Wednesday, July 29, 2009

DW '09 Season Preview: Oakland Raiders

Last Year: 5-11

Key Additions: Jeff Garcia QB, Lorenzo Neal FB, Greg Ellis DE, Darrius Heyward-Bey WR

Offense: Jamarcus Russell comes into this season as a bust waiting to happen, and if he struggles in the least bit Jeff Garcia will be there to pick up the slack. Garcia has won at every stop in his career, so don’t be surprised if he is named the team’s full time starting QB over Russell. The Raiders have a three-pronged RB attack that, if healthy, could be one of the best in the league. The combination of Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush certainly has the ability to wreak havoc on opposing defenses this season. Oakland’s WR core is nothing to write home about, and 1st Round Pick Darrius Heyward-Bey has a lot to prove after being drafted over Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree in the draft. With no go-to receiver on the squad, Heyward-Bey will be expected to contribute right away – a lot of pressure for the rookie out of Maryland.

Defense: The defensive line is full of holes on this team, and the Raiders are hoping Greg Ellis can provide a pass rush threat to this below-average group. The LB core is fast and athletic and they have two solid CB’s in the secondary. Nmamdi Asomugha has turned into one of the best corners in the league and was rewarded with a big contract in the offseason - $28.5 guaranteed. Chris Johnson is the LCB for Oakland, taking the place of DeAngelo Williams last year and doing a hell of a job. If the D-line can’t get any pressure on opposing QB’s expect these guys to be busy all season.

Fantasy Studs: Darren McFadden: 113 car, 499 yds, 4 TD’s in ’08. If healthy, has the ability to be a big point-scorer for fantasy teams. Still hasn’t proven anything as a pro, but the potential is certainly there. Darrius Heyward-Bey: 1st round pick out of Purdue is a speedster and could be considered a HR threat for the Raiders. Rookie receivers are tough to judge, though, I wouldn’t count on him. JaMarcus Russell: 13 TD’s, 8 INT, 2423 yds in ’08. Maybe…if he’s even the starter. He started to show signs of life towards the end of last year, but I wouldn’t recommend drafting him unless you’re desperate.

Prediction: 5-11. Even if Garcia starts a majority of the games, this team still hasn’t done enough to improve much from last year.


  1. I thought Heyward-Bey was a Terp?

  2. Yes, Heyward-Bey was a Terp. Not sure where I got Purdue..Thanks