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Offseason Primers: Oakland Raiders

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Raiders were filled with disappointments in 2012. Darren McFadden? Injured and failed to produce in a new offensive scheme. Denarius Moore? Didn't take the leap many hoped in his sophomore campaign. Carson Palmer? Too many interceptions.

It feels like the same old story in Oakland.

There were some bright spots with the emergence of Brandon Myers, who finished the year as a Top 10 Fantasy tight end, and Marcel Reece as a capable backup for McFadden. Rod Streater also showed flashes as a third receiving option, and Terrelle Pryor might be the future at quarterback.

2012 Touches Leaders
1,005 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Darren McFadden 258 (216 car., 42 rec.) 25.6%
Marcel Reece 111 (59 car., 52 rec.) 11.0%
Brandon Myers 79 rec. 7.8%
Denarius Moore 52 (1 car., 51 rec.) 5.1%
Mike Goodson 51 (35 car., 16 rec.) 6.0%
All Others 454 45.1%

But for Fantasy owners, the key players struggled, especially McFadden. The good thing is the Raiders are clearly behind him as the focal point of their offense. Greg Knapp, who ran the zone-blocking scheme that caused McFadden to struggle, was replaced by Greg Olson, and the change should help McFadden improve.

We're also expecting Moore to have a breakout year in his third season, and hopefully Streater can step up as a quality Fantasy option. He has the chance to start with Darrius Heyward-Bey now gone.

But beyond McFadden, Moore and potentially Streater, the Raiders are looking for new faces to help Fantasy owners. Matt Flynn was added at quarterback with Palmer gone, and he's excpected to compete with Pryor for the starting job. And they need to find a new tight end with Myers now with the Giants.

Pryor has the most upside if he can beat out Flynn for the job. He is the kind of quarterback captivating the NFL right now with a similar skill set to guys like Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. If he gets a chance to start then we could have another potential Fantasy starter, and we like Pryor much better than Flynn.

Darren McFadden -- Bounce-back candidate

2012 Target Leaders
629 pass attempts
Denarius Moore 114 18.1%
Brandon Myers 105 16.6%
Darrius Heyward-Bey 80 12.7%
Rod Streater 74 11.7%
Marcel Reece 73 11.6%
All Others 183 29.0%

From a talent perspective, McFadden might be the best running back in the NFL. From a health perspective, he might be the worst. McFadden comes into this season once again trying to prove he can be an elite running back. He missed time again in 2012 -- this time it was four games with an ankle injury -- and struggled with Oakland's zone-blocking scheme. He had a career-low 3.3 yards per carry and finished with 216 carries for 707 yards and two touchdowns and 42 catches for 258 yards and one touchdown. It was a miserable year, but the Raiders remain committed to McFadden. The zone-blocking system is gone with Olson replacing Knapp as the offensive coordinator, and McFadden will now try to stay healthy for the first time in his career (he's never played more than 13 games). We still have optimism for McFadden, but there are obvious red flags. Because of that he should only be drafted with a late-second round pick at the earliest. Your best bet is to get McFadden in the third round and hope he surprises you like he did in 2010 (1,600 total yards and 10 touchdowns). We'd all take that McFadden, and we hope he shows up this year.

Denarius Moore -- Third-year breakout

Moore had a career season in 2012, but it feels like he underperformed. He finished the year with 51 catches for 741 yards and seven touchdowns, but he never materialized as a must-start Fantasy option. Part of the problem was he scored six of his seven touchdowns in his first 11 games, and he had only one 100-yard outing. But Moore now has the chance to shine this year, which will be his third season in the NFL and typically when receivers have a breakout campaign. He should be considered the best receiver for the Raiders, and he does have 12 receiving touchdowns to start his career. Moore will likely be a late-round selection in the majority of leagues, and he has the potential to have a breakout season. Put him on your draft list, and if he's still there after Round 10 then consider him a steal.

Terrelle Pryor -- Dynasty-league selection

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Matt Flynn Undrafted
Terrelle Pryor Undrafted
Darren McFadden 19-25 overall
Marcel Reece 166-172 overall
Denarius Moore 119-125 overall
Rod Streater Undrafted

Pryor got the chance to start one game for the Raiders in 2012, and he turned some heads in a Week 17 loss at San Diego. He should now get the chance to compete for the starting job with Flynn, who was acquired via trade in March, and we wouldn't be surprised if Pryor wins the battle. In that game against the Chargers, Pryor displayed nice athleticism, which is all the rage for quarterbacks today. Pryor was 13 of 28 passing for 150 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and he added 49 rushing yards and a touchdown. He is a sneaky pick with a late-round selection in deep leagues even if he loses the job to Flynn in training camp, and if Pryor does take over this season he could make an impact. In dynasty leagues, put Pryor on your wish list because he could end up as the starter in Oakland, potentially for many years if that one game sample size is a glimpse of what he can do.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Anthony McCoy carted off with Achilles injury
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:11 pm ET) Seahawks tight end Anthony McCoy was carted off the practice field after suffering an Achilles injury, reports 710 ESPN Radio. McCoy missed last season after tearing his other Achilles tendon.

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(4:03 pm ET) After a disastrous 2013 season with the Texans, quarterback Matt Schaub is settling in with the Raiders and regaining his confidence, reports the Sacramento Bee.

"Schauby's getting his mojo back," defensive tackle Antonio Smith told the paper. "He's getting his confidence back. He's starting to believe in himself again.

"He's starting to throw with confidence. Those are things you need to be a successful quarterback. You would be surprised just much a mindset is important in this game. ... The moment you are doubting yourself is the moment you start throwing a lot of interceptions and stuff."

Raiders coach Dennis Allen thinks Schaub can again be a Top-10 quarterback.

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Jordan, however, is suspended for four regular-season games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.


Drew Brees wants to play until he's 45 -- seriously
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(3:39 pm ET) Saints quarterback Drew Brees, 35, wants to play another decade in the NFL.

"I'm serious. I'm not delusional," Brees said after practice Tuesday, per the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I know that that's something that would be extremely difficult to do. Not many have done it. ... It could be done, but a lot of things have to fall into place."

Brees said his performance will determine how long he plays.

"I know it's one year at a time. It's, 'What have you done for me lately?'... But why not push the envelope a little bit?" Brees said. "It's certainly not going to be easy. I try to play this game like a kid. ... It is a serious business, and they don't keep you around if you don't play well."


Colts add two players
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(3:29 pm ET) The Colts signed running back Phillip Tanner and linebacker Jonathon Sharpe, and they'll practice with the team Wednesday. Tanner played in 39 games the past three years with the Cowboys, scoring two touchdowns.

Rueben Randle held out with hamstring issue
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(3:20 pm ET) The Giants held receiver Rueben Randle out of Tuesday's practice due to a sore hamstring, reports the New York Post.

David Wilson leaves practice with neck 'burner'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:14 pm ET) Giants running back David Wilson, who underwent neck surgery in January, walked off the practice field Tuesday with a trainer, reports ESPN.com. Coach Tom Coughlin said Wilson suffered a neck "burner."

Coughlin later added that "we were all praying" Wilson would not have a setback.


Cowboys change course, hold out Tony Romo
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(3:11 pm ET) After Cowboys officials said quarterback Tony Romo would practice Tuesday, they changed course and held him out, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Coach Jason Garrett said Romo is fine.

Coming off back surgery, Romo practiced Thursday, was off Friday, then practiced Saturday and Sunday. The entire team was off Monday.


Ravens tweak roster
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(2:57 pm ET) The Ravens cut receiver Gerrard Sheppard and signed defensive back Marrio Norman, reports the Baltimore Sun.

 
 
 
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