By Rich Winter
Well, getting close to fantasy football draft tee-times across the country and already the Raider boo-birds are out in force.
While this fantasy owner realizes that 95 percent of the country still thinks the Raiders are the Raiders, if you're a real FF owner it's time to start taking Oakland seriously, especially RB, Latavius Murray.
Went through the RB rankings a couple of days ago and was fairly surprised by some of the names popping up in the top-10 for FF RB's.
David Johnson - No. 2
Lamar Miller - No. 5
While I might take Johnson before Murray, hell to the no would I take Lamar Miller before a guy, in Murray, that looks to be ranked just outside the top-10 for RB's, but is looking to make massive upgrades behind what looks to be the 1A offensive line in football, behind only the Dallas Cowboys.
Came across a pretty solid piece on CBS sports this morning...See below...The author ranked AFC positions, kind of a pre-season look at the best of the best.
Offensive line per CBS article: Donald Penn, Raiders; Kelechi Osemele, Raiders; Gabe Jackson, Raiders; Rodney Hudson, Raiders; Mitchell Schwartz, Chiefs
I'm sorry, but the addition of Osemele and the retention of Donald Penn at LT along with Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson make Murray a no-brainer top-10 selection this season. Four of the top offensive lineman in the AFC west are wearing Silver & Black this season.
The comparison to the Dallas offensive line is perfection, and with that in mind, how about a little comparison to DeMarco Murray, who ran wild behind his offensive line two seasons ago.
Demarco Murray incremental stats:
2011 - 897 yards, 2012 - 663 yards, 2013 - 1121 yards, 2014 - 1845 yards
Behind that offensive line Murray is going to take a step forward, frankly, barring injury, it would be hard not to. Add to that Jack Del Rio is going to want to run the ball and play defense translates to those 5 and 6 yard gains galore in the second half as Murray and that offensive line beat down what's left of the opposition's front-7.
That said, if you're one of those - The Raiders are still the Raiders guys/girls, I could preach and talk and throw up stats all day and you wouldn't hear a thing anyway.
Don't be one of those guys...Latavius Murray, on the rise baby!