Week 13 might be the most exciting week, fantasy wise, for the Oakland Raiders this entire season. Since this is the case, and there is probably not a Raider I don’t like this weekend, here are four players to start and just two to sit for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.
Start: QB Derek Carr
Derek Carr does not have to be anywhere near the top of his game to exploit New York for a dominant fantasy day.
First, the Giants are the No. 29 ranked pass defense in the NFL giving up 258.2 yards per game. Even though Carr is expected to be without Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, it should still be easy enough to take advantage of the weak secondary that is now without cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
Secondly, Geno Smith will be leading the other offense. If Carr does start slow with a few three and outs, Geno is likely to match him. Therefore, Carr will have plenty of drives to put points up on the board.
Start: RB Marshawn Lynch
Since the bye, it is obvious Todd Downing has put an added emphasis on the running game.
Against New England, Marshawn Lynch looked explosive. But the game got out of reach early forcing the offense to lean on the passing game.
Last Sunday, Lynch saw 29 touches, gained over 100 yards of offense and scored one touchdown against a solid Denver Broncos’ defense.
With a Giants rush defense that has given up 478 rushing yards and three touchdowns over the last four games, Lynch should be right around the 100-yard mark again and is probable for an end zone appearance, maybe two.
Start: D/ST Raiders
Geno Smith is now the starting quarterback for New York. Surprisingly, he has performed well against Oakland in his career with a 91.8 passer rating in three games.
This time around, the Giants are without Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, a decent running game and good offensive line play. Not to mention, the team unofficially admitted to tanking by benching Eli Manning. With that being the case, it is hard to imagine there will be any sort of special performance from their offense.
Since the move to John Pagano, Oakland has brought more pressure and complicated looks that has helped free the pass rushers. If Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin can continue to get to the quarterback like they did against Denver, the turnovers will follow.
Start: TE Jared Cook
Even with Crabtree and Cooper playing, Jared Cook has been the team’s top receiver hauling in 42 receptions (Cooper and Crabtree each have 42 too) for 537 yards.
On Sunday, both of them will be out meaning Cook will be the only go-to-guy active for Carr. New York also ranks dead last against opposing tight ends, according to ESPN’s standard PPR scoring.
Cook should be receiving the football early and often.
Sit: RB Orleans Darkwa
The Giants don’t have a lot on offense due to injuries and benchings. As such, the Raiders will just have to focus on Orleans Darkwa and stop the run to be successful on Sunday.
Fortunately, run defense is the one area that Oakland can be good at considering the defense has Mack and NaVorro Bowman to lead the charge. The duo did well last week holding the Broncos to just 30 yards on the ground.
Sit: TE Evan Engram
Evan Engram has slowed down as of late tallying just 58 receiving yards in the last three contests.
Despite the Raiders being suspect against the position this entire season, they only allowed two receptions to the position last weekend. And this week’s matchup has a lot of similarities to last Sunday as it is a relatively poor offense playing with a new quarterback.
Consequently, it is hard to imagine Engram getting loose for a monster day unless he gets lucky by finding pay dirt multiple times.