The Raiders formally admitted the biggest mistake in franchise history this offseason, dumping former top overall pick JaMarcus Russell. He's now part of a criminal trial, and is (shockingly) still a free agent.
Meanwhile, the Raiders move on. But to what?
Let's look at the fantasy value, if there is any, on the Raiders' roster.
Jason Campbell got out of Washington, which was a cancerous situation for him, but now comes to Oakland where things might not be much better. The Raiders actually made a solid move in adding Campbell to the mix. His fantasy value is still highly questionable, however, and he should be viewed as little more than an injury replacement or bye week start based on matchups.
Can Darren McFadden become the lightning bolt he was at Arkansas? That's the question that will continue to plague the Raiders and fantasy owners. His enormous talent makes him a tempting option, but his production hasn't been worthy of a starting RB spot yet. Add to his lack of production three lost fumbles in only 125 touches last year, and his value is similar to Campbell: late round if at all.
Michael Bush is the more intriguing play. His skill set is more traditional than McFadden and he averaged 4.8 yards per carry last year in limited action. Bush should be considered a strong RB2 candidate in the late rounds.
This group is a wild card because of the improvement made under center in Campbell. Can Darrius Heyward-Bay be anything more than a track star? Is Louis Murphy ready to emerge as a legit receiver after leading the team with four touchdowns last year? What is Chaz Schillens worth in fantasy?
It's nearly impossible to put stock in any of these receivers because none of them have a track record of success in the NFL; Murphy's the best option, and he had only 34 catches for 521 yards last year. This group might be wait-and-see this year.
This is the best bet for fantasy value on the Raiders' offense in 2010. Not only did Zach Miller have a very respectable 66 receptions for over 800 yards last year with three touchdowns, but Campbell has a history of using tight ends well in the red zone in Washington. Miller should be considered a strong second-tier TE play and could be a solid starting TE play this year.
On teams that struggle offensively, the other side of the ball is usually where a lot of IDP fantasy value can be found. Oakland is no exception this season. Looking around the AFC West, this unit could provide a lot of fantasy value this season. Kansas City reaffirmed their commitment to running the ball by adding Thomas Jones, and the departures and suspensions could make San Diego's offense a mixed bag this year. The quarterbacks being a huge question mark in Denver, and the lack of Brandon Marshall, makes them a questionable offensive group as well.
Even with the departure of leading tackler Kirk Morrison, their linebacker group got a lot better with the additions of Kamerion Wimbley and first round pick Rolando McClain. Both of these guys should be considered top IDP linebacker plays in the AFC West.
In the secondary, Nnamdi Asomugha continues to be a top corner and could see his interception totals pick up this year. Without Brandon Marshall in Denver and with questions surrounding Vincent Jackson in San Diego, his job could get a lot easier this season.
The sleeper in this group could be Richard Seymour at DE. As hard as it is to say a franchise end is a sleeper, his production has yet to be stellar in Oakland. But with the quarterback questions in Denver and lack of veteran running backs in San Diego, as well as the questionable protection in Kansas City for Matt Cassel, Seymour could have a nice season in the sack category.
2010 Regular Season Schedule (all times ET)
The schedule for the Raiders is favorable, the product of them being a bad football team (again). Where the most value comes for fantasy owners is looking at Weeks 6-9 when many of the fantasy heavy-hitters have their bye weeks. The Raiders have a very nice schedule against some teams that could be vulnerable given matchups (with the exception of SF DEF), so that's where the Raiders may provide waiver value for fantasy owners.
Whatever Al Davis says...