Camp Battles: Heyward-Bey, Moore vie for Palmer's passing fancy
A year ago at this time, the Raiders were largely considered one of the worst passing teams in the NFL. Darrius Heyward-Bey was a third-year receiver going nowhere and Denarius Moore was an unknown fifth-round rookie. Thanks to the arrival of QB Carson Palmer the Raiders passing game took flight, and Heyward-Bey and Moore took off. The two combined to catch 45 percent of the team's touchdown passes, and Heyward-Bey came within 25 yards of the 1,000-yard mark.
Suddenly, there was hope for Oakland's passing attack.
The team reshaped its receiving corps this offseason, selecting Arizona's Juron Criner (fifth round) and dealing Louis Murphy to Carolina for a conditional pick. But nothing changed atop the depth chart; Heyward-Bey and Moore have seemingly locked up the Raiders two starting jobs heading into camp. Now the question fantasy owners want an answer to is: Which one will emerge as the team's No. 1 target?
In two years of limited action Ford has logged three 100-yard games. He's a home run hitter when healthy, and his 17.0-yard career average per catch is proof he can burn by opposing defenders any time he touches the ball.
There is more room for Moore to grow. Palmer saw the potential for greatness last year. "He kind of did a little bit of everything," the veteran passer told reporters. "I think this year he can kind of really put it all together and kind of be a complete player."
We kind of think so, too, Carson. Moore's November effort against San Diego -- 123 yards and two touchdowns -- showcased the kind of raw talent he brings to the table. With a bit more experience he could become a dangerous weapon for fantasy owners.