2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 8 – Texans 27, Raiders 21
For the second time in two weeks the Raiders outplayed an opponent, on the road, and found a way to lose the game.
The Raiders led 14-10 at the half. 21-13 after three quarters. They led 24-20 halfway through the 4th-quarter. It was their game, and Houston was always playing catch up it seemed. The Texans scored on the late game Watson eye-hit TD pass and took the lead 27-24 and the Raiders could not score again…somewhat due to some unfortunate near-miss plays.
I still maintain this is a radically underappreciated Oakland team, and a radically overrated Houston team.
Overrated Houston is now 5-3, they should be 4-4 from losing this game. They should 3-5 from losing Week 2 v. JAX when the Jags didn’t convert a last second 2-point conversion. I think they lose to Jacksonville in London this week, if there is any football justice in the world, and they would be 5-4 heading to their BYE and then looking at a 9-win season most likely and potentially missing the playoffs. If they beat the Jags this week, then they are headed to 10 wins and a possible division title.
Poor, undervalued Oakland…had they won this week…they’d have been a game behind KC with the Chiefs still wondering if Mahomes is playing yet. Instead, the Raiders lose and fall to 3-4, but have a three game homestand against bad teams – they could run the table ahead and get to 6-4. We see the Raiders finishing with 8 wins, but 9 wins is definitely on the table…but they’ve had and have too many injuries to likely get to 9 wins.
Additionally, I think Jon Gruden is a strong contender for Coach of the Year. I think he’s done the best job I’ve seen of game planning and getting the most out of his talent in 2019…him and Frank Reich and Bill Belichick are my three contenders for the award right now. The Raiders are set up to be a contender in Las Vegas in the years to come. Good young nucleus.
That Khalil Mack trade may seem like a masterstroke before long. Imagine that! Imagine if I told you December last year – yeah, the Raiders will have a better record than the Bears in 2019 and better set up for 2020-2021 and the first coach to be fired between the two teams will be Matt Nagy. It would have been inconceivable.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- In his first five games with Gruden (2018), Derek Carr (18-30 285 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) had 7 TDs/8 INTs and everyone was ready to trade or bench him in the media. Since then, Carr has thrown for 23 TDs/6 INTs over his last 18 games with Gruden.
Carr currently leads the league with 72.1% completion percentage. He’s top 10 in QB rating and yards per attempt and completions per game.
In his last five games, Carr has 9 TDs/2 INTs…four of those 5 games with 2 or more passing TDs. He’s finally ramping up his yardage in games with 280+ passing yards in back-to-back games. Carr is playing good football…he’s a good QB.
Carr faces the worst pass defense in yards allowed this week (DET) but does so without his terrific starting center (out with an injury). Should be some decent numbers this week still.
-- Having Tyrell Williams (3-91-1/6) back is a big help for Carr. Tyrell looked fine in his return from plantar fasciitis, but he did drop two passes that might have cost Oakland the game…he left 2 catches for 50+ yards on the table. Not easy catches, but ‘gotta make em’ catches if you wanna be a top guy.
Tyrell could have a huge week vs. Detroit this week, IF Darius Slay is out.
Zay Jones (2-27-0/3) played 40% of the snaps in his Raider debut. He looks fine. His role should expand…and this week vs. DET might be a moment.
Hunter Renfrow (4-88-1/4) had a huge catch and break-a-tackle run for a 66-yard TD. The Tyrell-Zay-Renfrow WR group is really pretty nice. You can win with that. Especially working alongside their best weapon – Darren Waller (2-11-1/8). Waller was covered very well by Houston this game, the best I’ve seen a time cover the tight end one-on-one, and it was with different defenders taking him on.
-- What happened to Kenny Stills (3-22-0/5)? This was supposed to be the big game!!! The Raiders played a lot of zone and Deandre Hopkins was wide-open all game...11 catches on 13 targets for Hopkins. Stills was open but Hopkins was too, and it just was an easy throw over and over.
It may be different this week with A.J. Bouye going on Hopkins. Might be a better spot for Stills.
-- I mean, how can you deny Darren Fells (6-58-2/6)?
5 TDs the past six games. 6 catches in a game in two of his last 3 games. The #4 TE in non-PPR since Week 3. He’s like Eric Ebron, only better in every way – bigger, more secure hands, and can block. Fells has gone from ‘there’ to a guy who is key in the red zone.
And like Ebron 2018, I spent too long going…’it’s not real’ after every TD event…and then I look back and see he would have been a good play most FF weeks.
-- Best game of the year for Oakland rookie DE Maxx Crosby (6 tackles, 2 TFLs). I think Crosby has crossed over…I think he’s about to take off towards a top 10-15 DL for IDP. High tackle counts and ability to get to the QB. He’s hurt and questionable this week, so the story may get delayed.
-- J.J. Watt looks to be done for the year. Brennan Scarlett (7 tackles) seemed to be the one filling in for him off the edge. Quite a fall off from Watt to Scarlett.
-- Oakland dealt Gareon Conley to Houston before the game, and Conley was key to helping Houston to victory with a couple nice coverages. Oakland gave the job to Clemson rookie Trayvon Mullen (4 tackles, 1 PD), who looked as good as Conley to me. I get what Oakland was doing.
Snap Counts of Interest:
43 = Hyde
37 = Duke
54 = Waller
50 = Tyrell
36 = Renfrow
26 = Trevor Davis
22 = Zay
31 = Jacobs
17 = Richard
09 = Washington