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Fantasy Focus: Raiders vs. Chargers

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After a bye week to catch our breath (and forget about a nightmarish fantasy week), the Raiders are back to face divisional rival San Diego.

Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

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Thank goodness for a bye week.

To say that Week 5 was a disaster in this space would be the understatement of the century. I suggested two Oakland Raider receivers that combined for eight catches and 101 yards between them. I tossed out Peyton Manning and his zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Demayrius Thomas had 55 yards without a score.

Really, the only big hit was Emmanuel Sanders (9 catches, 111 yards) — but even he stayed out of the end zone.

But wait — there's more.

The two sleepers combined for — wait for it — 18 total yards. Owen Daniels had zeroes across the board, and Roy Helu was almost non-existent.

Then in the snoozers, we gave you Latavius Murray (hey, a good pick after all!) and his 39 rushing yards and the Denver defense (GULP). The Broncos D forced three turnovers, had four sacks and allowed just 10 points.

But hey, there's nothing like a bye week for us to clear our minds and get back on the horse, right? Not to mention a matchup with 2-3 San Diego — who has allowed the 6th-most points in the league thus far (actual points, not fantasy ones).


Latavius Murray — a stalwart in this space, but I really think Murray is due for a bounce-back game after the bye week. In the past three weeks, the Chargers have allowed YPC averages of 7.8, 5.7 and 4.8 respectively — even allowing the Browns to get 100 yards (they have the 25th-best rushing attack in the league). I'm expecting 100+ yards from Murray and his first touchdown in almost a month.

Phillip Rivers — the man at the helm of the league's most prolific offense (433 yards per game), Rivers is drooling at the sight of Oakland's 31st-ranked pass defense. Rivers threw for over 500 yards last week against the Packers, and if the Raiders get into a shootout, there's no reason he won't have another monster week this week.

Antonio Gates — in two weeks since returning from suspension, Gates has 18 receptions on 27 targets (!!) for 187 yards and two touchdowns. And, well, the Raiders can't cover tight ends (although they showed some improvement with Neiron Ball against Denver), so this should be fun.


Seth Roberts — deep sleeper here, but it seems the Chargers have been burned by speedy receivers in recent weeks (Martavis Bryant, Jeff Janis, Travis Benjamin) and maybe Roberts will be that guy. He has run a few "go" routes this season, so maybe he sneaks behind the defense for a big score.

Malcolm Floyd — while everyone on San Diego's offense had a big week against Green Bay last week, Floyd was one of the major beneficiaries with 12 targets coming his way. Yes, he only caught five of the 12 for 95 yards, but if Oakland keys on Keenan Allen, Floyd might be the guy they force to beat them.


Melvin Gordon — Gordon has been underwhelming as a rookie (299 yards in six games, YPC of 3.8), and couple that with Oakland's stout run defense (third-fewest rushing yards allowed per game), and he becomes a prime snoozer this week.

Derek Carr — nobody wants to see this name here, but the reality is that San Diego has allowed the seventh-fewest passing yards per game. That includes matchups against Aaron Rodgers (255 yards), Matthew Stafford (246 yards) and Andy Dalton (214 yards) among others. The only guy to light the Chargers up was Josh McCown (so maybe there's hope?). With the prolific San Diego offense, I could be way off base here with Carr, but I just think he's kept under 300 yards this week and so I have him outside the top 10 fantasy QBs this week.