Raiders Fantasy News

Raiders expect a 'competitive situation' at running back

Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 1:14pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he expects Lavatius Murray and Trent Richardson to compete for the starting tailback job.

"I think it will be a competitive situation," Del Rio said.

Del Rio likes Richardson's potential.

"What I saw when we brought him in and talked to him was a young man that was hungry to kind of leave that portion of his career behind him and start fresh," Del Rio said. "My challenge to him was, 'Look, I don't want you to worry about anything other than coming in here and competing your butt off every day. Come in here and be a great teammate. Come in here and find a role on special teams. Come in here and just grind every day with the hunger you had as a freshman at Alabama.'"

Fantasy Impact:

We fully expect Murray to win the job, though it is concerning that the Raiders aggressively pursued DeMarco Murray. It indicates that they aren't fully ready to move forward with Latavius Murray, even though he rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets. We don't see Richardson as much of a threat, but teams have force-fed him before. Roy Helu is also in the mix, so if the Raiders don't commit to Murray, this could devolve into an ugly committee.

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Raiders sign RB Trent Richardson

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 1:00pm

Bill Williamson, Twitter - [Full Article]

Can confirm Trent Richardson is final stages of getting deal with Raiders.

Fantasy Impact:

This is actually good news for Latavius Murray, since Richardson isn't a real threat to Murray's chances of winning the RB1 job in Oakland. The team went hard after DeMarco Murray but ended up with T-Rich. There's an opportunity for a joke here, but we're going to let it pass. The team also signed Roy Helu, who should serve as the third down back.

Cowboys agree to terms with RB Darren McFadden on a two-year deal

Friday, March 13, 2015, 10:41am

Charean Williams, Twitter - [Full Article]

Cowboys agree to two-year deal with Darren McFadden pending a physical.

Update: The deal is worth up to $3 million over two years, with incentives.

Fantasy Impact:

McFadden turns 28 in August and he hasn't cracked 3.5 YPC since 2011 (when he rushed for 5.4 YPC). It's an interesting signing given the Dallas offensive line, which may be the best run-blocking unit in the league. But 2014 was the first time that McFadden played a full season; he has missed 26% of his team's games in his seven-year career. We'll see what else the Cowboys do at running back before going down this road once again.

Raiders agree to terms with RB Roy Helu

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 9:10pm

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

Roy Helu agrees with the Raiders on a 2-year deal worth over $4M, source said.

Fantasy Impact:

If the Raiders are unsuccessful in their pursuit of DeMarco Murray, then Helu would likely serve as a passing down specialist while Latavius Murray would handle most of the carries.

TE Julius Thomas 'expected' to sign with the Jaguars

Monday, March 9, 2015, 9:16pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Jaguars have reached an agreement with free-agent tight end Julius Thomas, and he is expected to sign a contract with the team Tuesday, according to league sources.

The Denver Post, which first reported the news Monday night, said the multiyear contract is worth around $9 million a season.

Fantasy Impact:

Thomas was the #3 TE in 2013, but struggled to a #10 finish last season after dealing with torn ligaments in his ankle. He has considerable talent as a pass-catcher, but this is a huge system downgrade from Denver to Jacksonville. He'll no longer enjoy the benefits of playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense and will instead be relying on Blake Bortles to deliver the ball. If the Jaguars feature him in the passing game -- and why wouldn't they? -- he has the potential to finish as a fantasy TE1 provided he can stay healthy. It's certainly an upgrade for Bortles and a downgrade for Manning, though whomever wins the starting tight end job in Denver will be on the fantasy radar.

Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement

Thursday, March 5, 2015, 5:22pm

Maurice Jones-Drew, Twitter - [Full Article]

Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew announced via Twitter that he's retiring from the NFL.

Fantasy Impact:

Jones-Drew was a minor threat to Latavius Murray's upside in 2015, but now the path is clear. Murray rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets. Per beat writer Jerry McDonald, Murray will be “given every chance” to win the starting job, though the glut of running backs on the free agent market may lead to a veteran or two being brought in to shore up the Oakland RB corps.

Ravens 'expected' to draft a running back

Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 9:52am

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

If they can bring back Justin Forsett, the Ravens are expected to pair him with a young running back. They met with Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), David Johnson (Northern Iowa) and Duke Johnson (Miami) at the NFL scouting combine.

"He doesn’t have the wear and tear, and Justin did a very good job of coming in, competing and then being our bell cow," GM Ozzie Newsome said. "We would like to retain Justin, but I’ve learned something since the end of the season about Justin that I didn’t really know. He has mentored some very good, young backs, starting with Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Maurice Jones-Drew when he was in Jacksonville.

"Having Justin here, and with the opportunity also bringing in hopefully another young running back, to have Justin be around that guy would be an asset also. So, we will work to try to retain Justin.”

Fantasy Impact:

Under OC Marc Trestman, Matt Forte caught 176 passes in the last two seasons, including 102 catches in 2014. Forsett caught 44 passes last season, and could potentially see that number double if he's the RB1 for the Ravens in 2015. Depending on his asking price, re-signing the 29-year-old Forsett isn't a no-brainer for the Ravens, though he's not likely to garner a huge contract in free agency. As the #8 RB in both standard and PPR formats in 2014, he'll likely hold RB2-type draft value if he stays in Baltimore. If the Ravens draft a running back early, it would certainly damper Forsett's outlook in 2015.

Kubiak: Broncos RB C.J. Anderson has to 'earn' starting job

Thursday, February 19, 2015, 9:07am

Denver Post - [Full Article]

Four games into the 2014 season, C.J. Anderson was the Broncos' No. 4 running back who didn't get to dress against the Arizona Cardinals.

By season's end, Anderson was a Pro Bowler. But Anderson started the final eight games with John Fox as head coach. Gary Kubiak is the Broncos' coach now.

Will Anderson start the 2015 season as the No. 1 running back, ahead of Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman?

"He's got to go earn that," Kubiak said. "When he walked off the field last year he was playing that way. He's a young player. I told him that when I talked to him. I said, "C.J. when you come back for the offseason you need to handle yourself like you're the starter. ... I think he's ready to do that."

Fantasy Impact:

This is a common motivational tactic that coaches use with young, less-established players, but Anderson should be the team's RB1 in 2015 provided he doesn't report to OTAs out of shape. He began to see starter-type touches in Week 10 with 17 touches for 163 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. Over the final eight weeks, he averaged 24.0 touches for 132 yards and 1.3 TD, and was the #1 RB in that span. If the Broncos commit to Anderson, he should thrive under new Kubiak, who just coaxed a career year out of journeyman Justin Forsett. Provided QB Peyton Manning returns for another season, Anderson’s production should continue.

Raiders RB Latavius Murray will be given 'every chance' to win RB1 job

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 1:59pm

Inside Bay Area - [Full Article]

Raiders RB Latavius Murray will be given every chance to show he can be a feature back, but HC Jack Del Rio said it's far from a done deal. He'll give Maurice Jones-Drew a chance to rejuvenate his legs, but he's a question mark based on last season's 2.2 yards per carry average. Darren McFadden is an unrestricted free agent.

Fantasy Impact:

We don't think that Murray will need extra chances to prove he's a feature back. He rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets.

Cosell: Raiders QB Derek Carr has 'best combination of arm strength, pocket play and movement' of rookie QB class

Thursday, February 12, 2015, 1:34pm

Yahoo - [Full Article]

Greg Cosell compares Raiders QB Derek Carr to the rest of his rookie class...

I think Carr has the best combination of arm strength, pocket play and movement. He has a really good arm. There are times he snaps it off like Aaron Rodgers in the pocket.

Carr’s tendency to get rid of the ball short isn’t a bad thing. The Raiders’ sack numbers were way down. He didn’t stand there and hold the ball with a deer-in-the-headlights look. That tells me his processing was functioning. He didn’t always throw to the right guy, but he didn’t get stuck in the pocket. He struggled at times with lower body mechanics, but he had the instincts and feel of a pocket quarterback. And he showed progress with his lower body mechanics as the season went on.

Carr played well as a rookie, and as long as he progresses as he should in seeing things at the intermediate level, there’s a lot to like with him going forward.

Fantasy Impact:

Carr finished the season as the #20 QB in fantasy and averaged 12.5 FP per game. He'll be in the mix for QBBC and streaming strategies heading into the 2015 season.

Broncos Beat: 2014 'just the beginning' for RB C.J. Anderson

Thursday, February 5, 2015, 12:54pm

Denver Broncos - [Full Article]

With the Broncos' return to zone blocking in 2015 under Head Coach Gary Kubiak and Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison, C.J. Anderson's rampage through opposing defenses could be just the beginning. Kubiak and Dennison's penchant for extracting career seasons from running backs continued last year in Baltimore, when they helped craft an offense that turned Justin Forsett loose.

"I just can't wait to get to work, to be honest," Anderson said.

Fantasy Impact:

Anderson began to see starter-type touches in Week 10 with 17 touches for 163 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. Over the final eight weeks, he averaged 24.0 touches for 132 yards and 1.3 TD, and was the #1 RB in that span. If the Broncos commit to Anderson (and why wouldn’t they?), he should thrive under new Kubiak, who just coaxed a career year out of journeyman Justin Forsett. Provided QB Peyton Manning returns for another season, Anderson’s production should continue.

Browns hiring John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 10:51am

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Browns are hiring as OC ex-Raiders QB coach John DeFilippo, source confirms the Alex Marvez report. His work with Derek Carr was noted.

Fantasy Impact:

This is something as a head-scratcher, though Rapoport notes that DeFilippo's work with Derek Carr is what got him noticed by the Browns. He has previously served as the QB coach for the Giants, Raiders (twice) and the Jets.

Raiders going to 'tailor run game' for RB Latavius Murray

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 10:45am

Vic Tafur, Twitter - [Full Article]

Asked OC Bill Musgrave impression of Latavius Murray: "Very positive. Tremendous size & speed. Going to tailor run game so it's right up his alley."

Fantasy Impact:

Murray's dynasty/keeper league owners can rejoice. It sounds as if the new regime is a fan of Murray, so at this point we can pencil him in as the starter in Week 1. We'll continue to monitor the Oakland backfield throughout the offseason. From Week 12 on, Murray was the #17 RB in fantasy football, racking up 478 total yards and two touchdowns in five games.

Ravens hire Marc Trestman as offensive coordinator

Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 10:36pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Ravens hired former Bears HC Marc Trestman as offensive coordinator, per source.

Fantasy Impact:

Trestman has had some terrific offenses over the years, including four top 10 units (49ers in '95 and '96, Raiders in '02 and the Bears in '13). His arrival bodes well for Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett (specifically in the passing game).

Jaguars hire Greg Olson as offensive coordinator

Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 10:33pm

Jason LaCanfora, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Jaguars are hiring Greg Olson to be their offensive coordinator.

Fantasy Impact:

Olson's offenses have been consistently mediocre, but Derek Carr showed some flashes last season. Olson's '06 Rams were 6th in yards and 10th in points scored. He'll lead a young offense featuring Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and perhaps Justin Blackmon.