Raiders vs Chargers
Following an embarrassing loss to the 49ers in Week 10, the Raiders find themselves in a hole the team can’t climb out of this season.. The Raiders have committed to tanking and have made transactions to further supplant their position at the beginning of the 2019 draft. While the Raiders prepare for the offseason they still must trudge through the mud and finish off the 2018 campaign, with the next stop at home against the surging Los Angeles Chargers.
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Looking back to the last time these teams played in Week 5
- Chargers running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler both scored over 13 points against the Raiders. Gordon was commanding in the run game, scoring 20 fantasy points, while Ekeler was lethal in the passing attack, scoring 13.9 points.
- The Raiders leading rusher and leading receiver are no longer playing for the team this season. Marshawn Lynch was placed on the injured reserve and Amari Cooper was traded to the Dallas Cowboys.
- The Raiders team atmosphere has turned from a “let’s see what we can do” approach to “let’s just get through this” type of mentality. The Raiders have one of the slowest snap to play time at 29.22 seconds in the league despite being crushed in every game since squeaking by the Browns.
At First Glance
- The Chargers have proven they are a true contender, having only lost to the Chiefs and the Rams this season (combined record 16-2). The Raiders have been deliberately tanking and allowing fantasy points by the truckload.
- Jalen Richard has shown flashes of talent that may end up to him leading the backfield next season or even as early as Week 14, the usual start of the fantasy football playoffs. He has yet to reach paydirt, however. Richard should be on redraft and dynasty watch lists for this game and moving forward.
- Tyrell Williams resurgence as the deep threat in the high powered Chargers offense has been providing fantasy players a flex tier type of player. Against the Raiders Williams adds true WR2 playability with his ability to get behind coverage, especially in a bye-heavy fantasy week
Raiders Offense vs. Chargers Defense
Quarterback Derek Carr was silent from the scoring sheet in the Week 9 matchup against the 49ers and provided another disappointing game to anyone who believed the matchup was in Carr’s favor. The offensive line allowed five sacks to the 49ers and was unable to open running lanes for running backs Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, and DeAndre Washington. The line is currently graded 30th according to Pro Football Focus. While the Raiders line has been struggling, their opponent has not been great against fantasy quarterbacks, allowing 18 fantasy points per game. The last time the teams faced off Derek Carr was held to just 13 fantasy points. The Chargers defensive line was able to keep him off balance and sacked him three times. In the grudge match, the Raiders will have to trot out a different running back from the last time, but Doug Martin will not have any better success than Marshawn Lynch (9 carries, 31 yards). However pass catching dynamo Jalen Richard was able to haul in six receptions for 53 yards.
The Raiders receiving corps comes into Week 10 against top-rated defensive backs cornerback Casey Hayward and rookie safety Derwin James. Along with cornerback Desmond King, who is currently rated as the top corner in the league. James has been on a tear in his rookie campaign and is the frontrunner to win defensive rookie of the year and is already playing like a top safety. In lieu of the chargers defense it's a safe bet to bench or drop every Raiders pass-catcher other than tight end Jared Cook.
Chargers Offense vs. Raiders Defense
Quarterback Philip Rivers is licking his lips at this juicy matchup on the road against his division “rival”. The Raiders have lost talented players as the year slowly trudges along, most recently edge rusher Bruce Irvin. He was cut the week following the embarrassing 49ers loss. With the only true pass rusher the Raiders had is now gone, they will find themselves even more hard pressed to produce pressure. The Raiders are currently ranked top 10 in fantasy points allowed against by each of the four positions.
START or SIT
At this point, the only time you are starting an Oakland Raiders player is if one or literally all other options are exhausted. Jalen Richard does add flex level viability as the Raiders will be behind. As each week passes, we are all witnesses to Jalen Richard garbage time. He can give you a boost in a tight lineup spot. Jared Cook seems like an easy play especially at the shallow tight end position, however he will not have an easy going as rookie phenom safety Derwin James and the chargers defense have allowed a 7.6 fantasy points.
On the other side of the ball, just start your Chargers. It’s a no-brainer against a team that just allowed rookie quarterback Nick Mullens to throw three touchdowns in his rookie debut on last-minute notice that he would even be starting. Virgil Green doesn’t provide as much as upside as other tight end options, but when the Raiders allow 10.88 fantasy points per games to tight ends, it’s hard not to consider Green a bye fill-in play.