Oakland's wide receiver is targeting a return to action next week against the Patriots
Jacoby Ford wants to play football. His hamstring is feeling better and that's good for his fantasy owners. The Oakland Raiders offense, which just put 34 points on the notoriously defensive-minded New York Jets, is becoming a west coast version of the New England Patriots.
In fact, the Raiders may have one of the best offenses in the NFL right now. Because with Darren McFadden running all over the place, the Raiders offense is much more balanced thant the ultra pass-heavy Patriots offense.
And Ford's return is only going to make them better because he immediately becomes their #1 receiving option.
So with Ford coming back, what does that mean for the other fantasy options on the Raider team? Let's break it down:
Darrius Heyward-Bey - Downgraded
Heyward-Bey had a great chance to make his mark as an important part of the Raiders offense against the Jets, but he didn't live up to expectations. With Ford and Louis Murphy sidelined, it was Darrius' time to shine, but he just fizzled, with one reception for five yards. It's true he had shutdown corner Darrelle Revis on him all game, but he's going to have to show a little something if he wants to make an impact.
Jason Campbell - Upgraded
More weapons means more points for his fantasy owners. Campbell has a great running game and a plethora of weapons at his disposal. He could be a sleeper and is the perfect example on why you should always wait on a quarterback when you're drafting. With the Raiders clicking like they are, it doesn't seem to matter if they're on the road or facing one of the top defenses in the league. They are going to put up points and Campbell is a starter-worthy fantasy quarterback. No one will be talking about Pryor too much if they keep this up.
Louis Murphy - Downgraded
He's going to lose some catches. But then again, he wasn't really going to make a lot of catches anyway. So this one is pretty simple. Muphy is worth keeping an eye on, but don't expect him to have a huge season.
Denarius Moore - Hold
Denarious continues to put up numbers and Raiders coach Hue Jackson likes what he sees. Jackson said "he's turning intoa fine football player" after Moore put up a TD and o 57 total yards and mentioned that Moore's play on the field will get him more playing time. If you have him, keep him because he put up better numbers than Heyward-Bey against the Jets and the Raiders really like him. He could be their full-time WR#2 if he continues down this path.
Darren McFadden - Upgraded
If Jacoby Ford can be a deep threat to keep one less guy at the line of scrimmage, then it's only going to give the beast that is Run DMC more space to eat up yards and touchdowns. Darren McFadden could be a top-2 back at the end of 2011 if he keeps running the way he has in the first three games.
Chaz Schilens - Downgraded
This probably goes without saying, but if you were using Chaz to fill in for an injury, you should probably just drop him and take a flyer on someone else. With Ford back in the lineup, Chaz drops basically off the fantasy football map.
-- Pete Thomas