The Oakland Raiders were not a source of significant production for fantasy football owners in 2012, as no one had more than 707 rushing yards and just one player had more than 52 receptions. Quarterback Carson Palmer was likely roster-worthy in 12 and 14-team leagues (4,018 passing yards, 22 touchdowns), but he was not someone who helped decide a lot of league titles.
Palmer has of course moved on, having been traded to the Arizona Cardinals during the offseason, and the Raiders’ leading receiver last season (tight end Brandon Myers) signed with the New York Giants. In Palmer’s place under center is Matt Flynn, with just two career starts under his belt, and Oakland has a bunch of big question marks at wide receiver outside of Denarius Moore (51 receptions for 741 yards and seven touchdowns last season).
Competing for the starting spot opposite Moore are second-year players Juron Criner and Rod Streater, and Jacoby Ford could also be in the mix after missing all of last season with a foot injury. At this early stage of training camp Streater has been mentioned as a standout, but should fantasy owners take notice?
Streater landed with Oakland as an undrafted free agent last year, and he started his career with a touchdown catch in Week 1 against the San Diego Chargers. But any positive buzz he may have gotten from fantasy owners quickly disappeared, due in part to target totals that fluctuated on a weekly basis, as he had just 17 catches and one touchdown over the next 10 games.
But Streater did finish the season solidly, with 18 receptions for 351 yards and a touchdown over the final five games, including four games with at least 62 yards and a 100-yard game against the Denver Broncos in Week 14.
The Raiders are likely to have one of the league’s worst defenses again this season, so they should be throwing the ball plenty and playing from behind often. Streater looks likely to win a starting job during the preseason, and I think he’d have to fall on his face (or suffer a major injury) to not maintain a role in Oakland’s passing game throughout the season. Streater’s size (6’3″, 200 lbs.) and overall skill set looks like a good match for Flynn, who has questions surrounding his lack of arm strength.
But all those positives don’t necessarily translate into great fantasy value, due mostly to questions over how Flynn will look in the first extended playing time of his career. Streater is worth a look as a WR4 or WR5 in 12 and 14-team leagues, with slightly greater potential in PPR leagues, but expecting much more than that would be foolish.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.