Last updated: September 25th at 7:55pm ET
Team Totals: Colts 26, Raiders 19
Outscored by 38 combined points in consecutive losses to Kansas City and Minnesota, the 1-2 Raiders travel to Lucas Oil Stadium for their second straight 1pm ET game with Derek Carr struggling to the tune of QB21 > QB28 > QB20 fantasy results. Although this matchup isn’t imposing on paper – Indianapolis has yielded top-ten weeks to 2-of-3 quarterbacks faced – Oakland is at risk of getting clocked in time of possession on limited drives. Only two teams are allowing enemy offenses to run fewer plays per game than the Colts (56.3), while Indianapolis’ goal under Cover-2 DC Matt Eberflus is always to permit its opponent to dink and dunk, directly in checkdown-machine Carr’s wheelhouse. Expect another low-YPA, high-completion-rate game from Carr lacking explosive plays. … Coach Jon Gruden’s stated intention to hike Josh Jacobs’ passing-game usage should be considered lip service until Gruden proves otherwise. Scripted out of each of the last two games once Oakland fell behind, Jacobs ranks 51st among running backs in routes run (30) and has three targets on the year. He was out-snapped 49% to 42% by Jalen Richard in last week’s loss to Minnesota. Jacobs will continue to be a high-risk RB2/flex option whenever the Raiders are underdogs, which will take place for most of the year. They’re touchdown dogs at Indy.
Carr’s Weeks 1-3 target distribution: Darren Waller 29; Tyrell Williams 17; Hunter Renfrow 15; Ryan Grant 9; Richard 6; J.J. Nelson and Derek Carrier 5; Foster Moreau 4; Jacobs 3; DeAndre Washington 2. … Waller ranks top four in the NFL in target share (30%) regardless of position and draws an optimal matchup against the Colts, who coughed up Austin Hooper’s 6/66/2 receiving line last week and invite checkdowns in exchange for limiting big plays downfield. Waller’s route depths match up perfectly; his 6.0-yard aDOT ranks 17th among tight ends with at least ten targets. His draw further upgraded by Colts FS Malik Hooker’s meniscus tear, I would play Waller over Zach Ertz straight up this week. … Williams had 18 yards until garbage time of last week’s loss to Minnesota, salvaging some production with an 11-yard fourth-quarter score. Williams sees enough volume for every-week WR2/3 consideration, but with the exception of matchup-proof Julio Jones, the Colts’ zone hasn’t been kind to fellow perimeter WRs Corey Davis (3/38/0), Mike Williams (2/29/0), A.J. Brown (3/25/0), Travis Benjamin (2/12/0), and Calvin Ridley (1/6/0). … Following Grant’s release, Renfrow offers some PPR-specific WR4 appeal with the third-most targets on the Raiders facing an Indy defense that’s been more vulnerable to interior receivers like Keenan Allen (8/123/1) and Mohamed Sanu (6/75/0). A poor man’s Adam Humphries, Renfrow isn’t nearly as talented as Allen or even Sanu but is a sleeper for 5-7 catches on Carr’s trademark short-area throws. Renfrow is also popping in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Buy Low Model.
In away games under Jon Gruden, the Raiders are 1-8 and have been outscored by an average of 15.2 points. They won’t play another home game until November 3. Expect the butt kickings to continue in Indy spearheaded by Marlon Mack as a seven-point home-favorite bellcow. Although Mack’s Week 3 snaps (61%) and touches (18) were dialed back slightly following his calf scare, he set season highs in routes (20) and targets (3) and is not on the injury report this week. Oakland was eviscerated by Vikings backs for 31/196/2 (6.32 YPC) rushing last Sunday. … Jacoby Brissett turned in his season-best game in last week’s 27-24 win over Atlanta as coach Frank Reich dialed up a year-high 40% of Brissett’s attempts off play action, which has become a cheat code around the NFL. Brissett’s to-date fantasy finishes are QB18 > QB12 > QB11, while Oakland has yielded results of QB20 (Joe Flacco) QB1 (Patrick Mahomes), and QB26 (Kirk Cousins). I’ll like Brissett better as a low-end streamer if T.Y. Hilton (quad) can play.
Brissett’s Weeks 1-3 target distribution: Hilton 25; Eric Ebron 11; Nyheim Hines 10; Jack Doyle 9; Mack and Deon Cain 6; Parris Campbell 5; Chester Rogers and Mo Alie-Cox 4; Zach Pascal 3; Jordan Wilkins 1. … Per Action Network’s Chris Raybon, wide receivers that appear on injury reports with quad ailments lose roughly 25% of their expected weekly production. T.Y. owners should probably hope he takes this week off and returns at 100% for Week 5. … Aside from Hilton, Week 3 Colts receiver snaps were divvied as follows: Cain 55% > Campbell and Pascal 45% > Rogers 40%. … The Raiders have surrendered useful-or-better wideout stat lines of 6/172/2 (Demarcus Robinson), 7/120/0 (Courtland Sutton), 5/86/1 (Emmanuel Sanders), 4/61/1 (Mecole Hardman), and Adam Thielen (3/55/1). We know this is a plus spot, but selecting a non-Hilton receiver to use in fantasy is obviously difficult. I like Cain and Campbell as the top-two plays. … As Reich has an extensive history of two-tight end sets both in Philadelphia and Indianapolis, it’s entirely possible he would compensate for Hilton’s absence by playing Ebron and Doyle on the field together. Ebron did set season highs in routes run (22) and snaps (52%) in last week’s victory and makes for a compelling Week 4 streamer and DFS-tournament play. Teams targeting tight ends against the Raiders are a highly-efficient 13-of-18 passing (72%) for 207 yards (11.5 YPA) and a score.
Score Prediction: Colts 24, Raiders 16