Projections sourced from Razzball’s own Rudy Gamble, who finished #1 overall in fantasy pros week 7 expert rankings. Make sure to subscribe to Razzball suite of tools to help you dominate your leagues. Best Value on the inter-web. As in-season trades heat up, make sure to utilize Razzball’s FREE custom trade analyzer.
Oakland Raiders (3-3) @ Houston Texans (4-3)
O/U 51.5 , HOU -6.5 (favorites)
Implied Score: Hou 29 – Oak 22.5
A clash between two AFC teams that enter week 8 with highest projected point total, thanks to the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes sidelined while he recovers from a knee injury.
Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Derek Carr has the 11th highest passer rating and NFL best completion percentage (74.1). On paper, this is an interesting matchup for Carr who is: facing a defense that has allowed the 4th most receiving yards per game, just placed DB Phillip Gaines on IR, are without DB Bradley Roby until after their bye week, have DB Tashaun Gibson questionable, and are 6.5 point road dogs. BUT Carr ranks 9th in fewest pass attempts per game, has the 8th fewest passes over 20 yards, lacks elite receiving weapons outside of his TE and has a head coach who is enamored with running the ball. Carr is best viewed as a 2-QB league starter and desperation spot fill in 1-qb leagues. Rudy projects Carr as QB21 in week 8.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) October 24, 2019
The de-facto #1 WR in Oakland, Tyrell Williams finally returned to practice after dealing with a foot injury (plantar fasciitis) suffered back in week 5 and is expected to suit up this week against Houston. This is good news for fantasy owners, Tyrell was averaging 15.65 PPR fantasy points per game through the first 4 weeks of the season. He is presented a favorable matchup against a banged up HOU secondary that has surrendered the 4th most receiving yards and surrendered the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing WRs. If Tyrell avoids any setbacks leading up to game time, Williams can be considered as a flex play with WR2 upside in a game where Oakland is expected to play from behind and a lack of competition at the receiving position. 2nd on the team in WR snaps, Hunter Renfrow is averaging an uninspiring 4.2 fantasy points per game and is only a desperation play in full point PPR leagues. Newely acquired Zay Jones, from Buffalo, did not find the field in his first week in Oakland and can not be trusted in lineups until we see his role fully revealed in Oakland. He is a bench stash only in 14+ team leagues or deeper formats. TE #2 on the season, Darren Waller is setup to eat this weekend against Houston and comes in this week as Rudy’s projected TE1 with 17.42 PPR points. If we need to convince you to start Waller then you’ve been sleeping under a rock this season. Waller is projected to finish the season with over 1,200 yards receiving and over 110 receptions. He finished last week as the #1 scoring fantasy tight end with 31.7 points, which is good for the 2nd highest scoring fantasy wideout, and he had an additional TD called back due to a holding penalty.
Head Coach Jon Gruden expressed real concern around Josh Jacobs ability to suit up this week after suffering a shoulder injury against Green Bay. Jacobs exited briefly in week 7 and only returned after receiving an alleged Toradol shot. Per reporter MJ Acosta, Jacobs himself said that he could play this week regardless if he logged any practice reps. Unfortunately, since it’s a late window game, this situation needs to be monitored closely. For fantasy sake, hopefully Jacobs can log at least a limited practice on Friday which would bode well for his availability on Sunday. If Jacobs sits, expect Deandre Washington to take charge of early down and goal line work, with Jalen Richard taking on the receiving and change-of-pace work. The projected game script favors Jalen in this situation with the Raiders expected to play from behind. The Houston defensive unit has allowed the 3rd fewest rushing yards allowed per game. If Jacobs starts, he is a bet on volume RB2 against a defense surrendering the 13th most fantasy points to opposing RBs. If Jacobs sits, it’s hard to trust either backup in your lineups but Jalen would be the preferred play in PPR leagues.
Rudys projected QB1 this week, Deshaun Watson gets a mouth watering matchup against an Oakland defense that just got torched by Aaron Rodgers. A-Rodg threw for 429 yards, a league high 80.6 completion percentage, and 5 passing TDs for a total of 43.76 fantasy points. Unfortunately for DFS ownership, Watson will easily be the most owned QB on Sunday’s slate of games. But with a number of bargain plays at the skill position, we should be able to fit in the chalk on a number of lineups. Watson boast the leagues 6th best completion percentage, 11th in the league in pass attempts, and 4th in the league in passes over 40 yards. Pair this with Houston offense that runs the 7th most plays per game, scores the 9th most points per game, and an Oakland defense that allows the 9th most offensive yards per game (376.5). Eat the chalk!
Even after a “slow” start to the season, the #1 drafted fantasy WR, Deandre Hopkins is fantasy WR4 over the past 2-weeks and is tied for fantasy WR9 on the season. Hopkins is a set it and forget it player against an Oakland defense surrendering the most receptions over 20 yards and 5th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. The worst news out of Houston this week was surrounding Will Fuller. Per NFLs Ian Rapoport, Will Fuller is expected to miss multiple weeks after suffering a hamstring injury. The biggest beneficiary is DraftKings bargain buy, Kenny Stills at $4,700. Fuller leaves behind 7 targets per game and more importantly his 58 snaps per game. With Hopkins already on the field for 97% of Houston offensive snaps, Stills has the most to gain from Stills absence and a clear path as the #2 wideout against a struggling Oakland pass defense. OAK has surrendered the 2nd most passing yards on the season. Stills is Rudys projected WR24 heading into week 8. Stills’ bargain price on Draftkings makes it easier to buy the chalk with Watson’s $7,100 price tag, making the average cost between this stack (Watson-Stills) only $5,900. Keke Coutee gets a slight bump in opportunity as well, but is hard to trust. Coutee has found the field for only 42% of Houstons offensive snaps and is averaging only 4 targets per game. He is best left on benches this week or a pure boom-bust flex play with Fuller sidelined.
The one bright spot on the defensive side of the ball for Oakland is their rush defense. Oakland has surrendered the 5th fewest rushing yards per game (86.7) and the 4th fewest yards per rushing attempt (3.6). Despite what we see on paper, Houstons 5th best yards per rush attempt 4.9 and 8th most rushing yards per game is a boosted by Watsons rushing prowess. Watson is QB3 in rushing yards on the season with 196 yards, and bumps Houston rushing attack down to 17th overall in rushing yards per game iwhen Watsons rushing stats are removed. Touched on in week 8’s handcuff report, Duke Johnson continues to lap Carlos Hyde in both rushing and receiving efficiency, but continues to play second fiddle to Hyde in carries. Hyde has over double the rushing attempts then Duke (111 – 44). But Johnson out-snapped Hyde on Sunday, 39 to 26, continues to be utilized more in the passing game, and was more efficient with his rushing attempts. Hyde averaged an uninspiring 2.9 yards per carry and Duke managed a healthy 4.9 ypc. On the season, Duke is averaging an impressive 6.2 ypc to Hydes 4.2 ypc. I’m just waiting on the day for the coaching staff to try an experiment where they give Duke more rushing attempts the Hyde. Regardless, Hyde is viable RB3/Flex play in a game where Houston is expected to play with a lead and Hyde is averaging a healthy 15.9 rushing attempts per game. It’s hard to trust Duke as more than a low-end RB3, until we see this coaching staff give more carries to him.
As always, you can find me on twitter. Good luck in week 7!