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Fantasy Focus: Raiders vs Titans

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While some will debate whether the Oakland season is officially over, for anyone arguing otherwise, this week's matchup against the 2-8 Titans categorizes as "must-win".

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What could have been...

In a matchup featuring two high-powered offenses against two low-powered defenses, the Raiders matchup against the Lions had so much intrigue. And, well, then the Raiders laid a dud.

Coming into the game, the Lions were allowing over 367 yards per game, and yet, the Raiders put together a meager 214 total yards against them. As a result, the fantasy picks were disappointing...

For studs I gave you both quarterbacks, both kickers and Latavius Murray. Thank goodness for the kickers.

Derek Carr had his worst game of the season (169 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT), while Matt Stafford threw for 282 yards, 0 TD and 0 INT (but did add 31 yards and a TD on the ground). Latavius Murray scored (thankfully), but had just 28 yards rushing and no catches.

Thank goodness for the kickers.

I joked going into the game about how both teams had been giving up points to kickers, and, well, turns out I was right. Sebastian Janikowski netted two field goals — one from 56 yards and another from 48 yards — while Matt Prater knocked home three field goals from 29, 41 and 51 yards.

As for the sleepers, Eric Ebron and Clive Walford were both dreadful picks. Ebron didn't record a single catch (since when could Oakland cover tight ends?), while Walford made just two for 25 yards.

Snoozers would have been a big category to load up on this week, but I gave you just one group: Detroit running backs. Theo Riddick was the best of the bunch with five catches and 86 total yards, but thankfully no one in the group got into the end zone.

So what's the deal with this Oakland offense? Are they in line for a bounce-back game this week against a surprisingly stout Tennessee defense? Or will the three-game skid continue?

Studs

Marcus Mariota — After watching the immobile Matthew Stafford run for 31 yards and a touchdown last week, I have a feeling the Oakland linebackers might have trouble with Mariota. Yes, Mariota is without most of his weapons, but he still has a tight end that can catch and that's all most people need against Oakland's D.

Derek Carr — I'm sticking with Carr here despite the poor performance last week, mostly because the Titans allow the eighth-most points to opposing quarterbacks. Oakland desperately needs a win, and I think Carr leads the offense to a bounce-back week.

Delanie Walker — The Oakland tight-end problem is well documented, but this has just as much to do with the fact that Walker is the best (only?) weapon Mariota really has to work with right now. Walker has received 6+ targets in five of his last six games (and 39 total over that stretch), and is coming off of his best game of the season, as he hauled in eight passes for 109 yards.

Amari Cooper — It's probably wishful thinking, but I have to assume Cooper is due. Coming off the worst performance of his rookie season (one catch, 4 yards), Cooper needs a big day against the Titans to re-establish himself. Heading into last week, Cooper had been targeted 31 times in his previous three games — if he can log 8-10 targets on Sunday, I think he goes for over 100 yards (assuming he can catch the ball).

Sleepers

David CobbAfter missing the first half of the season to injury, the Titans' rookie back could see an increased role in the offense this week with the loss of Dexter McCluster to injury. He hasn't done anything yet as a pro, but on a bad team, it's only a matter of time until the Titans throw the rookie out there to see what he can do.

Ryan Succop — Last week I noted that the Raiders are getting killed by opposing kickers, and, well, it turned out to be true. So why not, for the second week in a row, here's a kicker. Oakland is allowing over 10-points-per-game to kickers in fantasy this season, and Succop is 12/14 on the season with half his field goals coming from beyond 40-yards.

Snoozers

Antonio Andrews — I usually get killed when I put running backs down here, but what the heck. Andrews hasn't scored a touchdown since October 11 and Oakland has allowed just six touchdowns to running backs all season. This could be a dicey move with McCluster out and Andrews potentially getting more snaps, but I think the Oakland run defense bottles him up this week.