Derek Carr was somehow a sleeper pick after a big 2015, and fantasy owners have been cashing in on a bargain over the season’s first two weeks. Carr had favorable matchups against the Falcons and Saints, and gets another good draw this week. With the Raiders’ pass defense being terrible out of the gate, game scripts could call for their capable offense to air it out. He, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree can be considered start-worthy for Week 3.
Latavius Murray is still the leader of the backfield, but DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard remain involved in the mix as well. Murray is still deserving of a start, but a Titans run defense that features Jurrell Casey up front could make his day a long one. Murray is an RB2/flex for Week 3, and will likely need to find the end zone to pay off for his fantasy owners. Amid an offense as potent as the Raiders’, that’s always a possibility.
Clive Walford deserves a look in 14-16 team leagues, but otherwise isn’t an advised start. Washington and Richard also don’t warrant the usage for consideration.
Demarco Murray is also firmly on the RB1/RB2 radar despite Derrick Henry having a bigger Week 2 role. That trend could continue, but it’s far too soon to assume Henry will supplant an effective Murray. The former Eagles running back is primed for a bounce-back year so far, and if that effectiveness continues, so will his usage.
Tajae Sharpe headlines a shallow group of pass catchers that gets the next crack at a secondary that allowed three 100-yard receivers over the season’s first two games. Sharpe continues to outpace his teammates in targets, and if he continues to draw them, a big fantasy week could be in store. Sharpe’s trajectory continues pointing upward as a WR3 with upside.
The Raiders loved getting shredded by tight ends in 2015, and the tandem of Jacob Tamme and Austin Hooper indicated as much for 2016 as well. Now, the Raiders have to stop Delanie Walker, who posted 91 yards on them when these teams last met. However, Walker is battling a hamstring issue and expectations have to be tempered if he suits up. Walker can be considered a risky TE1 if he is active.
Marcus Mariota also has a juicy matchup to exploit, but is still volatile enough to be started only in deeper leagues and two-quarterback formats. It’s a position that is deep enough for fantasy owners to look elsewhere, but there is still upside here.
Henry, Rishard Matthews and Andre Johnson will likely be afterthoughts in the game plan compared to Sharpe, Walker and Murray. They can all be benched once again.