Raiders @ Chargers
Deep down inside it would be a hard truth to tell yourself this would be a fun game to watch if you were marking off games you’d like to watch during the season. With that said, we’ve got a rejuvenated fantasy interest in this one, and it was also an immensely fun and close game to watch throughout. You had the hottest rookie in the league, Justin Herbert, facing off against Derek Carr, who is still trying to show that he has something to offer pro teams after his relatively average career to this point. We saw some injuries (we’ll get into this later), we saw some sharpshooting (we’ll also get into this), and you saw one of the better quarterback matchups of the week. At the end of the day, you saw the Chargers lose their chance and drop one to the Raiders, 31-26. Let’s dive in and see what we learned from this game!
Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr: 13/23, 165 Yards, 2 TDs, 1 sack | 2 carries, 14 yards
I’ve now written up two separate Carr performances, and I hate to sound rude, but it may be time to turn this one in and find a new Carr. His QBR was over 100, and he made some amazing passes, but it’s so inconsistent to watch. Sometimes it’s very hard to turn a fantasy take on its head, but even the big plays made seemed to be due in part to the receivers and not from Carr specific talent. His 45-yard bomb to Nelson Agoholor was a thing of beauty, but the end zone pass to Darren Waller later in the second half was an amazing catch made by Waller that likely would have been made by roughly ten percent of tight ends in the league and nobody else. Carr is a decent bye week replacement at quarterback, but I think the inconsistent quarterback play from him is not something you’d even like to rely on in a week where you likely need a solid performance. See below: an underthrown Agohlor pass thrown by Carr that was saved by some wide receiver brakes!
NELSON AGHOLOR CATCHING EVERYTHING☠️
— PFF (@PFF) November 8, 2020
Josh Jacobs: 14 carries, 65 yards, 1 TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards
Devontae Booker: 8 carries, 68 yards, 1 TD
Jalen Richard: 1 carry, 3 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 19 yards
Alec Ingold: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards
Alright, what are we doing here Raidahs? This just isn’t cool. We went into the week anticipating that Josh Jacobs would likely not see the field, and then for the whole weekend, were informed that he was going to play and was absolutely fine, and then basically half this game was split off to Devontae Booker. To his credit, Booker has really stepped in and made himself the only backup on this team that matters, and if Jacobs had a lingering injury, he’s a must-own back, but for now, this is just immensely irritating. I assume that they likely wanted Jacobs out there to mostly decoy from the rest of the offense and force some stacked boxes, but we can’t feed our families on that Jacob’s line. He saved us with a touchdown on his meager 65-yard game.
On Booker, this is an extremely interesting player to look at in leagues where you’re starting to go through bye weeks and Jacobs was your first player drafted. Booker always had a little something, and I’m still shocked the Broncos moved on from him when they did. Averaging 8.5 yards per carry as a backup without weekly guaranteed touches is immensely tough to do. Stash Booker in your leagues with a bench spot, as Jacobs gets dinged up quite often.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Henry Ruggs: 3 targets, 0 receptions | 1 carry, 10 yards
Hunter Renfrow: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 60 yards
Nelson Agoholor: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 55 yards, 1 TD
Darren Waller: 10 targets, 5 receptions, 22 yards, 1 TD
Jason Witten: 1 target, 0 receptions
Carr only completed 13 passes, so there won’t be much fantasy opportunity from this game, but Nelson Agoholor has basically kicked in the door and made himself the number one wide receiver in Las Vegas. Although 45 of his 55 yards came on one catch, he still has shown his ability to be a big-play receiver when the need arises. Agoholor and Hunter Renfrow were basically the only volume yardage receivers of note, but the catches from both Agoholor down the sideline for 45 yards and Darren Waller’s touchdown snag over his head were absolutely the two plays of note for the receiving crew. Waller once again has found his way to make some value from the short-yardage situations, and due to that, he seems to have moved himself up into the top 3 talk for tight ends until further notice. Agoholor has vaulted himself into top-30 wide receiver status, and Henry Ruggs is slipping down the rungs.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert: 28/42, 326 yards, 2 TDs, 2 sacks | 5 carries, 24 yards
The Justin Herbert for Rookie of the Year tour continued in Los Angeles in Week 9. Herbert may have been the losing quarterback of record and had a slightly lower QBR, but Herbert impresses so much more off paper than he sometimes does on. Herbert picked up where he left off with his love affair with Keenan Allen and once again energized this offense. Unlike many NFL offenses, Anthony Lynn seems to welcome Herbert being pass first and immediately went to work at locking in with the usual suspects. Late in the game, rolling out of the pocket, Herbert fired a pass off his back foot and locked in with a fullback you’ve never heard of, Gabe Nabers, who scampered in for a four-yard touchdown pass. Herbert has quickly become one of the quarterbacks in the league who can pile up yards, and if the defense in Los Angeles starts to step up and have some big games, this team could be incredibly tough to play against. Herbert is making the case to be a future QB1 for the remainder of the year, and a must trade for or at least value ask on in Dynasty leagues. At the end of the game, Herbert did take a shot to the leg that had me worried, but he was back out just a drive later, so we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief for now.
Check out one of his fun touchdown passes to Keenan Allen below!
Different week, same Justin Herbert⚡️
— PFF (@PFF) November 8, 2020
Joshua Kelley: 9 carries, 28 yards | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 31 yards
Kalen Ballage: 15 carries, 69 yards, 1 TD | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards
Gabe Nabers: 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards, 1 TD
The scene was set. We finally got to have Justin Jackson as a legit RB1 threat. In all my Daily Fantasy lineup leagues, he was the dark horse snag for his low cost/high floor. That was ended quickly, as Jackson was hurt on the first drive of the game, and we were forced to utter Kalen Ballage for the remainder of the game. Dinging up his knee, Jackson came back for a single play, and then immediately became a Milk Carton kid for the remainder of the game. Ballage looked spry on the ground, and more than doubled his yards per carry average he had in his final year with the Dolphins (which was somewhere below the “Mendoza line” at sub 2.0), but this is a player who has never been able to live up to expectations. This team desperately needs Austin Ekeler back and is running through rushers at a frightening pace. If Jackson is forced to sit for next week, and Ekeler doesn’t return, Ballage is an intriguing bench stash, but there really doesn’t seem to be much here. Unfortunately due to the fact that the Chargers really need some rushing prowess to allow Herbert the chance to capitalize in the air.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Keenan Allen: 11 targets, 9 receptions, 103 yards, 1 TD
Mike Williams: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 81 yards
Hunter Henry: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 33 yards
Tyron Johnson: 1 target, 1 reception, 50 yards
Jalen Guyton: 2 targets. 1 reception, 9 yards
Donald Parham Jr: 3 targets, 0 receptions
Joe Reed: 1 target, 0 receptions | 2 carries, 7 yards
Herbert has two to three consistent options, and he continues to go back to them, as this is one of the few offenses that will likely lead with their passing offense and roll from there. Keenan Allen eclipsed 100 yards and is such a table-setter for this offense. He is easily a top-five wide receiver and continues to showcase what makes him such an amazing presence on the field. Allen got his touchdown for the day, making it his third of the year, and was a welcome sight after spending the majority of the week fighting cold symptoms that ended up being a sore throat, but almost landed him on the COVID-19 list.
What was most interesting and exciting for me as an owner of him in multiple leagues was the upstart to the Mike Williams trajectory. While he ended up taking a while to get up from a hard hit on the final drive of the game, Williams showcased himself on some deep passes, some toe-tapping sideline passes and is looking to immediately make himself the second most important part of this offense, as he’s swallowing up some target share from Hunter Henry in the process. Hopefully, we will see Williams next week and that hit doesn’t land him on the IR.
See Below: Mike Williams has some amazing feet.
In passing and in short, the usual unusuals showed up to grab some big yardage, but are big or single play dependent, so wipe Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson from your memory like you’re standing in front of a Men in Black agent.
🗣 Mike Williams deserves more attention
— PFF (@PFF) November 8, 2020
— Matthew Bevins (@MattQBList on Twitter, TheLongSpring on Reddit)