2010 Fantasy Football Preview: Sleeper WRs

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 12: Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears in action against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 12, 2009 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won 10-6. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Yesterday, I listed a few sleeper RBs that I’m targeting in the mid to late rounds, and today I’ll tackle the WR position. I’ve already discussed a few 10th-round-type players in the WR preview — specifically Derrick Mason, Malcom Floyd and Devin Aromashodu — so I’ll limit this list to players with average draft positions (ADP) in the 11th round or later.

Johnny Knox (10.11) & Devin Hester (10.11)
I’ve already broken my 11th round rule. Knox and Hester are practically going on the 11th, so I’ll give myself a pass. Truth is, I like all the Bears receivers in Mike Martz’s wide open system, but I’m not sure which guy will finish the best stats. Hester seems built to be a Wes Welker slot-type guy (with more quickness), while Knox has a ton of speed. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune thinks that Knox is emerging as Jay Cutler’s top target and Rotoworld speculates that it’s because of his ability to control his elite speed a la Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. It’s entirely possible that all three wideouts will have fantasy relevant seasons.

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Raiders are a solid fit for Jason Campbell

Jason Campbell is getting the opportunity to start fresh. It might not be in the most ideal NFL situations, but it’s certainly a great fit for him.

On Saturday, the Redskins traded Campbell to the Raiders in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2012. There are several media outlets reporting that Campbell already has a deal in place that will pay him $3.14 million this year and $4.5 million in 2011.

Oakland is one of the few places in the NFL where players would probably rather swim in shark invested waters than go to, but this really is a great match for Campbell. He’s not an elite quarterback by any means and he certainly needs a strong supporting cast around him in order to succeed, but he should have no problems beating out JaMarcus Russell and Bruce Gradkowski for the Raiders’ starting quarterback job. He has the strong arm that Al Davis covets and has a couple of players in Zach Miller, Chaz Schilens, Darren McFadden and Michael Bush at his disposal to help him succeed in Oakland’s offense.

I don’t expect Davis to outright release Russell without at least giving him one last chance to win the starting job. But if history is any indication, even the acquisition of Campbell won’t motivate Russell enough to work hard this summer. He just doesn’t have the mental fortitude, the drive or the passion to succeed in the NFL and will likely be out of the league soon enough.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Raiders’ Schilens breaks foot

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that wide receiver Chaz Schilens broke a bone in his left foot.

Schilens was hurt cutting on a route. There was no contact on the play. He hopped it to the locker room and emerged after practice on crutches.

Schilens did not say how long he’d be out. When asked if he’d play Sept. 14 against the Chargers, he said, “God does miracles,” which is another way of saying it’d take a miracle.
As for Raiders coach Tom Cable, he said “nothing happened” when asked about the Randy Hanson incident before resuming his no-comment stance.

This is a serious blow to the Raiders’ passing game, as Schilens was having a great camp and was quickly emerging as quarterback JaMarcus Russell’s go-to guy.

In Oakland’s preseason opener last Thursday against Dallas, Schilens caught five passes for 52 yards. He demonstrated good speed and pass-catching ability to go along with his great size (6’4, 225 pounds) and if the performance was any indication of how he would fair this season, Schilens was set up for a breakout year.

The Raiders have given no timetable for how long he would be out for, but chances are he’ll miss the first couple weeks of the season.

Daily Six-Pack: NFL preseason rewind

Here are six quick-hit thoughts on some of Week 1’s preseason NFL action.

1. Stafford was impressive.
While it was only the first preseason game of his young career, Matthew Stafford was awfully impressive Saturday against the Falcons. In his debut, Stafford completed 7 of 14 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. And if Keary Colbert didn’t have hands made of concrete, Stafford’s numbers would have been more impressive. Granted, he was playing against Atlanta’s backups, Detroit kept their starting offensive line largely intact and he did throw an interception that was returned 41 yards for a touchdown. But the key was that Stafford looked comfortable in the pocket, showed confidence in his throws and for a rookie, displayed great footwork and overall mechanics. He still has much to prove, but if he continues to play this well throughout the preseason, it might be hard for the Lions to keep the rookie off the field in his first year.

2. The Bears secondary looked shaky.
If Saturday’s preseason loss to the Bills was any indication of how Chicago’s secondary will play in the regular season, then the Bears are in trouble. Lee Evans abused cornerback Nathan Vasher repeatedly, while Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick completed over 88 percent of their passes. Granted, it was only one preseason game and rookie sixth round pick Al Afalava was impressive against the run. But the Bears look awfully thin in the secondary and if the starters perform as poorly as they did last night for the remainder of the preseason, then trouble could be on the horizon.

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