Thursday Night Football Preview: Raiders vs. Broncos

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Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos

The fantasy football playoffs are here, so its time to make each start and sit decision count. One wrong move and you could potentially be done for the year. There are some sure thing starts in this week’s divisional battle, but there are also a few puzzling ones that most owners will have a tough decision on: such as will Knowshon Moreno continue his dominance and will Brandon Myers repeat last week’s crazy performance? What player should you avoid starting so you’re not out of the playoffs in the first round? Lets take a look.

Peyton Manning has made it this far into the season without suffering a setback with his neck, and he should be able to cruise through this game as well. He is a start in most leagues, however you have to wonder if they get up quick at home, and knowing coach John Fox, the potential is there to just run the ball until the clock runs out. That said, this could be a potential monster game for Mr. Sauced, Knowshon Moreno, who has been in beastmode recently after seemingly spending the first dozen weeks of the season as Mr. Irrelevant. Moreno should once again have a great game this week as the Raiders rank 28th against the run. Demaryius Thomas is a must start and should have some good numbers. There really is nobody the Raiders have that will be able to cover him. Eric Decker is a bit of a wild card though. He has been solid all season, but in the last 4 games he has only totaled 10 receptions for 119 yards and 1 touchdown, making him a borderline starter. Jacob Tamme should be heavily involved, as wide receiver Brandon Stokley has already been ruled out due to injury. Many of the targets have been moving to Tamme, so he could be a decent tight end play or desperation FLEX option.

Carson Palmer, to the average fan, has looked very poor the last several weeks, but to a fantasy owner, especially one streaming quarterbacks, he has been a lifesaver. He should continue to do the same, but at some point one has to think the Raiders will give Terrelle Pryor a shot to see what he can do. Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are both probable and should make their return this week. The question is how long do they last and are will they be very productive against the 7th best rushing defense in the league? The receivers have been a mess so far. Denarius Moore was benched last week, and the rest of them haven’t produced or have been injured. Surprisingly the two guys that have been reliable in the passing game are Brandon Myers and Marcel Reece. Both should continue to be of use in PPR leagues especially Myers as he seems to be the only player Carson Palmer trusts. Reece may lose some playing time depending on the health of McFadden and Goodson.

Prediction:What looks good on paper could turn into yet another Thursday Night Football match-up for fantasy purposes. Peyton Manning, Darren McFadden, and Eric Decker could all go either way, but regardless look for the Broncos to lead this game, with the Raiders possibly scoring some garbage time points.

Broncos 31 Raiders 17

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Zhan Mourning

Writer for Gridiron Experts. Die hard Buffalo Bills fan. I play in as many fantasy football leagues as time permits. I am also an avid collector of comics, vintage toys and vinyl.