The fantasy football world for Raider Nation has changed dramatically since Oakland last played a football game.
Top wide receiver Amari Cooper is now a Dallas Cowboy. Top running back Marshawn Lynch is on injured reserve.
Surprisingly, this does bring good news. We don’t have to worry about whether or not Cooper will show up this week. It’s now the Cowboys’ problem.
Jared Cook and Derek Carr are still on the team, but by the time I finish writing the article it wouldn’t be shocking to hear that Gruden traded one of them.
There aren’t a lot of Raider players left from the start of the season, but does it really matter? The Colts’ players are going to create the majority of fantasy production this week.
QB Andrew Luck
It doesn’t really matter who is playing Oakland at quarterback. They should probably be starting, especially if it is a pro bowl caliber quarterback like it is with Andrew Luck.
Start the man, Luck has thrown for 15 touchdowns in the past four games.
TE Eric Ebron
The Raiders have been strong against the tight end position this season allowing less than 59 yards receiving in all but one game this year.
But I suspect the stats are just a mirage of the Oakland defense.
Also, Luck loves tight ends and Eric Ebron has caught 21 receptions for 247 yards and four touchdowns over the last four games.
QB Derek Carr
There is no one left around Carr. Many of his weapons are gone. However, I think it is time for Carr to put on a show and shut up the critics that have been bashing him for the video of him crying on the field in London.
It actually might help Carr to see more Jalen Richard as he will be a much greater help in the passing game than Lynch.
Furthermore, the Colts’ defense is just bad. So against a horrible defense at home, Carr should put on a good performance even with the recent turmoil.
Carr has never needed a great performance this bad in his career and I think he gets it.
TE Jared Cook
Cook has been nowhere to be found over the past two games tallying just 30 yards receiving combined.
But with no one else remaining on the team, Gruden has to make Cook a focal point of the passing attack Sunday. There is no Cooper to draw up plays for, just Jordy Nelson and Cook.
So against a poor pass defense, Cook should be a great mismatch for Carr to take advantage of.
Proceed with Caution
RB Jalen Richard
Jalen Richard has performed nicely as of late tallying more than six receptions in three out of the last four games. So out of the backfield, he has been a major threat.
However, Richard has not seen the production in the run game receiving just four carries in the last three games.
I like his production out of the backfield and believe he will break a few short receptions for big gains, but Gruden seems to like Doug Martin too much and that should eat into the possible production that Richard could have in the running game.
WR Jordy Nelson
Same as I have said for a while. If you are starting Nelson, don’t expect anything great but don’t expect a dud.
Nelson has the advantage of playing a Colts’ defense that has allowed 264 yards per game and should find the end zone once (maybe twice), but it is hard to imagine him breaking off big plays consistently to get a large yardage number to make him a must play.
RB Doug Martin
Martin is averaging 3.7 yards per carry and just over one yard per reception. Gruden views Martin as a feature back but I think those days are long gone.
If Martin can’t average four yards a carry coming in fresh to relieve Lynch, it doesn’t seem likely Martin will be able to do it once he becomes the focus of the run game.
And the offensive line is not going to make it easy, with Kelechi Osemele still not practicing, on the aging Martin.
Luck has not been messing around as of late. Second, who knows what defensive backs (Karl Joseph, Gareon Conley) will be on team come Sunday.
Luck is good, the Raiders defense is not. Stay away from the Oakland defense. Don’t even look at it on the free agency page, it could cause bad juju.