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Las Vegas Raiders Fantasy Football Preview

Darren Waller
Darren Waller #83 of the Oakland Raiders runs the ball against Kenny Moore #23 of the Indianapolis Colts in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

By Craig Forrestal

Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock. What can you say? They hit draft gold their first time around and got a ton of production from their rookie class last season and they look to follow it up again with another quality rookie class. But how much can you rely on rookies in fantasy football? Outside of Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs, there is a whole bunch of questions. The defense is awful on a good day. But I am still trying to figure out is it the most Vegas thing ever that the Raiders play there or is the most Raiders thing ever to move to Vegas?

Schedule:

  • Week 1: @ Panthers
  • Week 2: Saints
  • Week 3: @ Patriots
  • Week 4: Bills
  • Week 5: @ Chiefs
  • Week 6: Bye
  • Week 7: Buccaneers
  • Week 8: @ Browns
  • Week 9: @ Chargers
  • Week 10: Broncos
  • Week 11: Chiefs
  • Week 12: @ Falcons
  • Week 13: @ Jets
  • Week 14: Colts
  • Week 15: Chargers
  • Week 16: Dolphins
  • Week 17: @ Broncos

Players To Know:

  • Derek Carr-QB: If Carr struggles out of the gate the Raiders brought in Marcus Mariota. So that lets you know how the Raiders feel about Carr. While Carr completed 70% of passes last season and has more weapons around him I’m not sure how committed they are to Carr; now or in the future. While I want Carr to succeed I just don’t see it happening here there are too many issues to be fixed all at once with the offense.
  • Josh Jacobs-RB: I might be the biggest Jacobs fan in the world and I think he is due for Top 5 finish this season. The addition of Henry Ruggs provides a deep threat that was not part of the Raiders attack in 2019. This will open up the defense and not allow them to stack the box. Jacobs should get some more favorable run matchups due to the presence of Ruggs. He answered the questions about being a true workhorse back last season and played through the shoulder injury. Jacobs has a serious chance to lead the league in carries. He grew in the passing game towards the end of last season but I wouldn’t expect anything dramatic from him there. I think Jacobs is good for 1300 rushing yards.
  • Jalen Richard-RB: Richard is back for another year with the Raiders. Richard is going to be annoying Jacobs owners as he won’t be a true piece of the offense but will get enough work to take away some passing targets. The addition of Lynn Bowden will hurt Richard more than help him.
  • Lynn Bowden-RB: Bowden will eventually take over the Jalen Richard role, but it may not be this season. Regardless the Raiders have a clear vision for Bowden. Bowden was a do-it-all offensive weapon for the Kentucky Wildcats who finished the season at QB due to injuries. Bowden will most likely be used as a returner and in specialized packages to get him touches.
  • Henry Ruggs-WR: Ruggs is exactly what this offense needed. His speed will allow the team to open the playbook and do things we didn’t see last year. He will not be an every-week contributor but of all the Raiders WRs he is the one I want. I view Ruggs as an every week FLEX option with the room for some very solid showings. In his first season, I think Ruggs is good for 55 catches and 775 yards.
  • Hunter Renfrow-WR: Renfrow was a pleasant surprise and seems to have the slot position locked down. This season however there may not be enough targets to go around. If I were to bet on how targets go in Vegas this season I would say Darren Waller is the leader and then it’s an even split from there with the WRs. In this scenario, the limited volume will be a downfall for Renfrow.
  • Tyrell Williams-WR: Williams was a player many in the fantasy world like last season because he had a clear path to volume, but it didn’t go as planned. Williams battled injuries and was just ineffective; don’t let the 6 TDs fool you. He will start the season on thin ice as the Raiders have overhauled the pass-catching unit. It doesn’t look good for Williams.
  • Bryan Edwards-WR: The plan is for Edwards to take over for Tyrell Williams but just when is the question. Edwards will be behind Williams to start the season but when he was drafted the plan was for Edwards and Ruggs to be the starting WRs of the future.
  • Darren Waller-TE: Waller was the feel-good story from last season. He overcame substance abuse issues and posted 90 catches and 1145 yards. While he will not be a surprise this season he should still be plenty productive. While there is more target competition this season I see it very hard for him to still not lead the team in targets. Yes, Foster Moreau is good but Waller is the guy. I expect his TDs to go up this season and he should post something like 80 catches, 950 yards and 7 TDs. He is a must-play every week at TE.

Defense:

The Raiders defense couldn’t stop anything or anyone last season. They are best left off your roster. And it pains me to say this because I’m a big time Mayock/Gruden guy.

Potential Breakout Player:

  • Josh Jacobs-RB

Rookie To Know:

  • Henry Ruggs-WR
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