Is there any hope for the Oakland Raiders this season? Every facet of their game, both real and fantasy has been a letdown, with the exception of a few IDP players. Tight end Zach Miller has been getting yards, and seems to have the most chemistry with QB JaMarcus Russell, but so far, Russell seems not to have any personal chemistry with his immense talent.
One bright spot for the Raiders came this off season during camp, as Russell developed a nice chemistry with receiver Chaz Schilens. He was the hot sleeper pick up during the preseason, when he started briefly in game one and caught all five balls thrown his way, for 52 yards. Then Schilens got hurt and his fantasy sleeper status drifted into a coma.
Now as we hit the midway mark of the season, Schilens is expected back this week vs. San Diego. So what can we expect from Chaz in terms of fantasy production? With the mercurial Russell at the helm, that is hard to say, but he instantly gives the team a new number one target. If Russell can reclaim that chemistry he showed with Schilens coming out of camp, then this is one WR who may prove a worthwhile free agent grab, especially in deeper leagues.
Much may also depend on what coach Tom Cable does with WR Louis Murphy. Murphy also showed a spark and connection with Russell in the season's opening weeks, but with no one on the other side (rookie Darrius Hayward-Bey has been dismal), Murphy has become an afterthought. Word out of Oakland would have you believe Hayward-Bey's spot is safe, and Murphy will be the odd man out when Schilens returns. That would be an act of sheer ignorance on the Raiders part, but then again, it's the Raiders.
Keep an eye on his performance this week and see how he looks. If you have a need for depth at WR, take a chance on him. He could be the hot waiver wire grab in a week or two. Better to be proactive than reactive.