Football

Are Raiders’ Carr and Waller fantasy football sleepers? Is Jacobs a break out star?

Raiders have high optimism for 2019 season

The Oakland Raiders are in its third week of organized team activities before three-day mandatory minicamp next week.
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The Oakland Raiders are in its third week of organized team activities before three-day mandatory minicamp next week.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, tight end Darren Waller and rookie running back Josh Jacobs are getting some attention from the ESPN fantasy football experts.

ESPN’s Field Yates is predicting Carr to be a sleeper. Probably because the additions of wide receivers Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams and a host of others.

It’s a different look for the Raiders that could lead to better production from Carr, unlike last season when he passed for just 19 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He did throw for a career-high 4,049 yards despite having a depleted wide receiver corps.

“The evidence to support Carr’s case is in large part circumstantial, as no wide receiver group underwent a more significant face-lift this offseason than Oakland’s,” Yates wrote. “Carr had a strong 2016 campaign (28 touchdowns and just six interceptions), with a body of work that shows he can be a capable player when surrounded by the right pieces. They’re there in Oakland.”

Then there is the 6-foot-6 tight end Waller. He has received tons of praise from coach Jon Gruden throughout the offseason.

With Jared Cook’s move to the New Orleans Saints, the door has been opened for Waller to become a probable starter for the Raiders.

ESPN fantasy football guru Matthew Berry is a believer, thanks to Brown.

“When I interviewed AB a few weeks ago, he said this about Waller: ‘Big, fast, explosive guy. Catch and run. Can run like a receiver. He’s tall like Calvin Johnson. He’s a freaky guy,’ ” Berry wrote.

And then there is a breakout category, and Mike Clay believes Jacobs will fit that description.

Jacobs, drafted in the first round (24th overall) by the Raiders, will likely start and be spelled by Doug Martin and Jalen Richard.

“Jacobs is positioned for a massive role in his first season,” Clay wrote. “Jacobs has the frame to handle the bulk of the carries, including goal-line work, and is a capable receiver and returner.”

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Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.
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