When the Oakland Raiders travel east to face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, they’ll have quite a few players worth starting in fantasy football lineups. The Bills’ defense has given up quite a bit of yardage over the past two games, and they’ve allowed 20 points or more in contests against the Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Raiders have some players that mirror the skill sets of opponents who gave Buffalo a hard time in those games, so it’s reasonable to expect that a few Raiders could have a solid game on Sunday.
QB Derek Carr
Oakland’s starting quarterback returned to form in his second game after suffering a fracture in his back to post solid numbers in a victory at the Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday. Although he only completed 55.8% of his passes on the evening, Carr threw for 417 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 31-30 victory. Buffalo has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, but over the last two weeks, they’ve allowed 15.32 points and 24.36 points to Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston, respectively. Expect Carr to have a good week (in an Oakland loss, of course!).
WR Amari Cooper
Oakland’s best receiver didn’t have the numbers to match that title coming into the game against the Chiefs last week. He had 18 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown in Oakland’s first six games, an incredibly disappointing total for someone who was expected to have a tremendous year. He nearly matched his total in receptions for the year on Thursday, totaling 11, and he surpassed his totals in receiving yardage (210 yards) and touchdowns (2) in just the Kansas City game itself. Cooper is a little smaller than A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Demariyus Thomas, and Mike Evans, but he’s still a big, physical target at 6’1” and 210 pounds. With the talented and ultra-productive Michael Crabtree on the other side, the Bills will have a defensive dilemma, and stopping Cooper will be essential to victory. And that’s before we even mention the injury problems in the secondary.
TE Jared Cook
The Bills had been defending tight ends quite well this season, but then they surrendered 33.8 points to Tampa Bay’s tight ends. Cook is a good play based on his role in the Oakland offense (tied for second in targets with Crabtree) and overall production on the year (tenth in fantasy points among all tight ends). If the Raiders study the tape of Buffalo’s breakdowns in coverage against tight ends from last week, they may look to exploit that weakness again this week.