Sleeper Profile: WR Chaz Schilens

By Zack Cimini

Not many players in the past have been considered fantasy worthy from the Oakland Raiders. Definitely not mentionable in drafts were any Raiders wide receivers. That will now change as the Raiders new head coach is trying to move things back to where they were in the Rich Gannon era.

Even though the Raiders have been losing games they’ve fought well in most losses, especially last season. Displays of working towards the future were evident with the blossoming of running backs Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden. As a receiving threat, Zach Miller, was the only player that put up respectable numbers for his position at tight end. Part of the problem there were the inept and underperformers behind center. Jamarcus Russell hopefully shook off his first good stretch of action as he is going to need to perform in a hurry. If not, the Raiders signed experienced savvy veteran Jeff Garcia. Garcia has been able to step in with any team over the last four to five years and do well. We expect Garcia to see action at some point this year. Due to the fact that he finds his way onto the field one way or another.

Who will catch the balls thrown by either Garcia or Russell? Well the Raiders obviously just spent their first round pick on speedster Darrius Heywood-Bey. Not often though can rookie receivers come in and demonstrate consistent play, although being a top ten receiver you’d expect Bey to be able too. Currently Bey is listed as the Raiders third receiver but will likely jump over Javon Walker. Walker who was once a Pro Bowl caliber receiver just a few short years ago has stumbled to where did he go land.

The Raiders other starter is going to be the name no one has heard and will surely be on the waiver wire in fantasy leagues. If you’re in a dynasty league, hopefully you either snatched him up last season or in this off-seasons fantasy draft. Chaz Schilens, at 6’4 and 230 pounds has the speed and physical tools to be a pleasant surprise at receiver. Here is an athlete that didn’t begin playing football until his junior year of high school. Even at that he was able to attract the attention of several division one schools and found himself at San Diego State. Quietly he had solid seasons there and snuck into the draft as a 7th round pick by the Raiders last season.

Instantly he jumped over the Raiders fourth round pick last year in Arman Shields, and began to find his way onto the field during the regular season. Some highlights of last year include a three reception 78 yard performance against the Ravens, as well as starting the last two games of the season in which he caught a touchdown in each. He creates separation with ease (4.38 forty) and has great leaping ability (43 inch vertical leap). This will already be combined by Heywood-Bey whose speed and status will create enough nightmares for defenses.

These two could be a dynamic tandem grouped together for awhile. As long as the Raiders can consistent quarterback play expect Schilens to easily get between 800- 1,000 yards and six to eight touchdowns. He will no longer be a sleeper after this season. He is already off to a great impact start that we anticipated. In limited action he totaled five catches for 52 yards in week one’s preseason action. Russell seems to already have chemistry with him and they even drew a 47 yard pass interference penalty as well.