The "autumn wind" again is in the air. The NFL preseason is in full swing, and teams are preparing to play their third exhibition game.
For Oakland Raiders fans, their team has been at the forefront of the national landscape as the organization is featured on the latest installment of HBO’s “Hard Knocks”. And as the preseason reached its midway point, fantasy football slowly crept back into the minds of the nearly 60 million Americans who play each season.
With some high-profile players suiting up for the Silver and Black in 2019, there might be a propensity for fans to reach on their favorite team’s stars. But I’m here to give you the lowdown on where you should realistically look if you really want to draft some Raiders on your squad.
ADP: 182, No. 23 QB
There's a lot of pressure on the Raiders’ signal-caller. After the team’s worst season since Carr was drafted, he'll be hyper-focused on trying to earn the nine-figure contract he signed with the Silver and Black in 2017.
Carr was gifted two immense skill-position talents in the offseason, with the Raiders acquiring Antonio Brown via trade and selecting Josh Jacobs in the first round to be the team’s new workhorse running back. That comes after Carr surpassed 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his NFL career, and hit career highs in completion percentage and yards per attempt.
If the team leaves all the television drama in the past once the regular season hits, Carr could be a surprising value as a QB2. However, unless you are a die-hard Carr fan, I'd suggest looking elsewhere for a backup QB.
ADP: 36, No. 20 RB
Jacobs was a five-star talent at Alabama, but he was part of an embarrassment of the Crimson Tide's riches at running back, and never logged more than 125 carries in a college season. Therefore, he comes into the NFL much fresher than many other rookie running backs, and likely will getake tting the significant majority of the carries for Oakland.
Jacobs made waves in his preseason debut, gaining 21 yards on just four carries. With a diminished Doug Martin and veteran backup Jalen Richard being the projected other members of the Raiders' backfield, Jacobs rarely will come out of games when the regular season starts.
I’ve seen the rookie go as high as the third round in some mock drafts, and I can only recommend that strategy if every single person in your draft is taking running backs early. However, there is a lot of potential for Jacobs to have a big season, and Raiders fans shouldn’t let him fall past the fifth round in standard leagues.
ADP: 22, No. 9 WR
This is an aberration for Brown. The guy who has led the NFL in downfield targets over the past three seasons now is playing with a QB who rarely throws it long, and his rankings are adversely affected.
Many are labeling Brown as a bust after all the offseason drama with his helmet and feet, but people forget he also scored 15 touchdowns last season and has been a first-team All-Pro in four of the past five years. If he’s 100 percent healthy, he's absolutely unguardable 1-on-1.
I wouldn’t suggest using a first-round pick on Brown -- especially with all the talent at running back at the top of the board -- but he shouldn’t slip past the beginning of the third round.
ADP: 125, No. 48 WR
Williams joins the Raiders after four seasons with the Chargers, where he was the No. 2 to another elite receiver in Keenan Allen. Williams did impress when Allen was sidelined in 2016 with a torn ACL, as he finished with 69 catches, 1,069 yards and seven touchdowns. After a nice season like that, Williams was 13th among wide receivers in total standard-league points.
Although he joins forces with another guy who dominates the targets and attention, Williams still should be able to make an impact in the passing game, especially with much of the defensive focus being on Brown. One thing going against both Williams and Brown is the Raiders' schedule, which works out to being the worst for fantasy passing offense.
Somewhere in the 10th round is ideal for selecting Williams, although he’ll likely be available later because of the general perception of the Raiders’ offense.
ADP: 317, No. 33 TE
We’re really reaching here for draftable fantasy players on Oakland's roster.
While Jared Cook was a fantasy revelation in 2018 after finishing fourth in receiving yards among tight ends, the Raiders will not have the same kind of playmaker at that position in 2019. Waller has been lauded for his physical gifts, but he also has just 18 catches over three NFL seasons. He’ll have his opportunities, but don’t expect a volume of production early that would make Waller worthy of a draft pick.
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