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Fantasy Focus: Raiders vs. Chiefs

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With Wild Card implications in the forefront, what kind of fantasy implications are in play as most leagues begin the playoffs this week?

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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For many fantasy leagues, it's playoff time. You've scratched and clawed for an entire season, gunning for a playoff spot and that time has now come — so what's in store for you this week when the Raiders play host to the Kansas City Chiefs?

Winners of five straight, the Chiefs come into the game with one of the best defenses in the league — holding fantasy quarterbacks and running backs to the 29th and 28th-most points respectively this season. The Raiders, on the other hand, have been one of the most porous defenses when it comes to fantasy performances this season.

But will the Kansas City offense take advantage? The Chiefs have scored 23+ points just twice all season — although they are averaging 28 points per game over the past three weeks.

Before we dive into this week, however, let's do a quick recap of last week's predictions against the Titans...

Overall, it was a really good week for us — as we gave you both quarterbacks (3 touchdowns a piece), Amari Cooper (7 catches, 115 yards) and Delanie Walker (6 catches, 91 yards) as the four studs this week.

Sleepers weren't a strong suit, however — as both Ryan Succop (0 FG, 1/2 XP) and David Cobb (8 total yards) were no-shows.

As for the snoozer, Antonio Andrews, we nailed it — as Andrews was held to just 46 total yards.

So can we have a repeat performance this week?


Amari Cooper — The Chiefs are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, and one week after Amari Cooper was brought back into the game plan, it's hard to imagine he disappears again this week.

Jeremy Maclin — While David Amerson's performance last week was incredibly encouraging, we're still not to the point where Oakland can boast about anything less than a below-average pass defense. Maclin has been feast-or-famine this season (three games of 140+ yards, seven games of less than 60), but after a nine catch, 160 yards and a touchdown performance against the Bills, I think he has another big game this week.

Derek Carr — With weapons everywhere, Carr is becoming a must-start every week for most folks. As Seth Roberts continues to emerge, he's just another guy to attract attention from defenses alongside Michael Crabtree and Cooper.

KC Running Back — Few teams boast the depth Kansas City does at running back, having lost Jamaal Charles for the season already, they plugged in Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware in his wake and haven't missed a beat. While West's status is uncertain for Sunday, whichever guy gets the lion's share of carries should be good for 75 yards and a score.

Travis Kelce — One of the best tight ends in the league, Kelce hasn't been dominant this season from a fantasy perspective, but he has been incredibly consistent. In 11 games this season, Kelce has never had fewer than four catches (and he's never had more than six).


Michael Crabtree — Through the first eight weeks, Crabtree was the team's most consistent receiver from a fantasy perspective, but after two slow weeks (and the emergence of Seth Roberts), it seems some are forgetting about him. With just 69 yards in his past two games, there appears to be reason for concern — and yet, he has seen 19 passes thrown his way over that stretch — a promising sign for those banking on Crabtree's re-emergence.

Alex Smith — Not a sexy fantasy pick, but against the Oakland defense, all quarterbacks become appealing. The Raiders are allowing the fourth-most points to quarterbacks, and Smith hasn't thrown an interception in eight games.


Seth Roberts — I love me some Seth Roberts, but is it realistic to bank a playoff matchup on a guy who had eight catches in the seven weeks leading up to his breakout against the Titans? I'm adding this guy wherever I can, but holding him out of the lineup for one more week just to make sure he's for real.

Latavius Murray — Going against one of the better fantasy run defenses in the league, this could be a rough week for Murray owners. Murray hasn't eclipsed 60 yards in any of the past three weeks, with just one touchdown over that stretch.