There is no doubt the Raiders will be an improved football team in 2010 for many reasons. They also, for the first time in several years, will be a fantasy relevant team.
I'm not sure the exact requirements to be considered a fantasy expert are, but since I regularly play in 8-10 money leagues per year and have consistently showed a positive return on my investment I do feel my opinions can at least be considered as relevant.
The fact that I will be targeting Raiders players for the first time in several years is also relevant.
What follows will be what I feel are realistic expectations for the upcoming season from a fantasy perspective.
Jason Campbell is the biggest reason the Raiders' skill players will be better than expected fantasy options for 2010.
While I don't feel Campbell is an every week starter himself, I do feel he will post top 15 numbers and will make those around him fantasy relevant.
I'm fully convinced, if healthy, Chaz Schillens is a true No. 1 receiver. My expectations for 2010 will be based in part on what Santana Moss did playing with Campbell last year and the skill-set Chaz brings to the table. I project a 72rec/1024yd/7td stat line for 2010.
Since all Raiders will be under-drafted (one of the reasons I feel the need to target them this year) I think the proper time to get Schillens will be in the 10-12th round.
If he produces as I expect he'll be a steal!
Jason Campbell does great work with tight ends. Proof of that was the fact when Chris Cooley went down with an injury Fred Davis stepped in and found the end zone six times.
Campbell threw 18 TD's and 0 INT's in the red zone last year. I expect Miller to be a huge beneficiary from Campbell's red zone accuracy.
I think Miller will be an every week starter and provide nice value in the 7-8th round.
I project a 75rec/925yd/9td stat line.
I fully expect Michael Bush to be the primary ballcarrier and red-zone guy for Oakland this year. Darren McFadden who I'll cover in a bit, will be used in space and more as a receiver this year.
That being said, I think Bush will post RB2 numbers getting 260 carries, 1100 yards, and eight touchdowns.
Nice production from a guy probably still available in the 8th round!
Darren McFadden is a player I won't be targeting much as he is the one Raider who is sure to be over-drafted. Most "experts" have him ranked higher than Bush but I can't see it.
As a fan I'd be thrilled if Hue Jackson can turn him into Ray Rice 2.0, but I just don't see it happening.
I'm thinking you're going to get a stat line of 100car/465yd/2td and 38rec/370yd/1td. Not enough production from a guy who'll be gone by the end of the fifth round in most drafts.
Louis Murphy might be the ultimate sleeper in fantasy football. Coming off a fine rookie season and with expected second year improvement the sky is the limit for Murphy.
In an interview on Sirius NFL last night Murphy praised the new Hue Jackson offense and Jason Campbell's accuracy and arm strength. He sounded like a player who "gets it" when it comes to his job.
Murphy is worth a late round flier and depending on Schillens health could be a bye week to every week starter. I think he's a year away from being an absolute beast, but wouldn't be shocked if he arrived ahead of schedule.
I'll temper my expectations for this year to a stat line of 55rec/790yd/5td with the breakout year coming in 2011.
Mr Seymour gets some help this year with the additions of McClain and Houston. With an offense expected to be much improved the Raiders defense should not be put in as many bad spots this year. Nor will they be constantly on the field.
I expect the Raiders to be a top ten defense this year and they are very draftable after 12th round.
Even Sea-Bass gets his value boosted this year. With the improved offense he should get more opportunities this year and finally get the Pro-Bowl recognition he deserves!
Last but not least is DHB. Although I don't think he's ready to make a big fantasy impact this year I felt the need to mention him do the work he's put in this off-season.
As a fan that's all I can ask!
So if all he accomplishes this year is congratulating Murphy after a touchdown like in the picture above I won't pick on this kid. After all he didn't draft himself!
That being said Murphy had a lot of praise for him last night during the Sirius interview.
While 2010 may not be the year the Raiders make it back to the Super Bowl, although I think the playoffs are very realistic, maybe some of these under-valued players may help take you to a fantasy Super Bowl.
I know, I for one find it nice to be able to consider players from my favorite team when it comes to fantasy this year!