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.


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.


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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Heading Into the 2015-16 NFL season, the following rookies project to have high fantasy value returns


A total of seven quarterbacks were selected in the 2015 NFL draft. How many will start in Week 1 is still a puzzle for mock draft managers. It is likely that Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota will emerge as the only two opening day starters from this group.

Round 1 Pick 1: Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Winston is a pocket passer who played in an NFL system at Florida St. He is the most prepared at the position out of college to start in Week 1. Question for Winston is whether he can keep his head on straight and be a good student in the film sessions. He scored high grades for passing accuracy, mobility and durability. He did not miss a game in college. Winston has talent in the passing game to throw too in Mike Evans, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Vincent Jackson.

Round 1 Pick 2: Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans)

Played in a fast tempo offense at Oregon and must get used to taking snaps under center. He is a system quarterback who needs “Mariota” friendly playmakers and offensive linemen around him. It could take a while for Tennessee to put pieces in place for Marcus Mariota to succeed. Projected starting passing targets are wide outs Kendall Wright and Harry Douglass with Delanie Walker at tight end. Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt has a good history of developing young quarterbacks.

1 day fantasy sportsRound 3 Pick 11: Garrett Grayson (New Orleans Saints)

Grayson played his college football the past two seasons at Colorado St against weak and slower defenses from the Mountain West conference. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the speed of the game. The Saints have Drew Brees under center so Grayson will most likely be competing for a backup role for the regular season. Grayson piled up a lot of passing stats with check downs and screen passes as he took advantage of slow Mountain West linebackers and secondary’s.

Round 3 Pick 23: Sean Mannion (St Louis Rams)

Mannion put up some good numbers at Oregon St during his junior season. He lost several playmakers in the passing game during his senior tenure and the Beavers could not run a lick which made matters worse. Is a definite sleeper pick because Mannion has good arm strength and has a good chance at becoming at worse the backup with the Rams. Starter Nick Foles suffered a season ending injury in 2014 and is in the last year of his contract. The current backups are Austin Davis and Case Keenum. Neither were effective last year playing for an injured Sam Bradford. The Rams have been building up their defense the past few seasons and had a poor set of receivers for the departing Sam Bradford in his time with the club. Rams play in a NFL West division that is extremely strong defensively. If rookie Mannion sees time in the regular season the team is likely to go with a conservative running game until Mannion can mature into the backup role or even a starting role sometime during his playing career.

Round 4 Pick 4: Bryce Petty (New York Jets)

Bryce Petty is one tough kid. In his senior season last year he suffered broken bones in his back in the opening game against SMU. He someone played though the injuries last season and led Baylor to a major bowl game. He is another system quarterback as he played a very fast up tempo style at Baylor so Petty will have to learn to play under center. A defensive minded head coach in New York makes this pick a bit puzzling. Future is good for Bryce Petty in New York with Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatick the one and two quarterbacks with the team.

Round 5 Pick 11: Brett Hundley (Green Bay Packers)

Brett Hundley left for his junior year to the pros and dropped all the way to the fifth round. He has no future with Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers under center for the team for the next several seasons. Can develop into a capable backup or the Packers can build Hundley up for trade value since he was drafted in the fifth round. Brett Hundley had difficulty in the pocket. He has trouble feeling pressure and will sometimes vacate the pocket too early.

Round 7 Pick 33: Trevor Siemian (Denver Broncos)

Siemian had a poor season in 2014 with seven touchdowns and eleven picks at Northwestern. Peyton Manning is nearing the end of his career. The backups are Brock Osweiler and Zac Dysert. Siemian is a longshot to make the Broncos roster for Week 1. Possible cut and re-sign to practice squad.

Best NFL Rookie Fantasy Pick for Real Money Leagues

1. Jameis Winston (Buccaneers)

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