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Fantasy Focus: Raiders vs. Vikings

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One of the best offenses against one of the best defenses, and one of the worst offenses against one of the worst defenses. The Raiders matchup this weekend against the Vikings has fantasy implications everywhere.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

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73 points and 1,037 total yards.

With numbers like that, there's no wonder why we gave you five studs and just two duds last week when the Raiders and the Steelers faced off. With that said, this week the Raiders face off against one of the best defenses in the league, the Minnesota Vikings. But before we get to Minnesota, let's look at last week's picks...

The studs we gave you were Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Derek Carr, Michael Crabtree and Latavius Murray. And, well, I hope you played them all.

Roethlisberger went for 334 yards and two touchdowns, while Carr responded with 301 and four touchdowns. Brown posted the stupidest fantasy numbers you'll see all season — 17 catches for 284 yards and 22 rushing yards, but Crabtree came back with seven catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns. And oh by the way, all Murray did was go for 96 yards on just 17 carries to go along with a pair for catches (before having to leave the game early with a concussion).

The sleepers? Martavis Bryant was the only winner of the bunch — securing three catches (on seven targets) for 31 yards and a score. The other two — Heath Miller and Taiwan Jones — were disappointments, combining for just 38 receiving yards.

And, well, in a game like this even the duds were dominant. I warned against Deangelo Williams in a game against the No. 2 rushing defense, and, well, let's just say they're probably not the No. 2 rushing defense anymore. Williams went for 225 total yards and two touchdowns. But alas, at least I told you not to mess with either defense!

This week, the scoring shouldn't be as high — at least not if the Vikings have anything to say about it. While the Raiders remain one of the worst defensive units in fantasy football (allowing the third-most yards per game), the Vikings are allowing the 26th most yards per game. On the flip side, the Vikes boast the 30th-best offense.


Teddy Bridgewater — The Raiders are allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing QBs of any team in the league. Fourth on that list? The Detroit Lions, who Bridgewater carved up for 316 passing yards and two touchdowns. By all accounts he'll play Sunday, and that's good news for Bridgewater owners.

Stefon Diggs With 26 targets in his last three games, Diggs is emerging into the surprise rookie performer of the season thus far. While the Oakland pass defense will be better with TJ Carrie and Nate Allen probably returning, Diggs could still be in for a big day.

Derek Carr — Everything in the numbers says the Vikings will be the team that stops Carr's run of brilliance, but then again, I'd rather be one week late in benching Carr than a week too early.


Mychal Rivera In the past four weeks, opposing tight ends have finished as either the leading or second-leading receiver against the Vikings. While I'd love to be all aboard the Clive Walford train, he did have a pair of big third-down kinda-drops last week, while Rivera has remained sure-handed. With all the time-splitting, I don't love any of the Oakland tight ends, but if I had to pick one, it'd be Rivera.

Jamie Olawale — With Latavius Murray still a question mark, a bunch of people are probably jumping all over Marcel Reece in your fantasy league. For some reason, I've got a good feeling about Olawale. I remember him breaking a big run in Week 1 (that was called back for a penalty) and he looked great on his touchdown run last week. Nothing too spectacular expected here, but who knows.

Mike Wallace — With just one catch on ten targets in the past two weeks, Wallace has been a nightmare for fantasy owners. The thing is, at least they're throwing him the ball! If Diggs draws TJ Carrie in coverage this week, it could mean openings for Mike Wallace.


Minnesota D — The Raiders are giving opposing defenses the sixth-fewest points in fantasy each week, and to be honest, that seems low the way the Raider offense is clicking.

Adrian Peterson — Not a safe pick here, but I think the Oakland run defense gets pissed about last week and all the talk about how good Peterson is. I'm not saying they neutralize him altogether, but I think holding him under 80 yards is possible.