2016 Outlook: Cooper had quite the volatile rookie campaign after being the first receiver taken in the 2015 draft. He started strong and faded late (partially because of a foot injury), but he ended up among the top 25 receivers in targets, receptions, yardage, touchdowns and fantasy points. On the negative side, Cooper dropped 10 passes, which trailed only Mike Evans for most in the league. Still, Cooper is only 22 and already a proven every-down contributor. With his high talent level and a role in a quality offense, Cooper is a strong candidate for a big step forward in 2016, making him a solid WR2 with massive upside.
2016 Outlook: Murray's success in 2015 was a testament to the importance of durability and volume. In what was an injury-plagued season for Oakland at running back, Murray made it through 16 games as the team's workhorse. He finished the season third in carries, sixth in rushing yards and 11th in rushing TDs. His rate stats weren't quite as impressive; he averaged 4.0 ypc, including just 1.9 after contact. Murray posted only six top-20 weeks, making him a better flex option than RB2. He is still only 26 and is a size-speed freak, but he must fend off competition from rookie DeAndre Washington.
2016 Outlook: Just when his career seemed to be on its last legs, Crabtree was reborn in Oakland. In six seasons with the 49ers, he ranked among the top 30 WRs in fantasy points just once. But with the Raiders last season, he ended up 19th. Crabtree saw plenty of targets (10th among WRs), particularly in the end zone, where the Raiders went to him 15 times (tied for 10th in the league). His strong 2015 performance makes Crabtree a clear flex option this season, but he likely will play second fiddle to the emerging Amari Cooper.
2016 Outlook: Halfway through last season, Carr seemed to be enjoying a second-year breakout, posting six top-10 fantasy weeks in his first nine games. But he did not sustain that success and faded badly. Over the final seven weeks, he averaged an 18th-place weekly positional ranking and cracked the top 10 just once. His rate stats weren't much better than those in his rookie season--his average depth of throw remained at 7.9 yards, and he posted a higher interception percentage and missed his target more often. But he threw 11 more TDs than in 2014, due largely to an improved supporting cast. Carr's receivers generated 5.3 yards after the catch in 2015 after managing only 4.3 the year before. Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Clive Walford are all back with an added year of experience, so Carr should have enough weapons to sustain QB2 production.
2016 Outlook: Looking for a sleeper D/ST? Check out the Raiders. They added LB Bruce Irvin, CB Sean Smith, S Reggie Nelson and rookie S Karl Joseph to a unit that posted eight top-10 fantasy weeks (tied for fifth) last season. Oakland finished just 22nd overall in points and yards allowed but tied for first in the NFL with five blocks and was in the upper half in most fantasy-relevant categories. The Raiders still must fill a few holes, but with the additions joining gap clogger Dan Williams, resurgent CB David Amerson and, of course, All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack, they are headed in the right direction.
2016 Outlook: Washington will be one of the shortest players in the league. But don't let that 5-7 frame distract you from his impressive strength (24 bench-press reps, second among RBs at the combine) and quickness (4.20 short shuttle, the fastest). Washington was a quality rusher at Texas Tech and especially dangerous as a receiver: He racked up 1,877 yards and 16 touchdowns on 274 touches last season. Expect him to play a significant role for the Raiders as a rookie. At the very least, he will complement Latavius Murray.
2016 Outlook: Walford saw his role gradually increase as a rookie, to the point where he averaged five targets per game during Oakland's final five contests. He should carry that momentum into this season and fully supplant Mychal Rivera as the Raiders' top receiving TE. Oakland used him as a situational player for most of last season, but he still managed 28 catches for 329 yards and three TDs. He should become Derek Carr's third option this season--behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree--which makes him a borderline TE2 target with TE1 upside.