“In the 13th round of the coolest fantasy football draft in the world, Seth Klein selects Rod Streater, the No. 1 wide receiver from the Oakland Raiders.”
Yep, you read that right– NO. 1 WIDE RECEIVER… in the 13th round. But it’s the Raiders, right? They suck. It’s true, the Raiders should continue to suck again in 2014, but they did improve a lot this off-season, and the upgrades they made should benefit their receiving corps. The team bolstered its offensive line by drafting Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson (who has looked fantastic in camp), and signed free agents Donald Penn, Kevin Boothe and Austin Howard. Also returning is versatile tackle, and former second-round pick, Menelik Watson, who missed all but five games last season. Of course, Streater’s season will likely be defined by who is throwing him the ball in Oakland, and that man is nine-year NFL vet, Matt Schaub.
Last year, the Raiders marched out the likes of Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin, and Matt Flynn at quarterback, which was a recipe for disaster. Those signal callers (along with a couple of halfback passes) combined for a 57.4 completion percentage, which was 27th in the league. I’m not gonna get ahead of myself and deem Schaub the second coming of Joe Montana, after all, he was TERRIBLE last year, but if he can improve even somewhat on his 2013 numbers, he should offer the Raiders a little more dependability at QB. Despite what can only be labeled as an anomalistic meltdown, Schaub is a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback who has proven time and time again to be much better than the on-field performance he displayed this past season.
With a veteran presence at QB and an improved O-line, it’s easy to surmise that the receivers will also benefit. And that’s where Streater comes in. I began this post by labeling Streater as the Raiders’ No. 1 receiver. That in itself may have thrown you for a loop. I also failed to explain why I thought that was the case (mostly for dramatic effect), but the wait is over.
Streater will be unchallenged as the Raiders’ top receiving option this year. No, it won’t be off-season signee James Jones. Nor will it be perennial disappointment Denarius Moore or the lead-handed Greg Little. It won’t even be breakout candidate Andre Holmes. It will be Streater, the third-year pro out of Temple University.
Jones was a big addition for this offense. He offers a veteran presence among a younger receiving corps, and will gives Schaub a very reliable option, which was something last year’s QBs lacked. Many assume Jones will be the top guy in Oakland and his pre-draft ADP (55th WR off the board) backs up that statement. I’m singing a different tune, though. I do like Jones, but it’s because he will take attention away from Streater, allowing the 26-year-old to flourish with his new quarterback. Last year, in his second season, Streater caught 60 passes for 888 yards and four touchdowns. He also finished with a minuscule 6.2 percent drop rate, ninth-best among qualified receivers. Not bad for a guy who went undrafted out of Temple in 2012. In fact, his 1,472 career yards are fourth-most for any undrafted wide receiver during his first two seasons in the NFL. And now Streater is entering his much-anticipated third season, the year in which wide receivers have traditionally upped their game to the next level.
Right now, Rod Streater’s ADP of 73 is laughable. He is by far the lowest-ranking potential No. 1 wideout on the draft board. Other likely No. 1 targets he’s behind include Dwayne Bowe (673 yards in 2013), Tavon Austin (418 yards in 2013) and Kelvin Benjamin (a rookie). Streater’s 2013 numbers were much better than that and will only continue to grow in a much-improved Raiders’ offense, making the Raiders’ wideout a true underrated fantasy wide receiver in 2014.
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