2014 Outlook: In 2011, MJD won the rushing title and was averaging a Canton-esque 1,555 total yards and 12 TDs per season. But the next year, he suffered a Lisfranc fracture and missed 10 contests, then looked like a shell of himself in 2013. The Raiders signed him for short money to compete for carries with Darren McFadden and Latavius Murray. Given Run DMC's history, it's reasonable to expect that he'll get hurt again, making MJD the most attractive fantasy option of the bunch. But the tape shows that his lateral agility and overall burst were ruined by his foot injury, and Oakland's line is a question mark. At 29, Jones-Drew has more name than game.
2014 Outlook: No. Thanks. McFadden returns to Oakland on short money, and sure, in theory he's entering his age-27 season and still possesses a raw size/speed/moves combo that's tough to match. But after six seasons in the league, he's still never played more than 13 games and has missed 19 contests over the past three years. We suppose that everything could break right for Run DMC and he could emerge off fantasy benches to finally become the game changer everyone has been hoping for. But with Maurice Jones-Drew and Latavius Murray on hand, there's also a chance he's on the street come September. McFadden is pure flier material now.
2014 Outlook: A year after leading the league with 14 TDs, Jones regressed to only three scores last season. While it's unlikely he'll ever replicate the magic from 2012, the Raiders would be wise to turn Jones loose downfield. Last season he racked up 27.9 yards per game on stretch vertical passes, and all told, his 3.1 fantasy points per game on such heaves ranked above fellow Packers wideouts Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. If Oakland gives him triple-digit targets for the first time in his career, Jones could be worth flex consideration.
2014 Outlook: After injuring his ankle last summer, Murray sat out his rookie year. So right now, his reputation is built solely on his blazing 4.38 40 at his pro day last year. (Keep in mind that he's 6-foot-3, 230 pounds.) To be fair, when you watch his Central Florida tape, Murray certainly comes off as a productive player, but he's not a blur. Nevertheless, if he gets a legitimate shot at winning the job over the eternally questionable Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew, consider us intrigued.
2014 Outlook: We all know what Marcel Reece is. He's a wideout trapped in a fullback's body. Whether or not that helps you in fantasy is a good question. Since 2011, Reece is ninth in receiving yards among RBs (1,128) and first in yards per catch (10.2). But he's also never topped 59 carries in a season. And now that Maurice Jones-Drew has joined Darren McFadden and Latavius Murray in Oakland's backfield, it's difficult to see Reece's rushing workload growing. That said, if anyone in that trio gets injured or disappoints -- not an inconceivable notion -- Reece will be asked to carry a heavier load, and he'll do well.
2014 Outlook: In 2012, Moore jumped out of the gate with 34 catches for 575 yards and 5 TDs in his first eight games. He followed that up with just 17-166-2 in his remaining seven contests. He repeated the pattern again last season: 32-513-4 through eight games and 14-182-1 down the stretch. The road won't be any smoother this year as Moore competes for long-distance passes with James Jones and Rod Streater. The point? Don't draft Moore, but if you do, trade him midseason.
2014 Outlook: Streater's team-leading 99 targets in 2013 ranked 25th in the NFL among the 72 wideouts who played all 16 games. More steady than spectacular, he notched 40 or more yards in all but three games and tallied double-digit fantasy points in three of his last seven. The big question here is target distribution. He'll be fighting for looks with Denarius Moore and James Jones, and until that shakes out, Streater will be more of a bye-week fill-in than anything.
2014 Outlook: Remember way back in Week 1 when Thompkins' 14 targets seemed to spell fantasy superstardom? Or back in Week 3, when his 2 red zone TDs seemed to make him a double-digit threat? Or back in Week 4, when his six catches for 127 yards and a touchdown meant Tom Brady had finally found a reliable pass catcher outside of Gronk? Well, yeah, we may have overreacted a bit. Thompkins crashed hard. After being a healthy scratch in Week 9, he scored just 12 fantasy points the rest of the season. It's hard to imagine that Thompkins will re-establish his fantasy relevance in 2014, but if he does, we'll temper our future projections.