Shark Bites

Raiders CB Sean Smith was arrested Thursday and charged with felony assault over a July 4 incident, according to TMZ. Oakland had previously benched the former starter in favor of T.J. Carrie, according to NFL Network. Don't be surprised if Smith is soon gone from the team entirely.

Raiders TE Jared Cook has been seeing a lot of targets from QB Derek Carr in training camp, according to insider Vic Tafur. “When you add a guy like Jared Cook that runs a 4.3 or a 4.4 and he can outrun DBs on go-routes, (you) can throw him out wide and run different kinds of routes with him,” Carr said. “We can do that kind of stuff because he is that talented.” Cook has mostly disappointed through 8 NFL seasons, but he reminded us of his upside with 18 catches for 229 yards and 2 TDs in 3 playoff games with the Packers last year. Cook can't be trusted as a TE1 but is a fine flier at his 18th-round ADP.

Raiders RB DeAndre Washington has been getting "all" of the 2nd-team reps ahead of Jalen Richard in camp so far, according to insider Vic Tafur. That there's a clear gap between the 2 is surprising after they played a similar number of snaps and saw about the same amount of total touches last year. We're still expecting both guys to be involved behind starter Marshawn Lynch -- and to form a committee if Lynch misses time -- but Washington is the superior late-round target in fantasy drafts.

It sounds like RB Marshawn Lynch has exceeded the Raiders' expectations so far. “He has pleasantly surprised me at every turn," OC Todd Downing said. "... Everything that we’ve seen on him thus far — and, of course, we’ve only been in pajamas out there practicing — but what we’ve seen has been fantastic. And I’m as excited as the rest of Raider Nation to see what he’s got.” Oakland couldn't have known exactly what it was getting when it signed the 31-year-old Lynch, who was out of the league altogether last season. And, of course, the true test will come when the pads go on in August. There's a massive range of fantasy outcomes here, making Lynch a risk/reward gamble at his current early-4th-round ADP.

The Raiders and QB Derek Carr have agreed on a 5-year, $125 million extension. He's now signed through 2022 and is the highest-paid player in the league in terms of annual salary. It's an aggressive move from the Raiders. But Carr has improved his completion rate and yards per attempt each season since being drafted 36th overall back in 2014. He ranked 14th among QBs in fantasy points 2 years ago and 7th through 15 healthy games last season. There's perennial top 8 potential here, especially being tied to WR Amari Cooper.

If you're comfy with Raiders WR Amari Cooper going consistently in the 2nd round of fantasy football drafts, then GM Reggie McKenzie probably agrees with you. According to the team website, he had this to say during a conference call with season-ticket holders: “We’re definitely hoping that he takes a big leap. He started off really good last year, and at the end we kind of fell off a little bit, but we’re expecting huge things from Amari this year. He’s doing great, he’s coming into his own, and I think he’s definitely going to put himself among the best of the best by the end of this season.” Cooper finished top-14 across fantasy formats in his 2nd season but ranked outside the top 40 over the 2nd half, while reaching 60 yards just once. He has displayed the ceiling that made him the 4th overall pick in 2015, but Cooper needs to get more consistent. The talent and opportunity is certainly there, especially if he can pass Michael Crabtree in targets in his 3rd season.

Undrafted free agent WR Ishmael Zamora has signed on with the Raiders. The Baylor product is extremely raw and wasn't invited to the Combine after he was caught beating his dog last year. But this is 1 of the most exciting size/athleticism prospects in the entire WR class. Zamora is a rocked-up 6'4, 224-pounder and clocked a 4.49-second 40 time with a massive 40-inch vertical at his Pro Day. He straight-up bullied opposing defenders at times in college. Zamora won't make noise in 2017 but is worth a draft-and-stash in deep dynasty leagues.

Oakland selected UNC RB Elijah Hood late in Round 7 of the NFL Draft. At 5'11 and 232 pounds, Hood brings much more size than incumbents DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. And it's certainly fair to wonder how long Marshawn Lynch's return with last -- and how durable/effective he'll prove to be after a year off. Hood carries some sneaky upside for the late rounds of rookie drafts in your dynasty fantasy football league. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry career and rushed for 25 TDs over the past 2 seasons, before leaving with 1 year of eligibility remaining.

The Raiders chose S Obi Melifonwu late in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. The UConn alum profiles as a safety primarily but displayed the athleticism to potentially play some 1-1 coverage in the pros. He could fight S Reggie Nelson for a starting position right away in an improving secondary and defense.

The Raiders selected Ohio State CB Gareon Conley at #24 in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. The corner likely slipped because of recent rape allegations, though there haven't been any formal charges. According to Adam Schefter, the Ravens gave him a polygraph test that he passed. On the field, Conley picked 6 passes and defensed 13 over the past 2 seasons. He'll likely open as Oakland's #3 CB, behind David Amerson and Sean Smith.

Multiple outlets report that Oakland and Seattle have worked out a trade that will finally, officially send RB Marshawn Lynch to the Raiders. It will reportedly involve an exchange of late-round picks in 2018 -- basically a formality. We'll see what kind of shape Lynch is in once he takes the field and whether Oakland adds more to its backfield in the NFL Draft this week.

NFL Network's Michael Silver reports that the Raiders and RB Marshawn Lynch have agreed to contract terms. Oakland will still need to work out a trade with the Seahawks to officially acquire Lynch, but we'd guess that step should be easier than the contract. Seattle has Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise and Eddie Lacy in the backfield after playing 2016 without Lynch. Assuming the whole situation does get worked out, we'd bet on Lynch leading the Oakland backfield in carries this season -- barring injury, of course. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard will be bigger threats in the passing game, however, which should keep the work spread around. The Raiders finished 2016 ranked 6th in yardage and 7th in scoring, despite losing Derek Carr for the final game and Latavius Murray for 2 others. It's a good situation for RB value, especially behind 1 of the league's best offensive lines. But don't expect any Oakland back to sit higher than RB3 range when our official 2017 rankings arrive.

Update: Lynch and the Raiders haven't officially reached an agreement on a new deal, per NFL Network. They're still expected to come to terms, though. Stay tuned.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that the Seahawks are expected to trade RB Marshawn Lynch to the Raiders. The deal is contingent on Lynch and the Raiders working out a new contract first. Lynch-to-Oakland has seemed likely for a while now. Frankly, though, we're surprised Seattle is going to squeeze a draft pick out of the Raiders. Regardless, Beast Mode will arrive in Oakland as the favorite for lead-back duties on an ascending offense with an elite offensive line. We're curious to see what kind of shape the soon-to-be 31-year-old is in after a year away from the game.

RB Marshawn Lynch visited the Raiders on Wednesday and informed them that he plans to un-retire, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. As soon as that becomes official, the Seahawks will either trade or release Beast Mode (likely the latter considering it's clear that he'll only play for Oakland). It suddenly looks extremely likely that Lynch will be back in the league this season -- and as a lead back. The Raiders currently have just the inexperienced and undersized duo of DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard at RB. It's unclear exactly how much the soon-to-be 31-year-old Lynch has left in the tank, but he'll be running behind 1 of the league's best offensive lines.

Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie said Monday that QB Derek Carr will be a "full-go" for all offseason activities. He's now 3 months removed from the broken fibula that ended his 2016 campaign. Carr ranked 7th among QBs in fantasy points through 16 weeks last year and could be even better in 2017. Oakland returns WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and added TE Jared Cook in free agency. The backfield is currently comprised of smallish, unproven youngsters in DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard.

The Raiders are trying to coax RB Marshawn Lynch out of retirement, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Lynch is reportedly considering it. His rights still belong to the Seahawks, so he'd either need to be released or traded. "It could really happen," a source told Schefter. Lynch turns 31 in April and averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in 2015, so the Raiders wouldn't be getting prime Beast Mode. But he could certainly provide some power to a backfield that currently features 204-pound DeAndre Washington and 207-pound Jalen Richard. We'll continue to keep an eye on the situation.

The Raiders have signed TE Jared Cook, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Cook has largely been a disappointment through his 8-year career, but he came up big for the Packers late last season and in the playoffs, totaling 31 catches, 408 yards and 2 TDs. He joins an Oakland offense that could use a 3rd option in the passing game behind WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Raiders TEs combined for 83 targets last year -- a number Cook should hit by himself in 2017. He'll be an intriguing TE2 targets in fantasy drafts this summer. TE Clive Walford's arrow is pointing down after a disappointing sophomore season.

The Raiders have signed WR Cordarrelle Patterson to a 2-year deal. A mega-bust former 1st-rounder, Patterson failed to reach 500 yards or 5 TDs in any of his 4 seasons in Minnesota. He actually set a career high with 52 catches this past year, but they amounted to just 453 yards (8.7 YPC) and 2 TDs. Now he joins a Raiders squad that saw WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree hog 46.5% of the targets last season. Patterson will battle for the #3 WR gig with Seth Robert, who garnered just 12.9% of the targets (77 total) in 2016. Patterson is unlikely to come into fantasy value in Oakland, outside of return-yardage leagues.

The Associated Press reports that the Raiders will not renew the contract of OC Bill Musgrave this offseason, opting instead to promote QBs coach Todd Downing. Oakland jumped from 24th in yards and 17th in scoring to 6th and 7th, respectively, in Musgrave's 2nd year as OC. Downing spent the past 2 years as QBs coach, marking the 3rd team he has served in that role. He has never served as an OC on the college or pro level, though. We'll await word on his plans for the Raiders offense, as well as any significant moves the team plans for this offseason. The most interesting situation for fantasy owners will be the backfield, with Latavius Murray on the verge of free agency and DeAndre Washington's role growing at the end of the year.

Raiders WR Michael Crabtree sustained a concussion in Saturday's loss to the Texans. Oakland's season is over, but the head injury is worth filing away. It's the 1st known concussion of his career. Crabtree tallied 89 catches, 1,003 yards and 8 TDs during the regular season, finishing 12th among WRs in PPR points. That followed a 17th-place finish in 2015. Crabtree turns 30 in September but will be a good bet for WR2 production again in 2017.


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