If NFL games were only 30 minutes long, the Oakland Raiders might be the best team in the league. Unfortunately for Raider Nation, they are not and it is making my fantasy predictions rather difficult.
Last week against Denver, I was sort of right about Derek Carr but also wrong. He put on a record-setting display with his completion percentage and looked comfortable all day. But the offense did stall in the second half scoring only seven points. Overall, Carr threw for close to 300 yards and one touchdown resulting in a good fantasy outing.
Those who stuck with Amari Cooper finally got the payoff they were looking for as he caught every ball thrown his way. Marshawn Lynch averaged only 3.6 yards per carry but got a touchdown to save his afternoon.
My big miss was Jared Cook. He had a so-so day with just four receptions. But hey, I have seen worse games from other premier tight ends. Look at Travis Kelce’s Week 1.
Moving on from the Broncos, let’s look forward to the road trip to Miami.
WR Amari Cooper
The Dolphins have not been giving up big numbers to the wide receiver position allowing just 22 catches for 281 yards in two games.
With that being said, Miami has only faced the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans. The Jets start a rookie quarterback in Sam Darnold with limited outside threats and the Titans aren’t a pass-happy team so I think the numbers are outliers.
Also, no one in the Miami secondary has a PFF player grade greater than 66.9, so Cooper should easily be able to exploit the unit.
And did you watch Cooper on Sunday? I will happily say it again. He caught every ball that went his way and one more with the play that got called back for a questionable offsetting pass interference penalty.
TE Jared Cook
Again, the Dolphins are weak in the secondary and at linebacker. So whomever Cook is matched up on, he should have the advantage.
Before Delanie Walker got hurt, he was on his way to having a nice day with four receptions for 52 yards against the Miami defense which surrendered 101 yards to the position in Week 1.
The Dolphins did limit the Jets to only three receptions, but go ahead and tell me a tight end on their roster? Yeah, good luck.
So when a tough matchup is at the tight end position, Miami can be gashed. Jon Gruden seemingly has made Cook an emphasis when a mismatch is there. I bet Gruden and Carr will be looking to go there like they did against the Rams.
RB Kenyan Drake
Oakland is not doing a great job defending the run allowing 5.76 yards per carry this season.
And it is expected to be close to 90 degrees and humid this Sunday in Miami, so it would be reasonable to expect the Oakland defense to looked gas down the stretch like it did last week when Phillip Lindsay ran for 107 yards on 14 carries.
Kenyan Drake hasn’t seen many carries this season, just 25, but he has been a productive back when called to duty averaging over four yards per pop.
The Raiders haven’t shown to shut down the run game yet and will possibly be without PJ Hall in the middle again, so I will take my chances with Drake.
QB Derek Carr
After seeing what Carr did last week on the road in Denver and the lack of skill in the Dolphins secondary, start the Carr.
Proceed with Caution
I see a major day through the air for Carr, Cook, and Cooper so it would seem hard to start the defense that will be on the opposite end of that air attack.
However, the Dolphins’ defense has forced six turnovers and scored one touchdown in the first two games. So they are making plays.
If the Carr from last week shows up, then Miami will get shredded. If it is the Carr from the Rams game, then the Dolphins defense could be headed for a trip to the endzone.
RB Marshawn Lynch
Unless Lynch is up against a horrible run defense, I don’t see a scenario in which he is a start.
Lynch is averaging just 3.66 yards per carry and is only putting up solid fantasy numbers to this point because he has found the endzone in each of the games thus far. Lynch is still battling a shoulder injury as well.
With the poor Miami secondary, I think we will see a few more touchdowns in the air rather than on the ground lessening the likelihood that Lynch finds another score.
QB Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill has never been scary. He is averaging less than 200 yards per game passing and has turned the ball over three times.
The one worry might be Tannehill’s mobility, as that has given Oakland trouble in recent memory, but the Raiders have done a decent job against quarterbacks this season allowing just 6.69 yards per attempt, only two touchdowns and zero 250-yard games.