Whenever I hear the phrase, “This is the year the Raiders return,” my mind immediately starts to wander and I wish for more Brett Favre updates. Honestly, I would probably much rather read about how cool it would be for the Cowboys to play in the Super Bowl in their home stadium! Because nobody has brought that up before. Ever.
But it appears that some of the most noteworthy of NFL pundits are bullish on the Raiders, Darrius Heyward-Bey in particular. NFL.com senior columnist Vic Carucci believes that DHB could be poised for a major breakout season.
NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk and Warren Sapp have bought into the notion of the Raiders making a run for it. I have heard Gil Brandt also say good things about the Raiders and Heyward-Bey.
For the longest time, I have equated trusting the Raiders on your fantasy team to the equivalent of trusting Jake Delhomme to save your franchise. So I hate to do this, but I think Heyward-Bey could be a good sleeper this season.
It just feels so dirty to say that.
Heyward-Bey is currently ranked No. 75 among WRs on NFL.com’s fantasy rankings. But I would take a chance on DHB before a number of those names ahead of him on that list. (Looking at you, Anthony Gonzalez.)
There are some reasons to hope for the Raiders. For starters, the team hired an offensive coordinator who actually coached in the NFL last year. Raiders fans still cringe over the thoughts of the Inn Keeper, Tom Walsh, calling the plays a few years back.
Plus they have a somewhat legitimate quarterback with Jason Campbell.
I am not saying that I am entrusting my team to DHB, nor will I touch either of the running backs. But finding WR sleepers is a hobby of mine, and Heyward-Bey is somebody I will be looking at deep in drafts, especially 12-team leagues.
– Adam Rank