NFL: Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders
Kyle Terada / USA TODAY Sports

Given that their big offseason acquisition didn't play a down for them, the 2019 Raiders season could have gone worse. That said, there's a reason they took a risk on Antonio Brown last offseason — they badly needed playmaking in the passing game, and that was the focus in the draft. Henry Ruggs, Lynn Bowden, and Bryan Edwards could all make this passing attack more dangerous. Figuring out how targets will be distributed figures to be a headache for Fantasy players, though. 

2019 Review

Record: 7-9 (17)
PPG: 19.6 (24)
YPG: 363.7 (11)
Pass YPG: 245.4 (9)
Rush YPG: 118.3 (13)
PAPG: 32.7 (21)
RAPG: 27.3 (11)

Relevant Fantasy players

QB Derek Carr QB16
RB Josh Jacobs RB21, DeAndre Washington* RB40, Jalen Richard RB57
WR Tyrell Williams WR47, Hunter Renfrow WR53
TE Darren Waller TE3, Foster Moreau TE38
*No longer with team

Number to know: 43.4%

Just 43.4% of the Raiders pass attempts went to wide receivers in 2019. That was the third-lowest mark in the league. In 2018, they didn't have one wide receiver with even 90 targets, and Jordy Nelson was the only wide out with more than 64 targets. The Raiders' offseason focus on the position could mean that they have different plans but a tight end has led them in targets each of the past two seasons. 

2020 Offseason

Draft Picks 

1. (12) Henry Ruggs III, WR
1. (19) Damon Arnette, CB
3. (80) Lynn Bowden Jr., WR
3. (81) Bryan Edwards, WR
3. (100) Tanner Muse, S
4. (109) John Simpson, G
4. (139) Amik Robertson, CB


TE Jason Witten, QB Marcus Mariota, WR Nelson Agholor,  LB Cory Littleton, LB Nick Kwiatkoski, DB Damarious Randall, DE Carl Nassib

Key Departures

RB DeAndre Washington, S Karl Joseph

Available Opportunity 

108 running back carries, 41 running back targets, 46 wide receiver targets

Rankings and Projections

player headshot
Jamey Eisenberg
player headshot
Dave Richard
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Heath Cummings
Derek CarrQB28QB32QB28
Josh JacobsRB12RB15RB13
Jalen RichardRB60N/RRB50
Henry RuggsWR48WR43WR57
Darren WallerTE5TE6TE7
Raiders DSTDST25DST32DST31

Heath Cummings' projections
QBDerek Carr4,260 YD, 26 TD, 10 INT
RBJosh Jacobs1,276 YD, 9 TD; 28 REC, 235 YD, 1 TD
RBJalen Richard235 YD, 2 TD; 35 REC, 308 YD, 1 TD
RBLynn Bowden205 YD, 2 TD; 25 REC, 221 YD, 1 TD
WRHenry Ruggs82 TAR, 49 REC, 688 YD, 5 TD
WRHunter Renfrow76 TAR, 53 REC, 649 YD, 4 TD
WRTyrell Williams71 TAR, 45 REC, 711 YD, 4 TD
WRBryan Edwards55 TAR, 32 REC, 475 YD, 3 TD
TEDarren Waller98 TAR, 73 REC, 895 YD, 4 TD

Biggest Question

Can Darren Waller back up his breakout 2019?

"When Antonio Brown forced himself off the Raider roster in August, Waller stepped up as the lead option, catching 90 passes on 117 targets. After off-field troubles early in his career, 2019 marked Waller's first major NFL production at 27 years old. But the Raiders had to address pass-catching depth, and rookies Henry Ruggs, Lynn Bowden and Bryan Edwards plus free-agent additions Jason Witten and Nelson Agholor all threaten to cut into Waller's target share." - Ben Gretch

Two sleepers and one breakout

LV Las Vegas • #11
Age: 24 • Experience: Rookie
Prospect Profile
2020 NFL Draft
12th overall (Round 1)
40 time
NO New Orleans • #4
Age: 32 • Experience: 10 yrs.
2019 Stats

As you can see from the rankings above, we aren't particularly excited about drafting Ruggs or Carr. But that's not to say they don't have a path to delivering useful production. And they're both really cheap. 

Ruggs is obviously the more interesting of the two. While there may not be 120 targets available for Ruggs to earn, he does have the type of big-play ability to make a Deebo Samuel or A.J. Brown-type season seem well within a normal range of outcomes. Ruggs needs a combination of Brown's deep targets and Samuel's usage in the running game. He's instantly one of the fastest players in the NFL so it shouldn't surprise anyone if he breaks off some big plays. For that reason, his best format is Best Ball.

Like Ruggs, Carr may be frustrating in a standard league, but he definitely qualifies as a sleeper in Superflex or two-QB formats. He's being drafted outside of the top-24 quarterbacks and he's finished top 20 every year of his career. If Ruggs is a legitimate No. 1 receiver, Carr could repeat his 2016 season when he finished as a top-10 option. This is the best set of weapons he's had since Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree left.

LV Las Vegas • #8
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
2019 Stats

The two main concerns about Jacobs coming out of Alabama were his limited role in the passing game and his lack of a track record as a high-volume rusher. Those concerns proved real in his rookie year as he only saw two targets per game and missed three games due to injury. All that means is you get an opportunity to draft him at a lower cost in 2020.

Jacobs was slightly above average as a pass catcher in 2019, averaging 6.2 yards per target, and he saw three or more targets in five of his final nine games. He also had at least 15 carries in nine of his final 10 games, topping 20 on nine different occasions. He's one of a handful of backs who has a legitimate chance to lead the NFL in carries and he should see at least a small increase in his role in the passing game. 

The upside for Jacobs, if everything goes well, is somewhere between 2019 Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb before Kareem Hunt came back from his suspension. That's a borderline top-five back that's available in the third round of many PPR drafts.

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