Last Updated: Jul 13, 2012 11:40 AM
(Good Value Pick) QB: Carson Palmer : With a full offseason under his belt with the Oakland Raiders and a new found motivation to play the game he loves Carson Palmer could possibly play his best football since 2005. In a season that he is going to turn 33, Palmer has plenty of weapons around him to succeed. The arm strength is still there, the presence of the running game and his talented wide-outs all add up to a possible big season in which Palmer could finish in the top 12 at QB. Yes top 12! Projections: 3,837 YDS 31 TD 13 INT.
(INJURY, HIGH RISK/REWARD) RB: Darren McFadden : Everyone's favorite love/hate affair, Darren McFadden is one of the elite backs in the NFL and can absolutely light up the field when he is out there. The story is out on him however, he produces at a top level until he gets hurt. The question is what week will that be? Last season he missed the last nine weeks after injuring his foot (lisfranc/mid-foot). The injury became a weekly question of his return. One week was doubtful, the next probable, and the next out. While he did play he had 614 rushing yards and 4 TD in only six weeks. McFadden says he is feeling good, "Just now, I'm feeling pretty good," McFadden said. "It's a long recovery for a Lisfranc injury ... but I'm feeling pretty good now."
Projections: 185 att 974 yds 9 TD.
(CAN'T MISS HANDCUFF) RB(s): Mike Goodson/Taiwan Jones : With the before mentioned injury prone Darren McFadden the winner of this back up role is an absolute MUST draft if you end up with McFadden. The Raiders brought in Mike Goodson who is already a somewhat proven backup from Carolina and he is the early favorite to win this job. Taiwan Jones is a second year speedster who was behind both McFadden and Bush last season and does not have a lot of NFL experience. But with his explosive abilities he is making his case for the back up spot.
(BREAKOUT CANDIDATE) WR: Denarius Moore : Moore is in his second year out of the University of Tennessee and received nothing but high praise in last year's mini camp. This year has been no different. Carson Palmer is very excited about his talent and they appear to already be on the same page this off-season. With a full camp together this season the duo could provide plenty of fireworks with Moore being a deep-threat and Palmer being able to throw the deep ball. Moore averaged 18.7 yards per catch and had 5 TDs last year. With his ADP being 82 Moore is an absolute steal in all fantasy drafts this season as he could break 1,000 yards this season.
Projections: 73 receptions 990 yds 9 TD
(MR. INCONSISTENT HEY BEY-BEY) WR: Darrius Heyward- Bey : Heyward-Bey finally showed up some of that top 10 draft pick skill last season. In what was easily his best season as a pro he finished with 975 yds receiving on 64 receptions. Both career highs, he had some great games last season and had 115 targets even missing two games. Palmer's favorite target from last season could improve this season, and with a very poor Raiders defense they should be forced to pass a lot this season as they play catch up. Heyward-Bey is a very athletic receiver who can out run many corners and can put together a very nice season this year. His ADP is 130 and is taken well after Moore. If you don't land Moore but have a chance for Hey Bey-Bey you should jump on the opportunity to own one of these Oakland wide outs.
Projections: 82 receptions 1,064 yds 5 TD
(THE NOT SO MUCH USED) TE: Brandon Meyers/David Ausberry: The new offense for the Raiders will not involve either TE too often this season. While it has been reported that they will use more two tight end sets this season, it will be primarily for blocking reasons. With the emergence of many tight ends there are plenty and I mean plenty, of other options out there at TE before even considering these two.
Rookie to be watched: Juron Criner: Out of Arizona Criner stands at 6' 3" and has shown plenty of "head turning plays" already this offseason and is generating a lot of noise in camp. Much like Moore of last season.
Potential Bust: Jacoby Ford: Jacoby Ford is opening the season as the slot receiver and could become overvalued as the drafts approach. Even when healthy last season the Raiders didn't roll him out at a high clip, Ford was only in on 38.8% of the offensive snaps.
Sleeper: Carson Palmer: Palmer could have his best season in a very long time this year. He could easily finish in the top 8 at the QB position when all is said and done. He could be worthy of an every week start as the season progresses and should definitely be on your radar if he goes undrafted.
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