Which players on the Oakland Raiders you should start in Week 2 and which you should sit in your fantasy football league.
If you’re reading this, there is a good chance that you have allowed your die-hard fandom for the Oakland Raiders lead you to draft at least one player from the Silver and Black in your fantasy football league.
The Raiders are a favorite among insiders and fans alike to at least make an AFC Championship appearance, barring injury. That’s for good reason, with the amount of talent on both sides of the ball led by the likes of Derek Carr and Khalil Mack.
In particular, already one of the league’s most explosive offenses, the Raiders added running back Marshawn Lynch, tight end Jared Cook and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the offseason. That trio already showed how much more dangerous this offense will be for the 2017 season.
Heading into Week 2, let’s take an in-depth look at which Raiders to start and which to sit against the New York Jets.
While the defense still leaves much to be desired overall, a solid showing in Week 1 against the Titans may be a sign that defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and Assistant Defensive Head Coach John Pagano are fixing the defensive woes.
The defense held Tennessee’s potent rushing attack to just 95 yards and prevented Marcus Mariota from throwing a passing touchdown. This week, the Raiders face a horrid Jets offense that can’t decipher who their primary quarterback or running back is. Journeyman Josh McCown threw for just 176 yards and 2 interceptions against the Bills in Week 1. Whether McCown or unproven backups Christian Hackenburg or Bryce Petty start Sunday is uncertain. But regardless, the Jets below-average offensive line and receiving core will not spell trouble against the Raiders.
All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack is sure to have another stellar performance against the Jets, and the talented corp of Bruce Irvin, Eddie Vanderdoes, Justin Ellis and Denico Autry should all generate plenty of pressure. The Raiders defense should be a second or third option on most fantasy teams, so there’s a good chance they’ll be available for pickup — if so, they’re a sneaky start this week.
This will be the first home game of the season in Oakland — official town business. It only makes sense that Marshawn Lynch summons all of the love he has for his hometown to run all over a Jets’ face.
Fresh out of retirement, Lynch looked like his old self against the Titans, viciously rushing for 76 yards on 18 carries. The Jets gave up 190 yards to the Bills, allowing LeSean McCoy and Mike Tolbert to gash them for big gains up the middle at their leisure.
Expect Lynch to get his first touchdown of the season in front of the people that love and understand him most.
The Raiders win over the Titans showed two things offensively — that Carr was 100 percent healthy and that the outstanding offense of 2016 is even more dangerous. With a bulked-up Amari Cooper, a reliable Michael Crabtree and a healthy Seth Roberts, expect Carr to carve up the underwhelming Jets secondary.
Jared Cook looked stellar against Tennessee, rotating inside and out, making catches on various routes. The Raiders weapons simply will overmatch the Jets secondary, and the run game should open the passing game up immensely. Expect quite a few touchdowns in Oakland on Sunday.
Of course, the cats out of the bag by now that receiver Seth Roberts is the Raiders secret offensive weapon. Last week, he scored a key touchdown, making it a perfect 10-0 for the Raiders when he reaches the end zone.
Sunday, he matches up with Jets nickel corner Buster Skrine, who continues to struggle mightily. Look for Roberts to get an increase in targets against a weak Jets secondary, and perhaps extend that streak to 11-0.
No win is a sure thing in the NFL — any dog can have his day on any given Sunday. But the Jets pale in comparison to the Raiders in every way possible.
Regardless if you are in a standard or PPR league, every player on the Raiders offense should contribute on Sunday. Last week, Carr connected with eight different receivers, with three going for 50 or more yards. The rushing attack combined for 109 yards, and Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington should get even more carries this week.
Not only should the Raiders be 2-0 next Monday, but you should be a step closer to a fantasy win.