The Oakland Raiders come into the season with an offense holding the potential to run up the score on any given team. While nothing is for sure, it is certainly assumed that quarterback Derek Carr will lead the Raiders. Due to a few moves in the offseason, Jordy Nelson will be joining Amari Cooper, Marshawn Lynch, and Jared Cook as the offensive threats of this team.
Derek Carr will enter the season looking to rebound back to the level of play he exhibited two seasons ago. In the 2016-2017 season, Carr finished in the top 10 in fantasy points scored by quarterbacks, touchdowns thrown, and least interceptions thrown. Now, with a new “sure-thing-if-he-stays-healthy” receiver in Jordy Nelson and a new squad of coaches, Carr appears perfectly primed to shake off last season and set some personal records this year.
Prediction: 4200 yards, 34 Touchdowns, 10 INT, Late 6th round pick
Although it is not necessarily his fault, Jordy Nelson is another player looking for a rebound year. Nelson appeared in 14 games but only logged 482 yards (his lowest since 2009) and six touchdowns (lowest since 2010). Now, he finds himself leaving Brett Hundley and joining forces with the previously mentioned Derek Carr. Nelson is a sure-handed receiver with a quick first step who only recorded 2 drops last season. While having the ninth-highest snap share percentage amongst all wide receivers, Nelson was 41st in targets. Expect Jordy to take the field with a relentless drive to prove to his new coach he deserves the #1 wide receiver spot.
Prediction: 95 catches, 1300 yards, 9 Touchdowns, Mid 3rd round pick
While Cooper has been criticized for his dropped passes, he only recorded 5 last year. Five drops were the most on the team last year, but he was not the only one; Jared Cook and Michael Crabtree also recorded five drops as well. Apart from his explosive 210-yard game, Cooper had a disappointing year recording only 470 yards and a 1:2 catch-to-target ratio in 14 games. After last season, Cooper looks to reinstate himself as one of the league’s best threats. As a result, he could create madness for defenses if lined up opposite of Jordy Nelson.
Prediction: 80 catches, 1100 yards, 6 Touchdowns, Late 4th- Early 5th round pick
Much like his antics on the sideline, Marshawn Lynch brings a few question marks to the field. Lynch showed significant promise in 2017, and at times appearing as though he never retired. With 4.4 yards per carry, Lynch tied the third highest yards per carry of his career. However, the question remains, how much more does he have left? Jon Gruden called on him to keep his pace in the upcoming season. Lynch seems up for the challenge. In addition, the Raiders signing of Doug Martin will take some defensive pressure off. This gives the team the ability to mix and match the pair in different situation to keep the defense on their toes.
Prediction: 900 rushing yards, 8 TD, 18 catches, 200 receiving yards, 2 receiving TD, Early 5th round pick
Jared Cook is one Raider who finished the season with an improvement to his stats. Cook set his career high for catches last season and posted his second-highest yard total. Despite being 30, Cook still appears poised to post similar numbers next season but will have to watch his number of dropped passes. While he is surpassing his previous stats, Cook tends to fly under the radar. In fact, find himself going undrafted in some leagues (depending on number of rounds)
Prediction: 50 catches, 675 yards, three Touchdowns, 12th round/undrafted