Last week, the Raiders suffered an embarrassing loss to the Houston Texans. While the Raiders were paltry, my fantasy start, sit, sleepers was spot on. My starts were the Texans defense, Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Arian Foster each putting up 9, 7.4, 8.2 and 21 points. My sits were the Raiders defense and Maurice Jones-Drew, each of which scored a combined one point. Sleeper Ryan Fitzpatrick finished the game with 13.56 points.
This week, the Raiders take on the New England Patriots in Foxborough. Which players should you start, sit and potentially add to your fantasy teams?
While Brady may not have the weapons he used to, the future Hall of Famer is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. If Ryan Fitzpatrick can have his way with the Raiders secondary, Brady certainly can too. The most effective way to fluster Brady is by providing a pass rush. Through two games, the Raiders have only two sacks. As bad as their pass rush is, their secondary is even worse. This has the makings of a blowout, one in which Brady owners will greatly benefit from.
While Edelman is not the same monster in standard leagues as he is in PPR, he is still a high level two receiver. Edelman will be matched up with Tarell Brown who so far has struggled just to cover air itself. Expect Edelman to bring in a lot of receptions and points against the Raiders.
Last week against the Vikings, the Patriots had four interceptions and six sacks in a 26 fantasy point performance. With Adrian Peterson inactive, the offense was similar talent wise to the Raiders. That is being generous considering the Silver and Black don't have a playmaker like Cordarrelle Patterson. Unless the Raiders offense can establish a rushing attack to help Derek Carr, this Patriots defense is going to have a party.
While Darren McFadden scored 14 points last week, his performance came without Maurice Jones-Drew playing. It is uncertain whether Jones-Drew will be back this week for this game. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has also wanted to get Latavius Murray more reps which will hurt McFadden and Jones-Drew even more. Speaking of MJD, he managed just 2.3 points against the Jets.
With the way they played against the Jets and Texans, Sunday is going to be a joke. Khalil Mack and Sio Moore are the only players that have stood out through two games. Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL and will find numerous ways to pick the Raiders apart. And with the Raiders struggling offense constantly giving the ball back to the opposing team, the Raiders defense will be on the field for a long time which is a good way to lose fantasy points.
After two impressive performances, James Jones is establishing himself as Derek Carr's number one target, especially in the red zone. While he has great hands and is a smart route runner, Jones lacks the explosiveness to be a top fantasy threat. But that doesn't mean he can't be a solid number two.
Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley
The Raiders defense ranks dead last in run defense as they allow opposing offenses an average of 200 rushing yards a game. In PPR leagues, Vereen would be a start because of his threat as a pass catcher. Ridley on the other hand is the Patriots main rusher. While he has struggled with consistency and fumbles, he could have a monster game against the Raiders weak defense.