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Raiders early fantasy outlook

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Levi Damien

It's now August which means fantasy football will be heating up. In preparation for your drafts (if you haven't drafted yet. If you have, you should probably find more hobbies), here is some early fantasy outlooks of Raiders players you might consider for your team.

Starter

K Sebastian Janikowski

He had a down season last year working with Marquette King as the holder. I don't expect a repeat performance from Seabass this season. The Raiders offense will be improved which means more chances for points and Janikowski is always good for some long kicks as well. Don't go taking him outside of the last few rounds, though. If someone wants to overdraft him, let them. He is still a kicker.

Bench

WR James Jones

The Raiders will be spreading the ball around some but thus far in camp, Jones has been Matt Schaub's favorite receiver. I expect he will work out of the slot and rack up a lot of catches. I expect he could approach 10 touchdown catches this year as well. No one on this team is a number one receiver but Jones could be the team's top receiver and a worthy reserve/fill-in.

TE David Ausberry

This is his time. He could be a breakout star, especially in this offense and is worthy of a late round flier just in case. He is a huge target and a natural hands catcher. His blocking has improved which will keep him on the field more often. Add that Schaub loves his tight ends and it could the recipe for good things.

UPDATE: Dennis Allen said today that Ausberry had a procedure done on his knee and will be out for an indefinite amount of time. So, scratch Ausberry from your drafting plans. Mycal Rivera is next in line and put up decent numbers last season. He is a darkhorse to put up good numbers again.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew

He could be a starter if not for having to split carries with Darren McFadden. There is also a good chance McFadden gets injured at some point which would jump MJD to starter status as the feature back. The Raiders have a rebuilt and bulked up offensive line and are committed to the run. After the top backs are all gone in your draft, MJD is a great option.

QB Matt Schaub

He could be just as bad as he was last season or he could rebound to his Pro Bowl form. Are you willing to pass him up in the draft and risk the possibility of his return to form for another team? Once you have your starting quarterback, Schaub is a great option as a backup with the possibility of earning the starting job on your fantasy roster.

Sleeper

WR Andre Holmes

He was named a starter in the first team depth chart and Matt Schaub raves about this big target (6-4, 210). He is a Calvin Johnson type receiver which means he is a long-strider with great leaping ability to high-point a ball over the top of a cornerback and therefore can come down with the ball even when he's not open. At this point, it's James Jones who Schaub looks to but Holmes is earning his trust as well. He has immense potential and if you find yourself near the end of the draft, looking to grab a sleeper pick at receiver, Holmes is a good choice.

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 1's NFL games. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.