“Fantasy Football Gamble at The Ramble” – Sean Hildebrandt @Oahu_Raider808
This is a weekly piece aimed at covering The Raiders weekly FF topics.Â Topics will vary.
What a big stage for the Oakland Raiders this week taking on the Washington Redskins during a Sunday Night Football matchup under the lights in front of a national audience. Let’s take a look atÂ a safeÂ fantasy football play for both teams in the contest and of course my weekly sleeper play.
Familiar Face in a New PlaceÂ
Washington WR – Terrelle Pryor
We all remember him. Al Davis’ very last draft pick was Pryor.Â Pryor was a fast, hyper-athletic project quarterback with rareÂ measurements but an underwhelming polish at the position. Standing at 6’6″ and 240 lbs., Pryor hadÂ the physical presence that demanded attention. That size and speed combination eventually triggered his positional switch to wide receiver after leaving the Raiders.
Pryor stood out as a wide-outÂ last season on a struggling Cleveland Browns offense. He thenÂ became a very appealing offensive piece and was signed by the Redskins in free agency.Â The acquisition seemedÂ like a great fitÂ for quarterback Kirk Cousins after this off-season, featuring Pryor as his new top target as a downfield threat after DeSean Jackson left town. Pryor has drawn 15 targets thru the first two contestsÂ with mild success catching only eight passes for 97 yards.
Pryor will probably match up with a fellowÂ Ohio State Buckeye alumni in Raiders rookie Gareon Conley. ConleyÂ showed some great man coverageÂ play in his season debut versus the New York Jets.Â Sean Smith isÂ another option, a large cornerÂ withÂ great size and length to physically disrupt Pryor in his route timing, although Smith does not possess the speed Pryor generates in space. Pryor could also see David Amerson in coverage; a speedy player with great agility, but his timing on the ball has been off in tight coverage this season.
I am notÂ overly impressed with PryorÂ or the Redskins offense, but I see favorable matchups for Pryor to take advantage of on Sunday night. The Raiders defense looks much improved, but I like Pryor’s fantasy value in this game.
Prediction:Â 7 catches,Â 96 yards, 1 TD
Oakland RBÂ – Jalen Richard
I featured Jalen Richard as my sleeper last week vs. the Jets, and he did not disappoint. In my opinion, he is separating himself as the clear-cut RB2 in the RaidersÂ explosiveÂ offense for his versatility; this bodes well for Richard facing a Redskins defense that has been stingy vs. the run through two games.Â His exceptional playmaking ability as a passÂ catcher is what I like in this game, earning him an increased strategic role in the accurate short passing game of Carr in aÂ hostileÂ road environment.
Prediction: 8 rushes for 48 yards and 6 receptions for 52 yards, 1 TD (100 total yards)
The Sleeper in the SNF matchup
WashingtonÂ RB – Chris Thompson
If you do not know much about Chris Thompson, it is time toÂ keep an eye onÂ him as an interesting depth play to your fantasy team. Thompson will remind you of Richard a bit, a smaller, versatile back with explosive playmaking ability every time he touches the ball. I like Thompson vs. the Raiders this week for a few reasons.
The Raiders have faced power backs in their first two games, for example, the physical duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry on the Titans, and then the Jets’ Matt Forte, who’s become a “North-South” runner at the back end of his career.Â They have not seen an elusive, speedy pass-catching back like Thompson. The Raiders defense has played well against the run game, and I project they will continue to do so Sunday night.Â The high-scoring Raiders offense will put the Redskins into a frenzy to keep up, which puts Thompson on the field more as a great underneath outlet for Cousins to find.
The Raiders are a linebacker groupÂ by committee at this point, and the coverage assignment of running backs relies upon some very young players in Nicholas Morrow, Marquel Lee, and Cory James at times. Tight end Jordan Reed will steal some well-warranted attention from the group and Thompson can make the most of his touches. He has three touchdowns so far this season and with fellow teammate Rob Kelley sustaining a rib injury, I think the Redskins staff is downplaying a possible increased role intentionally.
Prediction:Â 6 rushes forÂ 32 yards andÂ 6 receptions for 58, 1 TD (90 total yards)