We’re continuing to add and update our seasonal projections, and we’re taking the time to write up some of the teams. Today I’ll take a look at the Oakland Raiders 2016 fantasy projections.
I used Vegas lines to infer the average point margin per play (-2), and then used last year’s rates to inform pass and pace tendency. In both cases I made a very modest adjustment back towards the median (green line), but left things close to last year’s numbers. That gives us the following baselines.
Derek Carr has had a very consistent share of rushing attempts over his two years, so that number seemed straightforward. Likewise, his interception rate has been identical over his first two seasons (two percent), so that’s what I used. The rest of his projection is informed by his receivers, which are discussed below.
|Carr, Derek OAK QB||585.84||361.89||0.62||4188.64||28.33||12.89||33.4||140.59||1.18||289.08|
In MFL10 scoring, that works out to about 311 points, about a point per game more than the 297 points he posted last season, when he finished as QB13. That might seem disappointing if you were expecting him to take a bigger step forward, but there are a lot of really good QBs ahead of him, and it’s hard to see him passing many of them. I’ve got him finishing as roughly QB10 based on last year’s results.
|Cooper, Amari OAK WR||143.53||85.11||1241.55||14.59||8.61||262.14|
|Crabtree, Michael OAK WR||124.2||71.54||869.39||12.15||6.83||199.46|
|Roberts, Seth OAK WR||64.44||36.99||531.65||14.37||3.87||113.35|
Fun fact: Michael Crabtree was Oakland’s WR1 last season by market share. This year I just flipped them and gave Amari Cooper the league-average market share of targets for a WR1. In expectation of a sophomore “leap,” I gave Cooper modest increases in yards per target (plus 0.3 yards per target) and TD rate (plus one percent). That enhancement produces a projection that works out to WR12 scoring from last year, and makes Cooper fair value in redrafts.
I averaged Crabtree’s career and 2015 yards per target, and TD rate, to get his projection. It comes out roughly the same as Kamar Aiken’s 2015 (WR27) campaign, and suggests he could be a bit of a bargain.
For Seth Roberts I marked down his yards per target from 8.7 to 8.2, and his TD rate from an incredible nine percent to a more palatable 75th percentile rate (six percent). I also bumped him up to 11 percent of targets, slightly above average for a WR3. Ben Gretch has me thinking that Roberts is a player to watch.
|Walford, Clive OAK TE||70.3||41.48||474.53||11.44||3.87||112.13|
I kept Walford’s 2015 TD rate and gave him a small uptick in yards per target. The biggest change here is that I boosted him from just eight percent of targets to a league-average 12 percent. That would have made him TE21 last season. I like him much more than our staff composite, but he’s still just fair value at his current TE22 ADP.
|Murray, Latavius OAK RB||231.8||996.74||5.56||52.73||39.33||256.88||6.53||1.04||204.32|
|Washington, DeAndre OAK RB||98.22||398.09||2.16||58.58||43.35||368.32||8.5||1.09||139.5|
I mostly left Latavius Murray’s numbers the same as last year, except I slashed his market share of rushing attempts from 72 percent to 59 percent. That’s still above league-average for a team’s RB1; I’m trying to account for the potential impact of DeAndre Washington without over-correcting. This projection still would have been in the top-12 overall last season, and isn’t far off what he did last year. Yes, I believe Washington will have a rookie impact. But that doesn’t mean he’ll supercede Murray entirely.
I’m much more bullish than the rest of the RotoViz projectors, but I think we’re overestimating Washington’s impact – or at least where his work will come from. At a current ADP of RB18, my projection makes Murray a great bargain in MFL10 drafts. And if the truth lies somewhere between the staff consensus projection (RB21) and my projection, then he’s still roughly fair value.
My projection for Washington works out to RB33 last year. To get there, I gave him 25 percent of the rushing attempts, well above league average for a team’s RB2. If you accept the argument, as I do, that Washington is a good prospect, then that seems reasonable. But he can get most of the way there by just stealing work from the likes of Jamize Olawale, Roy Helu, Taiwan Jones, and Marcel Reece, who had nearly 70 carries between them. Reece is currently suspended, Helu had a disastrous 2015, and neither Olawale nor Jones are anything special. I’m sure one or two of them will make the final roster…but it wouldn’t be surprising if any of them were cut.
The point here is that Washington can get a lot of work from this cast of misfits without significantly hampering Murray’s workload. I also gave Washington 10 percent of team targets, a very robust number for an RB2. Partly that’s based on his alleged prowess, but also on the fact that Murray was suboptimal as a receiver, and after Cooper and Crabtree, there’s not a lot of other options. Washington’s projection makes him a screaming bargain (RB53) based on his redraft ADP.
I’m not sure Oakland can support two RBs at this level, and I’ll probably update this projection a few times over the summer, as more information about expected usage comes out from training camp. But head coach Jack Del Rio is a defensive-minded coach, which might auger for a stronger tilt to RBs. In his nine years coaching the Jaguars, his teams were negative six percent in terms of pass tendency. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has also been a run-heavy coordinator in the past. Yes, they had Maurice Jones-Drew and Adrian Peterson respectively, but it’s at least something to go on to support the idea that Oakland could feature it’s RBs very heavily.