We wish the Raiders were a better team these days so the game would actually be fun to watch, but there will be some solid fantasy numbers put up in this one.
Thursday Night Football - Week 14
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders - 7:20pm CT on NFL Network
Carson Palmer – Palmer has been throwing the pill very effectively lately as evidenced by his 306 yards passing per week average going back to week 6. In those 8 games Palmer has at least 2 TD passes in 5 of those games. The Raiders have not had a reliable running game all year and will continue to rely on Palmer and his passing the rest of the season. The only real downside for Palmer is that he has only thrown for 3 or more TD passes twice all season.
Fantasy Call – Palmer will be looking to exercise his demons against the Broncos, who are the only team that held him without a TD pass all season and also held him to 202 passing yards in Denver in week 4. Palmer should be able to fair better in this matchup, but don’t expect a 3TD performance this week.
Peyton Manning – What can you say about Peyton Manning, except he is back. He is coming off his worst passing yardage game of the season with 242 yards, the lowest since his week 2 performance. Now while it may have been a low in yardage for him, he still threw 3 TD passes. Peyton had reeled off 5 straight 300-yard passing games, but since then has just 1 in his last 5 games.
Fantasy Call – This game presents a great opportunity for Peyton to get back over 300 yards passing. The Raiders defense has been one of the weakest in the NFL this season. In their last matchup Manning completed 30 of 38 passes for 338 yards and 3 TD passes without an INT. Manning should be licking his chops for this one and is a must start as always.
Darren McFadden – McFadden sat out again in week 13, but is expected to make his return against the Broncos. McFadden has been hampered by an ankle injury, but he was not all that effective before the injury with only two 100-yard rushing games out of 8 on the season and only has 2 TD on the season.
Fantasy Call – McFadden has been an absolute bust this season coming back against the Broncos is the not the best matchup for him. In their previous meeting the Broncos held McFadden to 34 yards on 13 carries and 1 catch for 4 yards and 0 TD. It would be a risk to start McFadden in this game, as they will most likely limit his carries if he does return.
Mike Goodson – Goodson was inactive for a fourth straight game this week and it is not clear if he will be able to play on Thursday Night. Goodson is a backup and has not had more than 4 carries in any game this season.
Fantasy Call – Look somewhere else. Even if he plays, he will not help your Fantasy team out.
Marcel Reece – Reece is a do it all player for the Raiders and showed that last week. He carried the ball 7 times for 36 yards and added 5 catches for 20 yards. The Raiders moved Reece all over the field, as he spent time at running back, fullback and H-back and tight end. This season he has been mostly used as a receiver, but had to step in with all the injuries the Raiders have had. Reece only has 1 TD on the season.
Fantasy Call – Reece is a good play in PPR leagues and should be active again in this game. McFadden returning should not affect Reece all that much, as I expect him to be more active in the passing game. Reece is still not a threat to score a TD, but could have 5+ catches. In their last meeting Reece had 5 catches for 54 yards.
Jeremy Stewart – Stewart led the Raiders in carries and yards last week with 9 for 46 yards. That nearly matched his total of 55 yards he had on the season coming in. McFadden is due back this week, which should put a quick halt to Stewart’s development.
Fantasy Call – With McFadden coming back, Stewart is not a recommended play this week. If RUNDNP goes down again, then Stewart will have a chance the rest of the season.
Knowshon Moreno – Moreno got the start for the Broncos for the second week in a row and once again led the way amongst the running backs with 20 carries while adding 4 catches. Moreno has not scored a TD since his return, but that could change this week.
Fantasy Call – If there was a ever a game that you would want to start Moreno it would be this one against the Raiders. The Raiders are giving up the 3rd most points to running backs on the season with an average yield of 22.8 points per game. Moreno once again should be the main back for the Broncos, as he has done a good job in pass protection, and will be good for 25+ touches in this game.
Ronnie Hillman – With McGahee going down with an injury Hillman expected to see a larger workload, but he only has 8 carries total in the last 2 games and has not had a catch. Hillman is still and will remain the backup to Moreno the rest of the way, unless Moreno gives the job away.
Fantasy Call – This is not a good spot for Hillman, as he expected to have more chances when McGahee went down, and even though the Raiders are horrible, it is still not recommended to start Hillman.
Lance Ball – Ball is the ultimate casualty to Moreno coming back as he only has 2 carries in the last 2 games and both of those came last week and ended with -2 yards.
Fantasy Call – You should not have to ask…NO!!!
Darrius Heyward-Bey – DHB had a decent run during weeks 7-10 where he posted 342 yards on 19 catches with 2 TD. The problem is that DHB was supposed to step up this season and that has not happened as he has yet to record a 100-yard game this season and only has 3 TD on the year. The fact is that DHB has not taken the next step and has not had more than 5 catches in a game and does not have the confidence of his quarterback as shown by no double digit target games all season.
Fantasy Call – DHB is just not going to give you a game breaking performance. If you are looking for 3-4 catches for 40-65 yards, then DHB is your guy, Otherwise I would pass on him this week.
Denarious Moore – Moore was breaking out earlier in the season during a 5 game stretch where he averaged 78 yards a game, with one 100-yard game and 4 TD. In his last 3 games Moore has a total of 4 catches for 60 yards and 1 TD. Moore is the most dynamic receiver for the Raiders and is receiver who is looked at in the redzone the most.
Fantasy Call – Moore should expect to see a heavy dose of Champ Bailey this week, which hurts his value. In their first meeting of the season Moore finished with 4 catches for 71 yards and was held without a TD. Moore should still get opportunities to go deep a few times in this game and is still a strong start and will be looking to find the endzone against the Broncos for the first time in his career.
Rod Streater – Streater is coming off his best game of the season against the Browns with 3 catches for 96 yards including a 64-yard TD pass. Streater is a hit or miss receiver with more misses than hits. Streater does have a lot of talent, but does not have the consistency to start on a weekly basis.
Fantasy Call – Streater is not recommended as a starter this week. He is a player to keep an eye on for next season, but he is just too inconsistent to start at this point in the Fantasy season.
Juron Criner – Criner is coming off of his career high in targets with 10 last week, but he only caught 4 of those for 26 yards. Those 4 catches were also a career high for Criner. Criner is a rookie who is developing and has potential, but he is still a long ways away from being a Fantasy threat.
Fantasy Call – Uh…No.
Demaryius Thomas – Thomas has been a beast this season and has been very happy with his quarterback Peyton Manning. Thomas has five 100-yard games on the season, but has not had one in his last 3 games. In those last 3 games, though, Thomas has 4 TD catches. Thomas has 69 catches for 1,114 yards and 8 TD, which represents his breakout. Thomas is the favorite target of Manning and should be trusted the rest of the season.
Fantasy Call – Thomas is a must start this week and every week. Thomas had 5 catches for 103 yards in his last meeting with the Raiders. Thomas is looking to score a TD for a 4th game in row this week and the Raiders should give it to him.
Eric Decker – Decker started out the season hot and was finding the endzone frequently. Decker scored a TD in 5 straight games between weeks 4-9, including 2 TD grabs in weeks 8 and 9. Since then Decker has only found the endzone once. In that week 9 game, Decker had 8 catches for 99 yards and 2 TD. In his next 4 games he has totaled 10 catches for 119 yards and 1 TD.
Fantasy Call – Decker has been disappointing as of late and will look to get back on track against the Raiders. In their first meeting Decker had 7 catches for 79 yards and a TD. The problem for Decker is that Thomas has really emerged as of late and Decker has not been targeted nearly enough (19 targets over the last 4 games) to feel that this will be a breakout game for him.
Brandon Stokley – Stokley missed his first game of the season last week with a wrist and hip injury. It is unclear if he is going to be able to play this Thursday. Stokley has been a very consistent player this season, but has not had a game with more than 73 yards receiving on the year. Stokley does have 5 TD grabs on the season, which has made his stat line look better.
Fantasy Call – If Stokley plays and you need 4 catches for 50 yards then he is your guy. I would be looking elsewhere for options this week as the short week makes starting him more of a risk after not being able to play on Sunday.
Matt Willis – Willis stepped in with Stokley out last week and finished with 3 catches for 22 yards, both career highs for him. He has not had a chance to see much of the field this season and if Stokley comes back then he will be lost in the shuffle.
Fantasy Call – Come on Man!!!
Brandon Myers – We, especially me, have been talking about this guy all year. Myers has broke onto the scene and is becoming one of the better tight ends in the game before our eyes. Last week Myers made his first major impact of his career with 14 catches on 15 targets for 130 yards and a TD. Myers has been so consistent all season long has added scoring TD to his repertoire with 4 TD in his last 5 games.
Fantasy Call – Myers has at least 5 catches in 9 games this season and has had at least 5 catches a game over his last 5. Myers is becoming the favorite target of Carson Palmer and has not disappointed. At this point if I owned him, I would be starting him until he lets me down.
Jacob Tamme – Tamme is coming off is best performance of the season last week with 9 catches for 89 yards. Tamme has been consistent, but not to the level of Brandon Myers. Tamme has 5 catches or more in only 4 games this season and last weeks 9 catches was the first over 5 since week 5. Tamme also has only topped 50 yards in 3 games this season.
Fantasy Call – If Stokley is not playing in this game then Tamme becomes more of an option, but if Stokley does play I would avoid Tamme. Tamme only had 2 TD catches on the season and does not get enough catches to effective in PPR leagues. If Stokley is out and you are thin at tight end, then Tamme would be worth the start.