Fantasy football owners are busy gathering information for their draft boards as we head into the preseason mode of the NFL season. The running back position for fantasy owners has diminished over the last decade with the emergence of the passing game. As I prepare my draft board, one team I am avoiding anyone running the football for, is the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders perhaps let their best running back leave via free agency despite having over $60 million to spend in free agency and are saddled with two injury-prone backs heading into 2014.
Rotoworld.com reports that free agent acquisition Maurice Jones-Drew has moved ahead of Darren McFadden as the number one back on the Raiders roster after just one week of practice. I wouldn’t upset your draft boards as of yet. This duo should likely have written a clause into their contract in order to get their own personal ambulance. McFadden, soon to be 27, has never played a complete season while MJD, 29, has appeared in just 21 games in the last two seasons.
Rotoworld is generous in stating that the Raiders offensive line might be better than anticipated in 2014, but temper your expectations. Veteran QB Matt Schaub holds the NFL record for the most consecutive pick-six interceptions in consecutive NFL games. Derek Carr is a rookie. Matt McGloin and Trent Edwards strike no fear in opposing defensive coordinators. Have you seen the Raiders upcoming schedule and the defenses they must face? All of these teams can put 8 men in the box and stop the run because Oakland doesn’t have a quarterback to beat them with his arm.
I fix my draft board differently than most people, and maybe that’s why I’ve won more leagues in the last 20 years. I simply take players I don’t like completely off the board. My opinion of draft value is different than what I read online or in magazine publications. If someone else wants to pick up one of these players in one of the leagues I’ll play in this season because they think they are getting value- knock yourself out. Someone will draft them because they recognize the name and they haven’t done their homework.
I look for very little offensive production in the fantasy realm coming out of Oakland this season. Perhaps I’ll be surprised but I rarely am.
People that draft DMC or MJD this year, are people too in love with what they have done in the past and hoping to catch a magical rejuvenation in 2014. They likely also buy scratch off lotto tickets and PowerBall tickets when the jackpot reaches $200 million or more. How’s that working out for you?
No one on the current offensive side of the Oakland Raiders roster is on any of my draft board lists this year. If you find a gem in this mess, God Bless you. However, I believe this team is going to a mess once again and will compete for the top overall draft pick in 2015.