Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders Preview

The reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos are in a tight three-way battle for supremacy in the AFC West and will visit the surprising Oakland Raiders on Sunday (Enter Contest) in a showdown for first place in the division. The Raiders are 5-0 on the road en route to their 6-2 mark and enter a stretch of four consecutive home games.

Derek Carr threw for a staggering 513 yards and four touchdowns in a 30-24 win at Tampa Bay as Oakland kept pace with Denver atop the division. Carr is the third player in history to throw for at least 500 yards with four TDs and zero interceptions in a game.

While the Raiders are off to their best start since 2001 behind a potent offense, the Broncos continue to flex the defensive muscles that paved their path to the Super Bowl last season. Denver is tied with Buffalo for the NFL lead with 26 sacks while linebacker Von Miller is second with 8.5. Gary Kubiak’s team has dominated the series in recent seasons, winning eight consecutive matchups before Oakland ended the streak in the Mile High City last December.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (6-2)

Star cornerback Aqib Talib is in danger of missing his second straight game, flying to California on Thursday to get a second opinion on his ailing back. Denver has quality depth at the position as Bradley Roby stepped in for Talib and earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after returning an interception for a touchdown in a 27-19 win at San Diego. Rookie running back Devontae Booker hurt his shoulder in his first start in place of an injury C.J. Anderson, but is expected to go against Oakland. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are the top two targets for Trevor Siemian with 44 and 42 receptions, respectively. Thomas needs two receptions to become the fourth player in franchise history with 500.

ABOUT THE RAIDERS (6-2)

Carr leads the AFC with 17 touchdown passes versus only three interceptions and is getting a lot of mileage from his wide receiver tandem of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Cooper had 12 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown last week to boost his team-leading total to 52 receptions while Crabtree hauled in his NFL high-tying sixth touchdown catch. Defense has been a nightmare for the Raiders, who are ranked 31st in the league, surrendering a total of 410.4 total yards while being equally generous against the run and pass. Khalil Mack, who has five of Oakland’s 11 sacks, recorded five in the win at Denver last season.

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Sunday’s Fantasy Football Players to Watch – NFL Week 7

The NFL goes in it’s 7th week of play. Sunday’s action starts in London with the Giants taking on the Rams (Enter Contests). The Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers will enter their bye weeks. Here are the names that are down for big results this weekend for fantasy football.

QB Matt Ryan & WR Julio Jones – Atlanta Flacons (vs SD)

Atlanta boasts the league’s top offense, averaging 441.5 total yards and 33.2 points, but has failed to hit either mark in the last two games. Ryan and Julio Jones have developed into the league’s most prolific passing duo. Ryan has averaged 369.3 passing yards and thrown nine touchdown passes over his last four home games.

QB Derek Carr, WR Michael Crabtree & WR Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders (at JAX)

The trio of Derek Carr, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper continue to carry Oakland offensively. The quarterback enters Week 7 tied for fifth in the NFL with 12 touchdown passes and has thrown only three interceptions, which is a league-low among signal-callers with at least 225 passing attempts. Crabtree shares the league lead with five receiving TDs and Cooper is averaging 16.3 yards per catch while ranking fourth with 585 overall. Cooper is seeking his third straight overall contest with at least 100 receiving yards. Expect the Raiders to be pumped up, as it is coach Jack Del Rio first return to Jacksonville since being fired as the Jaguars’ coach in 2011.

QB Case Keenum – Los Angeles Rams (vs NYG in London)

Los Angeles’ big problem at the beginning of the season was the offense, but quarterback Case Keenum and company have been doing more than enough to win of late. Keenum threw for 321 yards and completed 19 straight passes at one point against Detroit last week.

TE Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals (vs CLE)

One of the biggest issues for Cincinnati has been its struggles in the end zone, a problem that could be rectified with the potential season debut of tight end Tyler Eifert, who hauled in 13 touchdown passes last season. Three of them came in one game versus Cleveland.

TE Hunter Henry – San Diego Thunder (at ATL)

San Diego TE Hunter Henry has caught a touchdown pass in three consecutive games.

RB David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals (vs SEA)

Arizona featured one of the league’s top passing attacks last season, but second-year running back David Johnson has altered the team’s offensive identity by rushing for 268 yards and five touchdowns over the past two games, giving him a league-best eight scores on the ground. Johnson could be in for a heavy workload if the Cardinals have to turn to Drew Stanton, who threw for 124 yards on 11-of-28 passing in place of Palmer in a Week 5 win at San Francisco. The running back is the first player in franchise history with at least 100 yards from scrimmage in the season’s first six games.

 

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NFL Week 10 Value Picks

Quarterbacks

 

Blake Bortles (JAX @ BAL) At 314 passing yards allowed per game, Oakland’s Defense has been the weakest against the pass this year by a significant margin.  While Bortoles has had shockingly high numbers of interceptions in the past 4 games, he has matched that with impressive passing yards and touchdowns giving him reliable fantasy value.  With this matchup and his minimal salary, he could be a key pick in NFL daily fantasy in week 10.

 

Projection: 22.7 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $5800

 

 

Andy Dalton (HOU @ CIN) Andy Dalton has been on fire this year so far leading the Bengals to an undefeated season so far.  The Bengals shouldn’t have much in their way this week in what should be a high scoring blowout.  Dalton’s fantasy value could be hurt though if they get ahead too early and resort to the run game.

 

Projection: 27.5 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $7000

 

 

Joe Flacco (JAX @ BAL) Oakland should not have much opposition in the pass game either.  Flacco has provided strong numbers this year.  He may be limited on his targets however with Steve Smith out and Crockett Gilmore questionable for this weekend.

 

Projection: 22.5 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $5500

 

 

Running Backs

 

James Starks (DET @ GB) Green Bay has passed over the duties of primary running back from Eddie Lacy to James Starks this week.  The Packers should be up early on the Lions then likely will resort to the run game to run out the time.  Starts will get plenty of attempts this week.  Plus Detroit has allowed the third most rushing yards per game of all NFL teams at 134 yards.

 

Projection: 19.7 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $5000

 

 

TJ Yeldon (JAX @ BAL) Yeldon has been a decent fantasy option this year but considering the huge number of attempts he gets, his upside potential is far higher than what we have seen.  He will match those attempts with a couple receptions as well to add to his fantasy value.

 

Projection: 18.9 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $5400

 

Demarco Murray (MIA @ PHI) Miami has the second worst rush defense in the league, only beating out the Browns on that list.  Demarco Murray has taken over the lion’s share of the Eagles rushing game and with his talent, he could explode for a big performance this week.  He is one of the more expensive backs but he will be worth the cash this week providing big fantasy value.

 

Projection: 22.2 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $6400

 

 

 

Wide Receivers

 

Allen Robinson (JAX @ BAL) I already mentioned how weak Oakland’s secondary is and Robinson is Bortles’ primary receiver, especially down the field.  While he doesn’t get a huge number of receptions, those he does get are typically long balls and touchdown opportunity catches.

 

Projection: 26.4 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $6900

 

 

Kamar Aiken (JAX @ BAL) Same goes for Aiken, with Steve Smith out and Gilmore questionable, Aiken is the primary target for Flacco.  He comes at a very cheap price and should get plenty of targets this week.

 

Projection: 22.5 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $4200

 

 

Michael Crabtree (MIN @ OAK) Crabtree showed great synergy with Carr last week, even outperforming Amari Cooper.  Despite his two touchdowns and 100+ receiving yards last week, he still comes at a cheap price.

 

Projection: 25.1 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $5900

 

 

 

Tight Ends

 

Jordan Reed (NO @ WAS)  Reed is a prime value pick this weekend at tight end against the very weak Saints pass defense.  He is the primary red zone target for Cousins and they will need to pass the ball a lot to keep up with the Saints offense.

 

Projection: 21.9 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $4800

 

 

Gary Barnage (CLE @ PIT) Barnage has caught over 600 receiving yards this season for 6 touchdowns.  He has been a consistent performer on the brown’s team that has had very little consistency in personnel or performance.

Projection: 16.8 Fantasy Points

Fanpicks Salary: $5000

Posted in NFL

Learning From Week 9’s Perfect Lineup

QB: Drew Brees (NO): 35.56 Fantasy Points
RB: Llamar Miller (Mia): 33.10 Fantasy Points
RB: DeAngelo Williams (Pit): 39.50 Fantasy Points
WR: Cole Beasley (Dal): 35.20 Fantasy Points
WR: Sammy Watkins (Buf): 33.80 Fantasy Points
WR: Michael Crabtree (Oak): 32.80 Fantasy Points
WR: Antonio Brown (Pit): 48.60 Fantasy Points
TE: Delanie Walker (Ten): 28.50 Fantasy Points
D: N.Y. Jets: 12 Fantasy Points

Salary Used: $46,900
Total Fantasy Points Scored: 299.06

Salary Cap Doesn’t Matter

As you can see from the above lineup, the perfect lineup from last weekend for NFL Daily Fantasy Contests could have been constructed in a normal $50 salary cap game, a 75K salary cap game, or even an unrestricted salary cap game. While there certainly is a correlation between salary and points scored, there will always be cheap players who break out for a big performance every week. DeAngelo Williams, Cole Beasley, Sammy Watkins, Michael Crabtree, and Delanie Walker were all well outside the top 10 most expensive players from the weekend. This does not mean you should intentionally shoot to use only $46000 of the allowed $50000 salary cap, it just means if you are satisfied with your lineup and fall a bit short, don’t stress about spending that last $800, it won’t necessarily give you a better lineup.

Team Diversification

My general rule in stacking has been disproved by this lineup. Generally I will stack a Quarterback with either a receiver or a tight end and never pick a running back from the same team as my quarterback or receivers. The reason for this is that these performances are usually inversely correlated. If a game is a shootout type game, you will see big value in the passing positions yet running backs tend to underperform. The opposite can be said about a blowout. When a team is up by a lot they tend to run the ball extensively as opposed to going to the air. Therefore, you can usually only expect one or the other to be profitable in the Fantasy world.

However, when the Steelers generate over 500 offensive yards (mainly concentrated on two players) there is room for both positions to prosper. DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown were the two highest fantasy scorers of the weekend.

Apart from that however, you will see that no other positions on the optimal lineup were from the same team. Typically there is only room for one (or two positions in a quarterback/receiver stack) to really blow up in fantasy value.

The last component here is the Defense position. The Jets players Jacksonville this week and as you can see, nobody from Jacksonville was able to make the optimal lineup. Don’t bet against yourself by picking offensive players that are playing against your defense. You may argue you are hedging against a bad game by either one, but if you stand to win much in NFL cash drafts, you need the stars to align for all your picks, hedging gets you nowhere.

Posted in NFL

Baltimore Ravens versus Oakland Raiders NFL Fantasy Football One Day League Draft Preview

The Oakland Raiders will be hosting the Baltimore Ravens for NFL pro football for late afternoon action. Fantasy football draft GMs can tune to CBS on Sunday September 20th at 4PM Eastern Time to follow the results of their roster picks.

The Ravens opened up play in week one traveling to Denver and the team had a very good defensive performance. Baltimore limited the Broncos offense to just four field goals for the game. A pick six thrown by Joe Flacco proved the difference in a 19-13 road defeat. It was a shame for the Ravens to drop this game as they held the Broncos offense to just 69 rushing yards and 150 through the air. The Denver run game sputtered to less than three yards a gain. The Ravens offense didn’t produce as well with just 173 yards for the game.

There was some optimism for the Oakland Raiders as they opened up their 2015 campaign. Their young quarterback Derek Carr was showing the signs of a good future in the NFL. Their revamped defense showed some positive signs. But the play on the field from week one had a lot to be desired as the Raiders were not competitive in a 33-13 home loss. Oakland went into halftime hopelessly down 24-0 and after three quarters it was 33-0. The Raiders didn’t score until late in the game when it was out of reach.

Baltimore Ravens QB:

Joe Flacco

The Ravens signal caller had a poor week one performance as he connected on 18 of 32 balls for 117 yards with two picks and no touchdowns.

Baltimore Ravens RB:

Justin Forsett

A 1000 yard rusher in 2014, Forsett in week one had 43 yards on the ground on 14 attempts for just 3.1 yards a carry. He did have a long of 20 yards and had four first down gains.

Javorius Allen

The rookie out of USC wasn’t generating much buzz in camp. There are hopes he can provide some big plays in the Ravens run game since Ray Rice has departed. Allen had nine carries for just 30 yards with his longest run being for eight yards.

Baltimore Ravens WR:

Marlon Brown:

It was a sad performance for the entire receivers in week one. Marlon Brown led the club with two receptions for 25 yards.

Steve Smith:

The veteran had a poor game in his final year as a pro. The 15 year veteran caught two balls for 13 yards and had a key dropped pass near the Broncos end zone.

Oakland Raiders QB:

Derek Carr:

The second year quarterback had to leave the game early due to bruise on his throwing hand. He has been declared as probable for Sunday. Before exiting the game Carr threw for 61 yards and he hit on 7 of 12 passes.

Oakland Raiders RB:

Latavius Murray:

The Oakland running back had 11 carries for 44 yards. Murray had no first down gains or touchdowns in week one. Murray was busy in the passing game as he caught seven balls out of the backfield for 36 yards.

Oakland Raiders WR:

Amari Cooper

Rookie Amari Cooper led the Raiders with 9 targets. Cooper caught five balls for 47 yards with a long gain of 24 yards. He had three first down gains in his first game of his career.

Michael Crabtree:

The former San Francisco 49er moved in his seventh season to the Oakland Raiders. In his debut with his new club Michael Crabtree had five catches for 37 yards. His longest gain was 11 yards and he had no touchdown passes or first down gains.

Posted in NFL