At last, fantasy football has a bright outlook for the Oakland Raiders.
Last week against the Chiefs, Derek Carr was a stud. Carr threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns all while playing a clean game.
Jalen Richard provided 126 scrimmage yards in addition to Doug Martin’s 69 total yards and one touchdown.
Jared Cook had 100 yards and a touchdown and Jordy Nelson caught 10 balls for 97 yards.
Even though it was a losing effort, the Raiders put on a heck of a performance led by a much more confident Carr.
Based on the way Oakland’s season has gone to this point, there is no reason to believe that there will be a positive repeat performance. Or is there?
QB Derek Carr
The Steelers defense is tough to predict. They have performed much better against the quarterback as of late, but that could very well be their schedule.
Before Pittsburgh gave up 299 yards to Philip Rivers this past week, it allowed less than 200 yards passing in four out of the last five games. But the team faced Jacksonville, Carolina, Cleveland, Baltimore and Denver. Not the best quarterbacks, so it seems that the defense could be picked apart going up against a vastly-improving quarterback in Carr.
Carr should look great for two weeks in a row.
QB Ben Roethlisberger
Normally, Ben Roethlisberger is tough to trust away from home. But he has quietly been very good on the road this season.
Roethlisberger has thrown for more than 300 yards in all but one road game this year. And he gets to face one of the worst, if not the worst, pass defenses in the NFL on Sunday.
WR Antonio Brown + WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
According to Pro Football outsiders, Oakland boasts the first-ranked pass defense against the WR1 and the fourth-ranked pass defense against the WR2 yet remain dead last in pass defense as a whole.
By that logic, you might be more hesitant to start Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
However, this is not the time for analytics. Play them both. They will have big days.
Proceed With Caution
RB Jalen Richard
Richard would be a much better play if he got more touches. Jon Gruden has made sure to praise Richard, yet he hasn’t seen the amount of touches in the games that you would think.
Last week, Richard had 95 yards on just six carries. The production is there, just not the workload.
RB Doug Martin
Martin has turned into a solid play, but he has a very low ceiling.
Since taking over as the starting back, Martin has rushed between 49 and 72 yards in every game and has scored two touchdowns over the six-game span.
Martin will get around 50/60 yards, but that isn’t enough if he doesn’t score a touchdown. And he has been more likely to not score than he is to score since taking over.
TE Jared Cook
After a mid-season rough patch for Cook, he has exploded back onto the scene with his last game against the Chiefs.
Even better, Cook has caught a touchdown in each of the last three games making him a reliable fantasy play even if he doesn’t get the yardage necessary.
On Sunday, Cook will face a defense that has been very inconsistent against the position. As such, Cook should be able to take advantage.
WR Jordy Nelson
Nelson has looked very slow since his injury. But his 10 catch outing makes it hard to overlook him.
To be honest, this play is a toss up. Nelson has been inconsistent this season, but Carr looks to have a new confidence and comfort in Gruden’s system that we haven’t seen all year.
This is the case every week.