I personally hope this year is a great year for Jason Campbell. Hopefully all the adversity he has been through will be worth him being a rockstar at QB this year for Oakland. I’m not a Raiders fan, but the NFL seems right when Oakland is in the mix of things. They have some of the best fans. I digress…last year Campbell showed some promise. After taking over as starting QB from Bruce Gradkowski, Campbell played 13 games. The Stats: 2387 passing yards, and 8 ints. The major downside: He was sacked 33 times. Sadly (and I say this as a Redskins lover) my man Jason is used to it. His entire career has consisted of no protection and many times smacking into the turf. Oakland didn’t have a single draft in the first round. However, in the 2nd round the Raiders did address a huge need on the Oline and drafted Center-Stefen Wisniewski out of Penn State. He is expected to be a starter and to be great. In fact, Wisniewski was rated one of the top O linemen in the draft. Good for him-and better for Jason.
Al Davis has always loved fast speedy receivers. He actually has two of the fastest WRs in the NFL. Unfortunately, neither are names Jerry Rice or Tim Brown. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy underperformed for the Raiders all season long. Blame could go the erratic coaching decisions at QB or the effective running game, but I tend the think that the WR s are just not that good. Murphy had 41 receptions, 609 yards, and 2 TDs/ Heyward-Bey had just 26 receptions, 366 yards, and 1 TD. These are your starters, Al Davis? Folks, all I can say is stay away. There is one bright spot in the WR corp in Oakland: Jacoby Ford, who was a surprised many in the Fantasy Football world. In his rookie season, Ford had 7 total TDs: 2 receiving, 2 rushing, and 3 in the return game, including a 101 yard kickoff return. I like Ford as a sleeper this season, who kind of reminds me of DeSean Jackson in Philly. I don’t think that he’s worthy of a Fantasy draft pick, but keep your on him when you look at the Waiver Wire. I do think that the Raiders have one of the best TEs in the AFC in Zach Miller. Miller led all Raider receivers with 60 catches, 608 yards, and 5 TDs. He’s a big target who gets open a lot, especially in the red zone. If you can’t get your hands on Gates or Findlay, Z. Miller can be a good choice for any Fantasy team.
Oakland had a very good year last season defensively. They were ranked 10th overall, and 5th against the run. The front seven will remain pretty much the same this season, with Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, and Kamerion Wimbley all returning. However, the secondary has gotten a face lift, with the departure of Nnamdi Asomugha, and the arrival of CB Stanford Routt (who’s that). The secondary was the weak link last year, ranking 16th against the pass, so they may be even more vulnerable with the loss of Asomugha. The Raiders do generate a good number of sacks so they may be worth a look come draft time. Their return game is set with Jacoby Ford returning kicks. Punt returns will be shared by Johnny Lee Higgins and Nick Miller. At kicker, Sebastian Janikowski is one of the leagues best and most consistent, but the question will be if he will have enough kicking opportunities. The Raiders Defense/Special Teams should be able to generate some points for your Fantasy team. In the end, that’s all anyone cares about.
Darren McFadden was finally healthy for most of an NFL season and look what happened in 2010. He lived up to the hype and ran the ball well. In his 3rd year in the league McFadden rushed for 1157 yards and had 7 rushing TDs. He’s great out the backfield. Jason could use all the weapons he can get! Finally avoiding the label of just another Okland draft bust, McFadden has pulled it together. Maybe all he needed was a change at QB…
The other RB, Michael Bush had a solid season as well 655 yards, and 8 TDs. The run is what’s needed in Oakland to keep decision making pressure off of Jason Campbell.