Raiders Week 3
NFL and Fantasy Predictions
The Raiders come into Week 3 a disappointing 0-2 and look to bounce back against the 2-0 Dolphins. In Week 1, the Silver and Black faced off against the Los Angeles Rams. The game was tied until the dying seconds of the 3rd quarter when Jared Goff connected with Cooper Kupp in the end zone. The Rams never looked back and piled on an insurance touchdown in a Marcus Peters pick six. The Raiders fell to the Broncos in Week 2 in crushing fashion, surrendering 13 unanswered points. The new look Broncos offense led by Case Keenum were able to lead a game-winning drive with kicker Brandon McManus putting the Broncos up late with a 36-yard field goal.
The Raiders offense comes into Week 3 as ranked 10th in yards at 384 per game, 8th in passing with 290 yards per game, but only 16th in points per game scoring at a mere 16 per game. The team also averages only 93 rush yards per game, which ranks 21st in the league. The Raiders were able to move the ball against the Rams and the Broncos but were not able to score as efficiently as their opponents.
The Dolphins defense has surrendered 270 passing yards per game which ranks 24th, 18th in total yards allowed at 379 yards per game, and 4th in points allowed per game giving up only 16 points per game. In Week 1 the Dolphins held the Titans in check Week 1 amidst wild weather conditions before not allowing a touchdown to the Jets in Week 2.
While the Raiders are on the field they will look to take advantage against secondary that could be without Reshad Jones. Matchups to look for start with Amari Cooper vs cornerback Xavien Howard. For the Dolphins, Kiko Alonso has been creating turnovers left and right logging an interception in Week 1 and two forced fumbles in Week 2. Look for him and defensive end Robert Quinn to cause disruption.
The Dolphins offense comes into Week 3 on an inverse path with the Raiders. The team ranks 28th in passing yards averaging only 172 per game, 26th in total yards averaging 299.5 per game. However, the Dolphins score 23.5 points a game, which ranks at 16th, a full touchdown more than the Raiders average. This is mainly due to the running game ranking 6th in the league, producing 127 yards per game.
The Raiders struggle stopping the run, allowing 154 yards per game on the ground, which ranks close to dead last as the 31st defense. On the flip side, the Raiders are ranked 11th in passing yards at 221 per game allowed even with a severe lack of quarterback pressure. They are ranked 22nd in total yards surrendering 375 yards a game while allowing 26.5 points per game.
Kenyan Drake has been churning out yards through the air and the ground, up against a weak linebacker core and zero pass rush to boot the Raiders will have their hands full with Drake. Bruce Irvin will need to step up and fill some of former teammate Khalil Mack’s role as the team’s best pass rusher.
The Raiders are entering must-win territory, as the Chiefs have jumped to a commanding lead in the AFC West. Through two weeks they are 2-0 and leaving the Raiders in the dust. The offense will be facing the weakest competition by far on the young season. Carr will have his way in the pocket as the Dolphins have only three sacks on the season. The Raiders offensive line is one of the best in the league and should have no problem with the Dolphins defenders. While the offense will click, the defense will struggle to stop Ryan Tannehill from passing on them or when they manage to cover the receivers downfield, as he scrambles for an easy first. With the tandem of veteran Frank Gore and rising star Kenyan Drake, the Dolphins offense will force the game into a 4th quarter shootout. A shootout - in which the Raiders cannot win. The Raiders simply don’t have the playmakers on defense needed to close a game out. This was exposed twice already this season and will sure enough rear its ugly head in this matchup. The Dolphins will take this game 33-24
Quarterbacks - Tannehill is a tentative start. The Raiders are allowing only 15.9 points to quarterbacks.
This is the game Carr breaks out for 2018. Dolphins allow a mere 8.9 points to quarterbacks, but this stat is skewed. The first game was played with multiple delays lasting hours, while in their second game they faced rookie Sam Darnold and overwhelmed him. Carr is seasoned and will be able to expose this secondary.
Running backs - Kenyan Drake, Marshawn Lynch, and Jalen Richard are the only playable running backs in this matchup.the running backs in this game will do the most damage and Drake excels at pass catching. Drake is the best option as he will take on the defense that has allowed 22.9 fantasy points to running backs so far this season. Lynch has the safest floor on the Raiders, as the team will use Beast Mode until the wheels fall off. Richard is the sneakier play. This requires a heavy use in passing situations and a garbage time drive which features Richard.
Wide Receivers - Kenny Stills and Amari Cooper are the only two realistic plays you’ll be considering in this game. Although if Kenny Stills were to miss this matchup.Albert Wilson of the Dolphins could make waves in this receiver matchup. Stills is a deep threat and when healthy has been the number 1 target for Dolphins passers. Cooper is looking to continue to build on to last week’s success against a secondary which may miss star safety Reshad Jones due to injury. The Dolphins have allowed only 13.1 fantasy points to receivers, but weather and quarterback experience has skewed the defense outlook of the dolphins. Subsequently, we know the Raiders are bad at defending receivers allowing 20.7 fantasy points per game.
Tight Ends - Jared Cook and Mike Gesicki are both players I wouldn’t want to start unless I had to The Raiders and the Dolphins sport the 3rd and 5th best defense against the tight end, respectively.
Although the Raiders will fall to 0-3, they will continue to produce on offense while hopefully learning to come together as a defensive unit before the season gets too far out of hand. Start Kenyan Drake at all costs in fantasy; he will be this game’s MVP.