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Eagles-Raiders fantasy football preview: Who to start, sit

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With everyone’s fantasy championships right around the corner and a year’s worth of bragging rights on the line, it is time to look forward to the Raiders game Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Here are three fantasy players to sit and to start for Monday’s game.

Start:

QB Nick Foles

There is not a lot of data on Nick Foles this season considering it has been just two weeks since Carson Wentz went out with a season ending knee injury.

However, Foles looked very sharp in his first start of 2017 throwing for 237 yards and four touchdowns.

Oakland’s defense has been stout against quarterbacks since they turned the unit over to John Pagano, but the Eagles have too many weapons on offense as well as a great coaching staff. The team showed almost no drop off last Sunday despite having their backup quarterback in the ball game.

Foles might not tear this defense apart with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin’s improved play late, but expect Foles to be a solid start and to throw for a few touchdowns against an all-but eliminated Raiders football team.

Philadelphia’s new quarterback also threw for seven touchdowns last time he faced the Silver and Black. So who knows what he will do this time.

WR Alshon Jeffery

Alshon Jeffery has been Mr. Consistent this season. He has been a reliable fantasy player without putting up one 100-yard game this year. His nine touchdowns this season also do not hurt.

While Oakland’s secondary is better than before (which isn’t saying much), there are still major issues left as it let an aging Dez Bryant get loose on Sunday night.

Also, Jeffery is a big target who could body TJ Carrie or Dexter McDonald if they are ever matched up together. If that is the case, then Jeffery will be destined to score in the redzone against a soft Raiders’ pass defense.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

WR Michael Crabtree

Michael Crabtree gets to go against a weak Eagles’ pass defense that allowed over 280 yards and three touchdowns to the wide receiver position last weekend against the New York Giants. The defense has also given up 237.7 yards passing per game this season.

As such, Crabtree will have his opportunities to score in the redzone and receive some chunk plays throughout the game.

With Amari Cooper not 100 percent, Crabtree’s targets, 17 last week, will continue to be sky-high especially in the redzone where he caught two touchdowns against the Cowboys.

Maybe it would have been three if Crabtree wasn’t pulled out on the last play of Sunday night’s game due to concussion protocol. We know Carr would have looked at Crabtree first.

Sit:

RB Marshawn Lynch

Philadelphia has given up over 100 yards on the ground just twice the entire season and hasn’t given up a rushing touchdown in 10 of the 14 games they have played.

Marshawn Lynch has been playing well the last few weeks, tallying over 60 yards in each of the last five games, but he hasn’t faced a defense as stout as the Eagles.

If things don’t go well early on the ground, which it probably won’t on the road in a nationally televised game, Downing has not hesitated this season to abandon the run which would severely limit Lynch.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

QB Derek Carr

Like in the past weeks, I do not feel comfortable starting Derek Carr in a fantasy matchup until Todd Downing is out as offensive coordinator.

Carr looked better last week, but still doesn’t possess the same confidence that he once had in 2016.

On the road in a tough environment against a very good defense, there are going to be moments where the offense looks anemic and stagnant.

Unlike the other positions, one play can’t make a fantasy day for a quarterback. Therefore, Carr needs a (mostly) complete game to make an impact and that hasn’t happened yet this season so why would it start in Week 16.

RB Jay Ajayi

If Jay Ajayi was getting the bulk of the carries for Philadelphia, he we would be a sure-fire start. But that has yet to be the case since his midseason arrival via trade.

The new Eagles running back has only tallied double digit carries twice on his new team, albeit in the last two games, but it was still only 12 and 15 carries respectively meaning he can only be impactful with touchdowns. But he has only scored one touchdown this season.

In addition, Oakland has been better against the run with Pagano only allowing 74.25 rushing yards per game compared to their season average of 110.7.

Even if Philadelphia has an impressive day on the ground, there is no guarantee that it will be Ajayi reaping the benefits.

Note: Eagles might rest players

If the Minnesota Vikings lose on Saturday, then the Eagles will have clinched the No. 1 overall seed and many think that would mean limited playing time for the top players including Nick Foles.

If that becomes the case, then this preview is worthless.