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him be more productive than Moore. With that said, he’s not as explosive as Moore so he’s probably a WR4 at best right now. There are more enticing options to snag late in drafts.

Juron Criner (WR)

Criner is similar to Streater and it looks like he’s locked down the #3 receiver job. He has limited upside thanks to his quarterback and offense. He’s worth monitoring, but you shouldn’t be drafting him.

David Ausberry (TE)

Ausberry had the starting gig just about locked up before hurting his shoulder. However, even he isn’t a complete tight end and wasn’t being looked at as even the next Brandon Myers. Tight end is a position to stay away from in Oakland this season.

Sebastian Janikowski (K)

Even on a horrible team, Janikowski routinely still has value. However, it can often switch from top-five status to outside the top-10, so you need to find Sebass at just the right time. Things aren’t looking great for his offense in 2013, which could mean a record number of 50+ yard tries in 2013. If that Raiders can get past the 50-yard line, that is. Janikowski remains a top-10 option because of his booming leg, which he’s used to knock in a ridiculous 32 50+ yarders over the last six years.

Oakland Raiders (DEF/ST)

Oakland did a good job adding veteran safety Charles Woodson and talented rookie corner D.J. Hayden to a dreadful secondary, but their d-line was gutted this off-season and they are still a highly questionable unit. It’s pretty likely they’ll stick in the bottom five and compete for last place across the board. You don’t want to be stuck with them for any amount of time.

About the author: Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts owns and operates NFL Soup and heads the fantasy football division of the site. In 2012, Roberts finished 16th overall in Fantasy Pros expert fantasy football rankings. In addition to running the fantasy football section of the site, Roberts contributes to NFL Soup’s NFL Draft coverage and breaking news reporting. Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin

Add a Comment