The Oakland Raiders finished 6-10 (third in the AFC West) in the 2017 season. A popular pre-season Super Bowl pick, the team disappointed severely due to an underperforming offense and losing the turnover battle by a 2:1 ratio.
The team was supposed to live on the strength of its passing game but only managed a league-average effort. Derek Carr more than doubled his interception total from 2016 and threw six fewer touchdowns. Amari Cooper had his worst season as a professional and Michael Crabtree seemed to fall out of favor with the coaching staff and is now rumored to be a cut candidate. No receiver topped 60 receptions or 700 receiving yards.
Jack Del Rio was fired after the season and Jon Gruden was hired to replace him after nearly a decade away from the sidelines. He’ll have about $7 million less in available cap space than the league average to improve the roster, but the team does have a top-10 pick in the draft and three picks in the top-75. Wide receiver depth is already an issue but could become an even more pressing matter if the team makes good on the Crabtree cut rumors.
Three additions we want to see for fantasy
John Brown, WR: The Raiders probably can’t break the bank for a big-name receiver like Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson, but there are a handful of dynamic playmakers who will have to sign “prove it” deals, and Brown is one of them. Carr ranked fifth among quarterbacks in deep passing completion percentage in 2016, but fell to No. 12 in 2017. The team also had seven fewer completions of more than 20 yards in 2017 versus 2016.
Danny Amendola, WR: The dependable Patriots slot man ranked in the top-10 in slot receiving last season and would also add a winning veteran presence to a wide receiver room that needs to form some chemistry. Amendola tied for third in the NFL in slot receptions and caught three quarters of his targets. Perhaps Carr could unlock some previously untapped upside with a true slot asset at his disposal.
Second- or third-round RB: The Raiders have enough other team needs that signing a running back in free agency would seem unwise. However, in a deep draft for backfield talent, the team could find Marshawn Lynch’s eventual replacement. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are probably not long-term solutions as change-of-pace backs or as lead rushers.