What Fantasy Football Questions Exist For The 2019 Oakland Raiders?
Welcome to The Contingency Plan! 32 pieces focusing on the ranges of outcomes for every team in the NFL. The RotoExperts projections are a tremendous starting spot for your 2019 fantasy research, but like most projections, will only be considered one of the many possible outcomes that exist for each player/team. When compiling rankings, it is best to consider as many possible outcomes as possible, as well as the payoff and probability of those outcomes. The Oakland Raiders are next up on our list.
The Contingency Plan looks to find those outcomes you may not be considering for 2019 fantasy football plan. By using a series of “what if” questions, the goal is to help you look a little deeper into each team and, hopefully, uncover some league winners. Some of these questions will exist for most teams, while others will be unique to the specific squad at hand. Today, we cover the Oakland Raiders.
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What If Josh Jacobs Isn’t A Bell Cow?
Since being the 24th pick in the NFL Draft, expectations have been high for Jacobs in his rookie season. He has a third-round fantasy football ADP, and is the presumed workhorse for a team that lacks other viable options to the naked eye. However, if we look at how late first round RB selections have performed, the results are not terribly encouraging.
I would put these 24 players into three distinct categories
- Immediate success stories
- Successful, but not as rookies
- Never successful
If you look at the players, not a ton of them would fall into the first category, I would say the top six. A 25% chance of success doesn’t seem to be what people are buying with Jacobs given the cost. There could be some conflation here with early first-round picks.
The results here are far better, and the workloads for early picks appear to be much more defined. Not all first round picks are created equal, and we probably shouldn’t be treating Jacobs like we did some other notable first-round RBs the past few seasons.
Furthermore, Jacobs was not a workhorse at Alabama. He had less than 300 TOTAL offensive touches in three years of college, and no more than 140 in any single year. It actually seems quite reasonable to assume Jacobs won’t be a workhorse rather than assuming he will.
So who benefits the most if Jacobs is not a bell cow? Jalen Richard was tied with the team lead last year at 68 receptions, though he only received 55 carries behind Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin. Martin is still on the roster, but was only re-signed after Isaiah Crowell tore his Achilles. It would be difficult to argue that he gets more meaningful touches than Richard given the value of a reception versus that of a rush attempt.
Jacobs was rated as only slightly above average as a pass-blocker versus the rest of the 2019 RB class, and we know that where rookie backs typically struggle to play is on third down and in passing situations. This seems like a role Richard is ripe to play for at least the start of the year.
Richard was a top 36 RB last season, and could be that kind of producer throughout the year. He is currently the RB65 on DRAFT. If the rookie isn’t a workhorse, Richard is likely going to grossly outproduce his draft position without an injury to Jacobs.
What If Darren Waller Is Good?
One of the more interesting subplots in Raider lore (of which there are a lot) is the potential of Waller.
— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) May 22, 2019
Waller was a collegiate WR turned TE who spent the first three years of his career with the Ravens before joining Gruden and the Oakland Raiders last year, and the team seems determined to make him their starter in the wake of losing Jared Cook in free agency.
So what if he actually holds down the job?
Waller’s Mockdraftable page is enough to get anyone excited.
Waller has also been a leader of #TeamPreseason for most of his career. He had eight catches for 60 yards and a TD as a rookie, and eight catches for 84 yards in 2016. He has at least some production to his name.
The Raiders don’t have a ton of established options behind star wideout Antonio Brown. Tyrell Williams is likely the second option after signing a decent free-agent contract, but after that it is a bunch of underwhelming veterans and rookies. If Waller is good, he could very well hit 60+ targets. Given his comparables, he could turn those targets into quality production.
Waller represents an opportunity for a top 15 TE performance, and he is being selected outside of the top 200 picks. If you miss out on the early stud TEs, he seems like an excellent choice.