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Thursday Night Football Preview: Kansas City at Oakland

Thursday Night Football Preview

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
Kansas City (-3.0), O/U 47.5

The Chiefs fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last week. The very last team to lose their first game. They get their chance to get back to their winning ways against a struggling Oakland Raiders team. The games so far have actually been surprisingly good.  Maybe teams have started figuring out how to prepare for these Thursday Night Games.

Kansas City Chiefs

Thursday Night Football Preview

Maybe the most surprising fantasy stars of this season is Alex Smith. Smith is currently the second highest scoring quarterback in Yahoo (behind Deshaun Watson) and the highest scoring quarterback in ESPN. His 246 yards and just one touchdown ties a season-low in fantasy points. Still, this week he gets to go against the 30th ranked pass defense in terms of DVOA. However, in terms of yards per game, Oakland is the 20th ranked pass defense. This is a far cry from the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, ranked top five in both.  Smith should have some more freedom to make plays this week. Expect good numbers from him.

Thursday Night Football PreviewKareem Hunt has been another great fantasy star of this season.  He leads the league in rushing yards. Even in a slightly down week last week, Hunt led the Chiefs in both receiving yards and rushing yards. Oakland is not that good at rush defense either, but it is their stronger suit.  Hunt should be a solid play against a middling Raiders defense.

Last week, Tyreek Hill led the Chiefs in targets, but only managed to turn seven targets into five catches and 34 yards. Hill is someone who is usually good in space, but there was little of this last week. Travis Kelce also had seven targets. He was also held to few yards, turning five catches into 37 yards. Only Zach Ertz has more receptions among tight ends. Kelce will be the leader of this passing offense again. The Raiders are not going to have enough to stop these players. These are really the only two receiving threats (other than Hunt) on the team. Hill is the only Chiefs WR who is within the top 50 in ESPN standard PPR scoring.  De’Anthony Thomas will have some targets and might have value, but it is too hard to predict.  He could be a low-end Flex option against the weak Raiders pass defense.

Oakland Raiders

Thursday Night Football Preview

The Raiders started off 2-0 and have lost four straight to end up where they are. Might be a little harder to take as they gave the Chargers their very first win of the year. In five games this year, Derek Carr has not thrown for 300 yards yet. He has only thrown 200+ yards twice. Carr missed a start, but in the three losses where he started Carr threw three touchdowns and four touchdowns. Carr will face a middle-of-the-road pass defense and one a little worse than the last three he has faced. Still, until you see something from him, Carr is not really a starter in a standard league. In a 2QB league, he could be worth some risk.

Amari CooperThe Raiders receivers have had a hard time. Amari Cooper has not had a good year. Just a single game of 35 yards or more. Only more than two catches in three of six games. He only managed double digits in his very first game. Michael Crabtree has been the lead receiver on this team. Three games with an 80+ yards and five touchdowns on the year. Crabtree is a WR2 at this point and should retain that value through this week.  Jared Cook has been a solid tight end. He has only had one touchdown and a single game over 50 yards. He is a decent start with a chance at a touchdown. The Raiders have been facing some stronger pass defenses in recent weeks and Cook should have a better game this week than the last several weeks.

The Raiders have not had much of a running game. Marshawn Lynch was going to be the running back to push this rushing attack, but he has not done much. He has just 257 yards and two touchdowns after six games. Jalen Richards has actually been the better running back on a yards per carry basis. However, Lynch has 44 more carries. There is very little reason to think Lynch will be anything better than a Flex option at this point.

The Game

The Chiefs have been the far better team so far. The Chiefs have the better offense and defense on paper. The single best player in this game is Kareem Hunt. In a surprise turn from preseason expectations, Alex Smith is the better quarterback. Derek Carr has not performed well this year. It would be hard to expect that this game would be the sudden reversal to the season.  Chiefs win this game 28-17.

Enjoy the Game!

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