Monday, August 2, 2010

Fantasy Preview: Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders
2008: 5-11
2009: 5-11
2010 Prediction: 6-10

Week 1: at Tennessee
Week 2: St. Louis
Week 3: at Arizona
Week 4: Houston
Week 5: San Diego
Week 6: at San Francisco
Week 7: at Denver
Week 8: Seattle
Week 9: Kansas City
Week 10: bye
Week 11: at Pittsburgh
Week 12: Miami
Week 13: at San Diego
Week 14: at Jacksonville
Week 15: Denver
Week 16: Indianapolis
Week 17: at Kansas City

Oakland will improve this year, but not by much. They start off the season with a tough road match up against the Titans, but then have 3 winnable games before hosting a tough division rival in San Diego. After the bye week they’ll play the Steelers on the road who will be in playoff form, but are lucky to play Indy in week 16 while the Colts tend to be more concerned with resting players than getting a W. Jason Campbell will add stability, but if he goes down any chance at being a .500 team goes down with him.

Quarterbacks: Unless you’re in a 14/16 team league no point in drafting Campbell. Is he an improvement? Yes. Is he a starter? No.

Running backs: Darren McFadden will split carries with Michael Bush. I like McFadden as a wire guy only. He’s an effective receiver out of the backfield, but has yet to be a steady or productive every down back.

Michael Bush: Keep an eye on Bush. Most beat reporters in the Bay area have him picking up the load of the carries now that Justin Fargas has left. He’s averaged 4.8 ypc last season and had a few 100-yard games.

Wide Receivers: Louis Murphy averaged 15.3ypr last year. The only problem is that he only caught 34 balls. Look for him to get between 55-65 receptions this year with the same average making him a bye week guy, but worth a spot on somebody’s roster.

Chaz Schilens is another safe pick for the later rounds. He won’t be a top WR, but could be a worthy sub for when you need him.

Heyward-Bey: I’m not sold on him and wouldn’t draft him. He’s not a good route runner or very physical.

Tight End
Zach Miller led the team in receptions last year and is always a solid starter. He won’t compete with Antonio Gates or even a Brent Celek, but if you don’t want to draft a TE high in the draft, he’ll be there late in the draft to grab. His numbers will only go up this year with a competent QB.

Defense: The Raiders were 26th in the league last year in overall D. 7th in passing D, but 29th against the run. They used their first 2 picks in the draft to help stop the run with Rolando McClain and big bodied Lamarr Houston. Will it make a difference? Not enough to draft this D.

Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski made 6 out of 8 FGs from over 50-yards last year. Only one other kicker in the league had more attempts from that distance (Josh Scobee), but nowhere near his accuracy. With a better team he’ll have more attempts and PATs. From 20-29 yards: 100%, 30-39: 100%, 40-49: 90% (he missed once) and hit 75% from over 50. He’s a starter and should be your pick in the 16th round!

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