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Raiders vs Broncos fantasy football advice: Expect Oakland’s (Derek) Carr to stall again

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After an impressive first half against the Los Angeles Rams, it looked like many of the Oakland Raiders players were a smart fantasy play. Hell, maybe Oakland could have limited Todd Gurley and Jared Goff. However, that was not the case and, like I predicted, Goff and Gurley put up monster fantasy days.

On the Raiders side, Amari Cooper was shockingly non-existent and Carr was poor putting up great first-half numbers but an abysmal second half.

I had one major omission in Jared Cook who had a jaw-dropping Week 1 with 180 yards receiving.

In this week’s fantasy football edition, Cook will be mentioned as Oakland travels to face Von Miller and the Broncos.

Must Start

TE Jared Cook

As everyone could have predicted, Cook is the NFL’s leading receiver after one week of football. I am not entirely sure if the game against Los Angeles was one major fluke or that Jon Gruden believes the offense didn’t feature Cook enough in 2017.

Regardless, Cook put on such an impressive display it is tough to sit back and have him ride the bench unless your team has an elite tight end already like Rob Gronkowski.

Denver let tight end Will Dissly get loose multiple times on Sunday en route to 105 yards and a touchdown.

There is not a lot of information to go off of, but seeing the Broncos get gashed at the position and Cook’s 180 yard performance against the Rams, Cook has earned a start in Week 2.

WR Amari Cooper

One catch for nine yards. Cooper was horrible (if you could find him) the entire night and Derek Carr didn’t seem interested in looking his way either.

I don’t think anyone truly gets what is going on with Cooper. He has the talent to average 100 yards a night but he can’t be found for games at a time.

Nonetheless, Gruden knows what he is doing (at least coaching wise) to figure out a way to get Cooper the ball. The offense needs to get Cooper going or it will be a very shaky year.

Honestly, the matchup against Denver isn’t even a good one since Carr has never looked comfortable against them. But Cooper will get it going.

Be patient, keep starting Cooper and it will pay off. This much talent can’t lay dormant for too long. And when his bottled up talent is finally released, it will be a monster explosion.

Broncos WRs: Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders

Case Keenum might have a solid day against the Oakland defense, but there is no possible way anyone is starting Keenum as he just can’t crack the top 12 on any week regardless of the matchup.

While Demaryius Thomas (66 yards per game, 2 TDs) and Emmanuel Sanders (46 ypg, 4 TDs) have not faired well against the Raiders, they should be nice beneficiaries of a poor Oakland pass rush on Sunday.

Against Seattle, Thomas tallied 6 receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown and Sanders hauled in 10 catches for 135 yards and a score. Let’s just say I have more trust in the Seahawks defense to shut an offense down than Oakland without Khalil Mack.

Proceed with Caution

Broncos RBs: Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman

I do think the Broncos are going run the football well, but they have a committee on their hands.

Against Seattle, Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman had 15 carries each for 71 yards. Great production, but if both backs are evenly splitting carries it is not a safe bet that one of them will have a big fantasy day as it purely depends on who will get the goal-line carries and score a touchdown.

The run game as a whole would be a must smart, if you could, but since no running back looks to be getting an advantage in the carry department it is tough to pick one to be a must start.

Bench

QB Derek Carr

Derek Carr looks scared, inaccurate and just bad. He consistently made bone-head errors and let the game clock run down all while being at home on opening night.

Everything Carr did wrong on Monday will only be exponentially more difficult to fix considering Denver’s hostile environment and the new Broncos’ pass rush that showcases Miller, Shane Ray and Bradley Chubb. The unit had six sacks against the Seahawks and the mobile Russell Wilson.

When the pressure comes, and it will, this new Carr will get antsy and throw it away immediately or throw a poor pass that the Denver secondary will be eying to intercept.

If you are looking for positives, the offensive line did play exceptionally well against the Rams and I’m sure they will too against the Broncos but Carr is currently feeling pressure that isn’t there.

RB Marshawn Lynch

Under Gruden, many might have thought he would take the game back to 1965 and run the football every single play.

But on Monday night, Carr threw the ball 40 times (24 in first half) while the Raiders ran the football just 23 times with only 11 carries going to Marshawn Lynch.

Denver won’t be expected to put up as many points like Los Angeles, so Gruden could be more inclined to run the football but Monday showed Gruden is going to live and die by Carr forcing Lynch to get limited carries.