Here I will take a look at the top fantasy players on the Oakland Raiders.
Each player will be broken down into separate distinctions:
JaMarcus Russell – 33-66, 373 YDS, 54.5 COM %, 2 TD, 4 INT
We all know about Russell’s messy contract situation that essentially held him out of the majority of 2007.
When he finally was called upon for action, it was a mixed bag of results.
The good was in the last game of the year, where he went 23-31 for 224 YDS, 1 TD, and 1 INT against the San Diego Chargers, a team that went to the AFC Championship game.
The bad was in Week 16 at
There’s little doubt about what he can do, and that is showcasing his strong arm and chucking the ball all over the field.
The Raiders tried to address a big problem of a lack of playmakers by signing WR’s Javon Walker and Drew Carter, as well as by resigning RB Justin Fargas and drafting RB Darren McFadden.
Head coach Lane Kiffin has a brief coaching history, though he did work wonders at USC with Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.
So, the potential to make Russell into a solid QB is there.
Russell is still too inexperienced to place in the top 15-20 QB’s, but he rates right after that.
The hope is that with a full offseason of getting to know the offense and the comfort of knowing he is the starting QB, big strides can be made.
Justin Fargas – 222 ATT, 1009 YDS, 4.5 AVG, 4 TD, 3 FUM
One of the lone bright spots in an otherwise forgettable season was the emergence of Fargas, who was finally able to show what kind of an elusive back he can be.
With a logjam at RB to start the season that included LaMont Jordan and Dominic Rhodes, Fargas did not get more than 8 carries in any of the first 3 games.
However, in Week 4 at
He went on to have big games against Houston (104 YDS, 1 TD),
But, after gaining 89 YDS in Week 15 vs.
The injuries, coupled with the drafting of Darren McFadden, makes his fantasy value take a dip.
What he can do is provide games in which he’s a huge spark and top 100 YDS.
But, even with topping the 1,000 yard mark last season, he only scored 4 TD’s.
With a smaller frame, opportunities around the goal line are non-existent.
He’ll need to rely on breaking bigger gains to find the end zone.
Darren McFadden – Rookie
One of the most exciting players in college football last season, the Raiders simply could not pass on the opportunity to add him to the team.
That’s quite the compliment to his playmaking ability, as the Raiders’ defense was a big area of need.
In his final year as an Arkansas Razorback, he began the year by rushing for 122 or more yards in his first 5 games.
Undoubtedly, his most jaw-dropping performance was a victory on the road against then #1 LSU, in which he rushed for 206 YDS and 3 TD, to go along with 1 passing TD.
His college legacy was cemented after that game.
Many football experts are comparing McFadden this year to Adrian Peterson of last year.
Peterson had Chester Taylor to contend with, just as McFadden has Justin Fargas.
However, Peterson gradually proved how valuable he could be, which gave him plenty of carries.
Another plus on McFadden’s side is his receiving ability, something Fargas has never been known for.
Much like Lane Kiffin used Reggie Bush at USC in multiple ways, the same should be done for McFadden.
Javon Walker – 26 REC, 287 YDS, 11.0 AVG, 0 TD
For the 2nd time in 3 years,
Despite putting up paltry numbers, that apparently didn’t stop Al Davis from throwing 6 years and $55 million at him.
When healthy, he can put up big numbers.
In 2006 with
With the departure of Jerry Porter, he is expected to be the Raiders top receiver.
Then came that fateful night in
Apparently, he will be fine for training camp, but since he was already trying to recover from knee surgery, it’s hard to believe he’ll be in any sort of playing shape.
Therefore, projecting him as a top-tier fantasy WR is not in the cards at this time.
Ronald Curry – 55 REC, 717 YDS, 13.0 AVG, 4 TD
After playing in only 2 games in 2005 because of an injury, Curry has played in all 16 games the last 2 years, posting similar numbers each time.
The major increase in his stats is that he went from 1 TD to 4 last season, which is still not exactly breathtaking.
He comes into this season as the senior WR on the Raiders.
Curry has 2 positives working for him: 1) He has played consistently the past 2 seasons, even with a merry-go-round of QB’s throwing to him.
Having JaMarcus Russell as the clear-cut starter can only help build chemistry.
2) Javon Walker’s status is up in the air.
He’ll never be a top WR, but I would not doubt him leading the Raiders this season.
Zach Miller – 44 REC, 444 YDS, 10.1 AVG, 3 TD
Miller appeared in every game last season, and only once did not catch a single pass.
He posted modest numbers for a TE, with anywhere between 1-4 catches and 15-40 yards.
His big game happened to come in the last week when he caught 8 passes for 88 yards.
The encouraging sign for fantasy fans is that it came when JaMarcus Russell was slinging the ball to him all game.
With a full offseason to get even more acquainted to each other, the Miller-Russell combo can certainly grow.
With more playmakers on offense than last season, it should not be hard for Miller to find single coverage, which can make Russell a very big fan of his.
Sebastian Janikowski – 23/32, 72%, 54 LNG
Never a model of consistency, Janikowski has had a rough past 3 years.
After hitting 47/53 for 89% in 2003 and 2004, he has only gone 61/87 for 70% the last 3 years.
Still, he finds himself on the sidelines of the Raiders, once again trying to prove that his cannon foot has some accuracy to it.
While the offense should improve this season, they’re hardly considered one of the elite.
Therefore, moving the ball upfield will still be a challenge, limiting Janikowski’s chances.
Take away Rich Gannon and a big-play offense in which he did not face much pressure to score, and he wilts under the pressure.
The defense was an area that was supposed to shine last season.
Instead, they flopped miserably, nearly costing coordinator Rob Ryan his job.
They gave up 145.9 rushing YPG, second-to-last in the NFL.
In addition, they surrendered 25 PPG, a 4 point increase over the year before.
Their poor performance was the icing on the cake of another horrendous season for the Raiders.
The result of another bad year was that Al Davis opened up the checkbook to bring in DeAngelo Hall and Gabril Wilson in the secondary, and to re-sign Tommy Kelly on the line.
The cornerbacks of Nnamdi Asomugha and Hall have the ability to blanket receivers, which should open up the field for playmakers Kirk Morrison and Wilson to roam.
Warren Sapp is retired, but he was on the downside of his career.
It’s hard to imagine they’d be worse than last year, but stopping the run will be the main key between winning and losing.
While the defense may struggle, the addition of Darren McFadden brings a whole new dynamic to the return game.
Chris Carr, Dominic Rhodes, and Tim Dwight were all given chances to return punts and kickoffs, yet not one of them scored a TD.
McFadden can change all of that.