The Las Vegas Raiders will wrap up the regular season on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Denver Broncos. The Raiders would likely have something to play for this week, but they lost in disappointing fashion in Week 16 to the Miami Dolphins.
In that game against the Dolphins, Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr played well, completing 21-of-34 passes for 336 yards, and a touchdown. His only touchdown pass of the game went to wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who had five receptions (six targets) for 155 yards and a touchdown. But Las Vegas’ defense, which has been an issue throughout this season, had a costly penalty towards the end of the game, and could not stop running back Myles Gaskin.
Gaskin gashed the Raiders for a game-leading 87 rushing yards on 14 carries. He also had a team-high five receptions (five targets) for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the costly penalty was a face mask, which allowed Miami to get into field goal after Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found wideout Mack Hollins down the sideline.
As for the Broncos, they lost their fourth game in five weeks, falling 19-16 to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 16. Second-year quarterback Drew Lock struggled, completing 24-of-47 passes for 264 yards and two interceptions. Despite not throwing a touchdown, Lock did record a rushing touchdown.
Defensively, the Broncos did a great job containing on the ground as Chargers running back Austin Ekeler only had 45 yards on 10 carries. But he did have three receptions (three targets) for 23 yards and a touchdown.
Date: Sunday, Jan. 3
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Raiders: #20 Overall — #15 offense, #28 defense, #13 special teams
Broncos: #29 Overall — #32 offense, #14 defense, #22 special teams
Raiders: -2.5, -137
Broncos: +2.5, +120
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Darren Waller, TE, $7,100
One of the NFL’s best tight ends continued his torrid second-half pace last week against the Miami Dolphins. Waller had five receptions (six targets) for 112 yards, making it his second-straight week of at least 100 receiving yards. In the Raiders’ last four games, he has 34 receptions (45 targets) for 537 yards and four touchdowns. On Sunday, he’ll be going up against a Chargers’ defense that has allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season.
Nelson Agholor, WR, $5,400
The veteran wide receiver has been the Raiders’ best receiver this season and leads the team with eight touchdowns. Last week, Agholor turned in his best performance of this season with 155 yards and a touchdown. In regards to fantasy football, he also scored a season-high 21.5 fantasy points. Furthermore, it was the second time in three weeks that Agholor recorded a double-digit fantasy performance.
Melvin Gordon, RB, $5,700
The Raiders’ run defense has been horrible this season and Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon should be able to exploit it. Last week against the Chargers, Gordon had 79 rushing yards on 16 carries. It was the third-straight game that the veteran running back had at least 10 carries and 60 rushing yards. On Sunday, he’ll be facing a Raiders’ defense that has allowed 126.1 rushing yards per game and 23 touchdowns. That being said, make sure to get Gordon into your lineup.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, $4,200
This isn’t a great pick for Week 17 but looking at the matchup, Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy could be in store for a huge performance. Last week against the Chargers, Jeudy had six receptions (15 targets) for 61 yards. It was his best performance since Week 10 against the Raiders. The Raiders’ secondary has struggled this season, giving up 17 touchdowns to and 23.2 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers.