2012 Team Outlook: Oakland
QB Carson Palmer, ARI - Over the Hill (decreased production)
Palmer's production in his first season with the silver and black didn't justify the hefty price the old Oakland regime paid for his services. New coach Dennis Allen is committed to keeping the former Bengal as his starter. But expectations need to be tempered for a QB who threw more picks than TDs in an abbreviated 2011 campaign. Palmer will also be learning a new system under a new offensive coordinator; he could be looking at another mediocre year.
QB Matt Leinart, --- - Deep-league Only
The former hot-tubbing USC golden boy finds himself playing for his third team in as many years. He'll be ready to step in if Palmer falters and gives Oakland a nice bridge if they plan on waiting out Terrell Pryor's eventual evolution into an NFL starter.
RB Darren McFadden, DAL - Stud (low risk)
Run DMC averaged more than 100 rushing yards per game and was having a career year before a Lisfranc sprain cut his 2011 short. Injuries have plagued him throughout his brief NFL career, but he's had plenty of time to recover from this one and should be back to full speed in time for training camp. He'll be the focus of Oakland's offense and will have the chance to pick up where he left off last October.
RB Taiwan Jones, BUF - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Jones has a window of opportunity following the off-season departure of Michael Bush. He'll likely start out as a change-of-pace back and will have to distinguish himself in that role before he can be considered a viable backup to McFadden. Undersized, his explosive speed could eventually make him a real difference maker.
RB Marcel Reece, SEA - Deep-league Only
Posted at least 25 receptions for 300 yards or more in each of the last two seasons, but wasn't a factor in the running game. How he fits into the new coaching staff's game plans remains to be seen.
RB Mike Goodson, --- - Low Potential
After a strong 2010 (that included back-to-back century mark games midseason), Goodson only saw the field once last year and battled hamstring injuries. He'll need to stay healthy, overcome a fumbling problem and separate himself from Taiwan Jones before he'll have any fantasy relevance. His size and pedigree play in his favor.