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It was a good week in terms of recommendations as many players came through for us, but there was a big whiff on a player I was high on and that was reflected in my lineup.
Prior to breaking down the Thursday night game from a daily fantasy perspective, I will recap how I did in the Fantasy Draft $100,000 Run and Gun (Sun Only) tournament from the week before. You can compete against me weekly throughout the season.
If someone told me the Saints would score 30 points, but quarterback Drew Brees would throw for less than 130 yards I would have assumed he was injured in the first half. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as the Saints did not rely on the passing game. I should have used running back Alvin Kamara over wide receiver Michael Thomas for a similar price and looked elsewhere at the quarterback position. Rams running back Todd Gurley continues to come through and I knew Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay was in a good spot.
Raiders running back Jalen Richard was too cheap for his new role, especially with the potential to catch a lot of balls out of the backfield. However, whiffing on Brees, 49ers running back Raheem Mostert and Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah was too much to overcome. There was a report on Sunday morning that 49ers running back Matt Breida would be limited so I was fine with the risk involving Mostert. However, Breida wasn’t limited and Mostert barely saw the field.
I’m still scratching my head over Uzomah. The Buccaneers have not been able to guard the tight end position all season and Uzomah was becoming more involved in the offense. For him not to record a catch is extremely frustrating and obviously a big miss on my part.
Moving on to the Thursday night contest, we have a battle of one win teams as the 49ers host the Raiders. Starting with the 49ers, C.J. Beathard is dealing with a wrist injury that may prevent him from playing. This is an injury we must monitor as it will impact the entire 49ers offense. If Beathard can not play, Nick Mullens would start. Mullens has never taken an NFL snap so we have no idea what to expect from him. The uncertainty of the quarterback position makes this an easy fade for me which is a shame because the Raiders defense ranks 31st in pass defensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders. If Beathard does play, I can’t argue him being a strong tournament option, but it wouldn’t be right for me to recommend an injured player.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr finally showed life in Week 8 against the Colts as he threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns in the first game without wide receiver Amari Cooper. The 49ers defense ranks 22nd against the pass and have given up the sixth most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position this season. Carr is priced as the 15th quarterback this week which puts him in elite tournament conversation. I can’t recommend him for cash as Carr has proven to have a very low floor, but if he can build off his performance against the Colts, he will pay off that salary.
Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is injured which has opened the door for Doug Martin to earn more snaps. In his first opportunity, the veteran running back finished with 72 yards on 13 carries and chipped in with two catches against the Colts, but had a pivotal fumble late in the game. It remains to be seen how that will impact his playing time moving forward, but he could be in line for another decent performance as the 49ers rank 20th against the run in defensive DVOA.
However, if I’m targeting a running back from the Raiders, I’m going right back to Richard as his price has yet to catch up to his recent performance. Richard is basically a wide receiver as he has caught six or more passes in five games this season. Richard was only in 22 of the snaps this past week which was the lowest amount he has played in since Week 3, but I’m not concerned. The Raiders are three point underdogs so there’s a good chance they may have to throw the ball which benefits Richard. At only $9,900, Richard is a strong cash game option at the flex position.
The 49ers backfield has been confusing and that’s mainly due to Breida dealing with an injury on a consistent basis. The running back gets knocked out of the game then returns and then misses multiple practices which puts his status in doubt and then plays. Breida continues to deal with an ankle injury, but appears he will not miss this contest. The Raiders just got shredded on the ground by Colts running back Marlon Mack as he rushed for 132 yards and scored two touchdowns. If the 49ers are without Beathard, the run game could be relied on more heavily. I put Breida in the elite tournament category as his injury woes makes him too risky for cash games. Mostert and Alfred Morris can be avoided as they don’t have much of a role if Breida doesn’t get knocked out of the game with another injury.
I can’t recommend any 49ers or Raiders receivers for cash games at this point as there is so much unknown. If Beathard is out, all of the receivers can be easily avoided for the 49ers. If Beathard does play, the only one on my radar would be Marquise Goodwin as the Raiders have struggled against the pass and can be exploited by the deep pass, a major strength for Goodwin.
The player that benefited the most with Cooper moving on to the Dallas Cowboys was Brandon LaFell as he led the Raiders receiving core with 46 snaps. LaFell was able to catch three passes for 39 yards including a touchdown. Many thought Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant would see a boost in performance, but that was not the case in Week 8. There is still a lot of unknown how this receiving core will shake out so it’s best to avoid for the time being.
If targeting any receivers in this game, the tight ends should be the route to go. Raiders tight end Jared Cook has been inconsistent, but is consistently targeted by Carr. The upside is huge for Cook as he has had two games with over 100 receiving yards and is coming off a performance against the Colts that saw him catch four passes for 74 yards. I would put him more in the tournament conversation as he has shown to have a low floor.
49ers tight end George Kittle is the third highest tight end this week which makes him a tournament target as well due to the uncertainty at quarterback. If Beathard plays, Kittle is an elite tournament option as the Raiders rank 31st against the position. I can see Kittle being targeted often even if Mullens is under center, but the ceiling won’t be high which is what we need in tournaments.
The 49ers defense is the fourth highest priced defense this week which is crazy since they are ranked 24th overall in defensive DVOA. As mentioned before, the Raiders rank 29th so this is an easy decision to avoid both in cash and tournaments.