The Gobbler: With a Thursday Night Football matchup pitting the Denver Broncos against the Oakland Raiders tonight, NFL.com’s Brian Billick breaks down the plan of attack quarterback Peyton Manning will use against the defense. Billick notes the veteran “sets up one play to set up a bigger play down the field” by employing those “cheap, underneath yards that Manning is so good at gobbling up.” For fantasy owners, those little plays could add up to big numbers for your team as well. As fantasy expert Adam Rank notes in his TNF “Anxiety Meter” analysis, “Manning has 285 passing yards in five consecutive road games. The Raiders have allowed 24 pass touchdowns this season (second in the league) and at least three touchdown passes in seven of their last nine games.” With the Raiders tied for the second-most (24) passing touchdowns allowed, better matchups will be far and few between.
Back in black: Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden will return to the lineup against the Broncos tonight. Unless you were able to pick up the likes of Bryce Brown off the waiver wire, the veteran could be one of the top backs on your roster. But is he starter worthy? Fantasy guru Michael Fabiano thinks so, but it would be wise to temper expectations. Speaking with the NFL Fantasy LIVE crew, Fabiano noted “unless you are deep in the backfield, (Mcfadden) should only be started as a flex.” The Arkansas product’s return could also hinder the value of Marcel Reece, who has been solid for owners in McFadden’s absence. Expect his stats to drop with fewer touches, especially if Mike Goodson gets thrown in the mix. To make matters even tougher, the Broncos are ranked 7th against the run allowing an average of 96 yards per game and just five scores all season.
Rest of the way: In his Week 14 “Injury Roundup” report, Around The League editor Gregg Rosenthal points out “Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (concussion) remains out of practice. McCoy’s post-concussion symptoms aren’t going away. It’s fair to wonder if he’ll play again this season.” Running back Bryce Brown has been on fire the last two weeks, racking up 55.20 fantasy points in that time. In fact, that is the best two week total among all fantasy backs. Only Adrian Peterson comes close, ranking second with 39.80 points his last two matchups. Unfortunately, Brown will square off against a Buccaneers rush defense which allows an NFL-best 82.3 yards per game. However, the rookie’s involvement in the passing game and the fact he is the only viable weapon on this offense should still reap positive results for owners. Just don’t expect another 20 -plus point day from him.
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