I know a lot of people, myself included, are big fantasy football fans and are always looking for potential sleepers and I feel that we have a few ourselves. My own favourite are auction leagues, because I think that is where the real skill lies, but I put this list together for all leagues, plus I considered only standard scoring leagues (so bear that in mind if your league is a bit odd). Anyway here is my list of potential Oakland Raider fantasy stars in 2014:-
* Darren McFadden – DMC has all the tools and we have massively upgraded the OL this offseason, so if he can stay healhty (always a big IF with DMC) then expect big fantasy numbers from McFadden, plus very few non-Raiders will go for him. I do, however, also recommend picking up my next recommendation too, as they could split carries and at this point it isn’t clear who will take the majority of the running burden.
* Maurice Jones-Drew – MJD should thrive behind our bigger stornger OL, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if MJD goes over 1,000 yards in 2014, but draft DMC also incase he takes the bigger burden.
* Matt Schaub – I expect a bounceback year from Schaub, but don’t worry unless your league has other Raider fans in it Schaub should still be available late.
* Rod Streater/Denarius Moore/Andre Holmes – its hard at this point to know who Schaub will prefer firing the ball too, but all the Raider WRs could potentially benefit, keep these kids in mind for late in the draft and you could do very well.
In very deep leagues you might also want to consider David Ausberry, Mychal Rivera and Marchel Recce too, all talented long-shots depending on the size of your league.
The Kansas City Chiefs have releases Brandon Flowers, their pro bowl CB, as they desperately seek cap room and increasingly follow the league preference towards bigger CB’s. This at the same time as we learn that DJ Hayden has an injury that will likley keep him out until training camp leads me to the conclusion that we should target Flowers.
Flowers is a talented CB, of that there is little doubt, true he struggled in 2013 but was that more a system problem than pure talent, as previously he has thrived. I know those Pro Football stats are a very unreliable indicator, but in 2012 they had Flowers ranked as the league’s 7th best CB, the year he made the pro bowl. Unfortunately as the Chiefs switched to more press coverage, Brandon Flower’s displays suffered. With many teams struggling for finances, we could probably pick Flowers up relatively cheaply, a move that I would recommend, particularly considering our paucity of options
If we think the price on Flowers might be a little high another viable option would be Chris Houston, recently released by the Detriot Lions, although there are additional injury concerns attached to this potential pickup (he had toe surgery in May). I like Houston though, particularly his 5’11” size and 4.3 second 40 time, the 2007 second round pick would (if fit) be an interesting aquisition.
The Oakland Raiders are reportedly very happy with former Tampa LT Donald Penn. He’s bringing a very level-headed attitiute to the Raiders OL, and impressing everyone with his quick feet. Not only is Penn huge but he is also incredibly mobile and will surprise many who expect a reduction in performance at LT….don’t Donald Penn is an uptick at LT.
Unfortunatley Donald Penn is 31, so realisticlaly can’t have more than another couple of seasons in the tank, but this should be more than enough time to see in Menelik Watson will be ready to step in as his eventual replacement.
(note: Penn says “I see signs (that Mack will be a strong passrusher)….the way he puts his foot in the ground, to change direction, he could be a DB”)
Reports of Derek Carr potentially starting over Matt Schaub http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000356437/article/derek-carr-to-push-matt-schaub-for-raiders-starting-job are more than a little overdone at this point, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong I like this kid, I really do (great arm and terrific athletic potential as a QB), but he needs time to learn.
Schaub still has the tools to be a successful nfl-QB, he’s just had a couple of off seasons, give Matt Schaub a chance behind a decent OL (like our’s will be this season) and you’ll see the old Schaub.
Derek Carr will be a much better QB in a year, or two, if he is given proper time to adjust. I seriously think in 2016 h could be one of the nfl’s top-10 QB’s if we give him time. who knows he may still become that anyway, but I think he’ll be a whole lot better if given time to adjust.
The Oakland Raiders, after many years of trying, finally go into a season with a nice QB situation. OK, wipe your mind clean. Loose your preconceptions and let me explain: the Oakland Raiders have the former pro-bowler, in his early 30’s, starting; a young, best-arm-in-the-draft, rookie to learn from the number-one; and a determined battler back-up, who will do whatever is necessary to help the team. Wow, that’s a nice combination, I don’t think we’ve ever had that before.
I don’t love Matt McGloin, but you have to like his fire and determination, and I can’t argue with him as this year’s number-2, the long-term number-3.
Derek Carr has everythign I want in a starting QB, post-2015/16, a huge arm, strength, a great work ethic and speed (his 4.6 second 40 time shocked me). In the past I’d have wanted Carr to start right away, but I’ve learned my lessons, and he’s not quite ready for that now. A year or two learning will make him a much better player.
Then you’ve got the pick-6 machine Matt Schaub ready to come back and show the nfl they were wrong to write him off. Matt Schaub is a good QB, man he might even be a great QB, I certainly think he”s the best we’ve had since Gannon. Remember last year when we were beating his team pretty convincingly, it wasn’t until Schaub came on there was any danger of us really losing, then he sarted pinging the ball around I was worried. Schaub, with a decent OL (which we now have), will be good….I think potentially very very good.