The Raiders have been the butt of many jokes the last few seasons and rightfully so. And I don’t see them becoming a contender anytime soon, but I do see them improving with Jason Campbell leading the way. Yes, JC wasn’t wanted by an awful Redskins team, but they had their sights set on McNabb and were looking for a change. Campbell has his flaws, but will be much more consistent than JaMarcus Russell. The Raiders had trouble keeping drives going with Russell flailing away like a sick wildabeast. And they were often stuck throwing the ball because they needed to come back from deficits and with JRuss leading the way, that wasn’t the best situation to be in.
So, let’s take it for granted that Campbell is at least a baby step up from the big fat baby Russell. I’ve already talked about how that will help one of the many Miller tight ends in fantasy, but it will also help our man Michael Bush. Last season there was a three-headed monster at running back for Oakland, which was way too many mouths to feed for such a poor offense. They really needed to go on food stamps. So let’s cut the monster into thirds and see what we can find:
Darren McFadden: 104 carries, 357 yards, 3.4 y/car, 1 TD | 21 rec, 245 yards, 11.7 y/rec, 0 TD
Justin Fargas: 128 carries, 492 yards, 3.8 y/car, 3 TD | 17 rec, 113 yards, 6.6 y/rec, 0 TD
Michael Bush: 123 carries, 589 yards, 4.8 y/car, 3 TD | 17 rec, 105 yards, 6.2 y/rec, 0 TD
Now if we look at this logically (not always the smartest move when looking at an Al Davis run team) we find that one player out played the others in the running game and another did the same in the passing game and somehow those are the two players the Raiders kept. They decided to let 3.8 yard a carry, 30 year old, Justin Fargas walk during the off season which leaves us with only two! And there can only be one!! At least that’s what Highlander aficionado Tom Cable said earlier this year. Depending on how things went, that could have upped Bush’s value a lot if he was named the main guy and it might have moved him out of sleeper status. But, coach Cable changed his mind and it looks like he wants to see them split touches. So, as it is, we have a question mark at the position right now. And that’s good.
Darren McFadden has shown that he cannot run between the tackles (or break tackles) and also has trouble holding onto the ball. Michael Bush has proven that he can run between the tackles and can average 4.8 yards while doing so. Last season Justin Fargas took away some goal line opportunities from both Bush and McFadden, but Bush does have about 35 pounds on McFadden and should win the goal line duties for this season. Even on a bad team, you add Fargas’ attempts to Bush’s and you have yourself a decent season at 1k yards and 6 TDs. Now that of course is conjecture and don’t want to make a con out of ject and ure, but it’s safe to say his numbers would have been better.
In comes the savior JC!! WWJD? Well, hand the ball off to Bush of course! Darren McFadden is clearly the better receiving back and should get passing downs. Yes, that hurts Bush a little, but thems the breaks. Of course that leaves early downs and goal line looks for our man Bush. With no Fargas and no JaMarcus Russell, that spells a solid year. Currently his ADP is around 105. 105! There are plenty of backs going before him that we know won’t be getting early downs and goal line looks. That late you are choosing between the Minnesota defense and Steve Breaston. Let me make the choice for you, Michael Bush.