After firing head coach Jon Gruden during the season, a lot of experts wrote off the Las Vegas Raiders. But they pulled together and went on a four-game win streak to end the season, punching their ticket to the playoffs with a huge win over the Los Angeles Chargers to end the season. They lost in the Wild Card round to the Bengals, and soon launched on a wholesale leadership makeover, finally prying Josh McDaniels out of New England to return to the head coaching ranks.
The Raiders loaded up in the offseason, most notable swinging a massive deal for Packers wide receiver Davante Adams. It’s a huge addition on paper, but it remains to be seen whether or not it’ll be enough to keep up in an AFC West that’s loaded with playoff caliber teams.
- Derek Carr
- Nick Mullens
- Josh Jacobs
- Kenyan Drake
- Zamir White
- Brandon Bolden
- Davante Adams
- Hunter Renfrow
- Bryan Edwards
- Demarcus Robinson
- Darren Waller
- Foster Moreau
- Jacob Hollister
Biggest offseason changes
Bringing in Adams gives the Raiders a bona fide No. 1 receiver. It’s also worth pointing out that he’ll be reunited with his former college quarterback, Carr. The biggest change in Las Vegas, however, is going to be the offense under Josh McDaniels.
Biggest questions for fantasy football
What exactly is McDaniels’ offense going to look like? There’s no one obvious answers, partly because for so much of McDaniels’ career as a coordinator he had Tom Brady at quarterback. You can expect more focus on a power running scheme, and a passing attack that relies heavily on short, quick passes to get the ball out and into the hands of playmakers.
Clearly Adams is going to retain his appeal in fantasy. But there’s some question as to whether or not his presence will depress the numbers for rest of the pass catchers. While it might mean fewer targets to go around, tight end Darren Waller should still be one of the top producers at his position. A secondary question is whether or not the presence of Adams and McDaniels could boost Renfrow’s numbers out of the slot.
The Raiders declined to pick up Jacobs’ fifth-year option, meaning this is likely his last season with the team. Always an inconsistent performer, could he improve in the new running game here? Rookie Zamir White, a fourth-round pick, could be primed to take over the starting job next year, but does that mean he’ll get an extended look as a rookie?