New England Patriots (2-1) at Oakland Raiders (2-1), Sunday, 4:15pm ET
The New England Patriots take on the surprising Raiders in a matchup of the two victims of Buffalo Bills comebacks the last two weeks, who each held 18+ point leads. The losses to the Bills account for each team’s only loss this season.
The game matches the Raiders’ top ranked rushing offense in the league against the Patriots top ranked passing offense.
The Raiders have been a positive surprise this season, after going 8-8 last year and losing All Pro corner Nnamdi Asomugha via free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Raiders beat the Jets last week, and are running for 185 yards per game, led by RB Darren McFadden who is averaging 131 yards per game and has 3 TDs.
The Raiders anemic passing offense (26th in the league) gets a break this week as they face a Patriots defense ranked last in the NFL against the pass, giving up 377 yards per game.
Unfortunately, the Raiders run into the Patriots a week after a disappointing loss to the Bills, and the Patriots have only lost back-to-back regular season games once in the last four years.
Expect QB Tom Brady to shake off an uncharacteristic 4 INT game last week and be particularly well focused against the Raiders 28th ranked passing defense.
Brady, leading the league with 1327 passing yards and 11 TDs, along with WR Wes Welker (31 receptions for 458 yards and 4 TDs), WR Deion Branch (15 receptions for 222 yards) and TE Rob Gronkowski (17 receptions for 281 yards and 5 TDs) are just too many weapons for the Raiders secondary to handle.
Key Player Updates
The Patriots have ruled TE Aaron Hernandez (knee) out for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. TE Rob Gronkowski will be a target hog again this weekend and is a must-start in fantasy.
Raiders RB Darren McFadden (shoulder, groin) put in a full week of practice and is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. He’s ready to roll as our #1 ranked RB for Week 4.
Raiders WR Jacoby Ford (hamstring) was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. He’s fully expected to play but could have his snaps limited in his first game-action since Week 1. Despite the favorable matchup, Ford isn’t a recommended fantasy start.
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