With the Oakland Raiders on their bye week and it conveniently being around the mid-point of the NFL season, there is not a better time than now to grade the fantasy performances of the marquee Raiders this season.
QB Derek Carr: B-
Currently, Derek Carr is the No. 17 ranked fantasy quarterback in total points with 118.1 points (14.76 fantasy points per game), per ESPN’s PPR Fantasy Football Rankings.
However, the injury doesn’t lessen Carr’s impact at the moment because the Raiders have played one more game than most teams in the NFL.
As such, most quarterbacks have missed one week. Carr missed his via injury, others missed theirs via the bye week so it has pretty much evened out.
Carr has been wildly inconsistent to this point and honestly deserves his average ranking in the teens. He started the season on the right note with more than 18 points in the first two games, but Carr went through a horrific stretch starting with the Sunday night loss in Washington.
During the aforementioned stretch, Carr broke his back, had four interceptions and failed to throw for over 200 yards in a game until the Thursday night explosion against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Against the Chiefs, Carr threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns. He has looked like the Carr of old (fantasy-wise) since that outing as he has eclipsed the 300-yard mark in each of the last three games.
Overall, Carr’s poor stretch was incredibly bad and has hurt his fantasy production in 2017. However, he seems to have turned it around and is likely to have a monster second half of the season.
RB Marshawn Lynch: C-
Marshawn Lynch’s season to date has been beyond disappointing. He was suspended and has failed to reach 80 yards rushing in a single game. It is even more discouraging that Lynch is running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and still can’t hit the ground running.
The Oakland native has also seen a restricted number of carries tallying just 86 in the eight games he has played.
Touchdowns have not come easy for Lynch either. He has only seen the endzone four times this season despite scoring twice on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Lynch is a touchdown reliant fantasy player due to his lack of carries but has barely reached paydirt making him a poor fantasy option.
WR Amari Cooper: D+
Has there been a more disappointing football player this season than Amari Cooper? Seriously.
Entering his third season, the year many players say the game slows down, Cooper was expected to ascend into the elite ranks at the position. Instead, he is in the process of having his worst season as a Raider and is dropping the football as if it is doused in oil.
Cooper’s 44 point fantasy game (11 receptions, 210 yards and two touchdowns) against the Chiefs helped him sky rocket up to the No. 22 ranking at his position. But if one puts that game aside, he has only averaged 7.33 fantasy points per game which would put him in the neighborhood of No. 60 among fantasy wide receivers. A ranking nowhere near Cooper’s top 10 talent level.
WR Michael Crabtree: B+
Michael Crabtree started the 2017 season strong with over 46 fantasy points in the first two weeks which included a three touchdown performance against the New York Jets.
Unfortunately, an injury hindered Crabtree’s play Week 3 and forced him sit out Week 4. But he has not missed a step since his return averaging over 13.8 points per game and 14.6 points per game over this entire season earning him the No. 11 ranking.
The No. 11 ranking is slightly low because he missed the Denver Broncos game. If the rankings were based on average, he would move into the top 10.
TE Jared Cook: A-
Jared Cook, who was just signed this offseason to add a big weapon to Carr’s arsenal, has come on strong late. Over the last three games, Cook has hauled in 18 receptions for 290 yards earning him the No. 7 ranking among tight ends in 2017.
Cook has earned Carr’s trust to make very difficult grabs near the end of games and on necessary third downs shown by the receptions late in the Chiefs’ game and in the first quarter last Sunday against Miami.
After arriving from Green Bay, many thought Cook was a solid signing, but no one would have thought he would be putting up top 7 numbers.
Raiders D/ST: F
Oakland has forced zero interceptions, only has 13 sacks and has yet to score a touchdown on defense. Without much surprise, Oakland has the No. 32 ranked fantasy defense to date with just 19 fantasy points in eight games.
To put it in perspective, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the top-ranked defense, have scored 116 points.
The one saving grace for the Raiders is that they have recovered the sixth-most fumbles in the league with six. But that has been the only positive.
Raiders fantasy MVP: Jared Cook
Cook is the highest ranked Oakland player in regards to their position at No. 7. Going into the season, many would have put Lynch, Carr, Cooper and maybe even Crabtree over Cook.
Instead, Cook has proved many people wrong across the league and has earned himself the incredible honor of being the Oakland Raiders mid-season fantasy football MVP.