Russell sat out last week's game with a knee injury but the Raiders hope he can return to face Miami. With Andrew Walter also gimpy, there could be a greater sense of urgency to get Russell back on the field this week. Not that it will mean much. Russell has been awful this season. He lacks talent to work with and he appears to be in way over his head as an NFL starting QB. In time, he could become a good starter but he's a long ways from that point now. There's no reason to start him in any league this week.
Fargas is getting the bulk of the work in the backfield with Darren McFadden still hurt. He had a solid game last week against the Panthers, rushing for 89 yards and catching one pass. The fact he was able to generate that much yardage against a quality Carolina defense bodes well for his chances this week. Miami gives up only 93.7 rushing yards a game but Julius Jones ran all over the Dolphins last week. The Raiders' offense lacks punch, but Fargas isn't a bad reach as a RB3 this week.
Bush will likely remain in the backup role this week as Darren McFadden isn't expected to return from his turf toe injuries. He rushed for 30 yards on eight carries last week and also caught five passes. In deeper PPR leagues, he's not a bad reach as a flex play. Make sure McFadden is out and if he is, Bush is worth a reach if you need to dig deep.
Walker suffered an ankle injury last week against the Panthers and his status is in question this week. Even if he's able to play, he's done nothing this season and has no fantasy value. Keep him on the waiver wire.
With Chaz Schilens out with an ankle sprain and Javon Walker hobbling, Curry could return to the starting lineup after being a healthy scratch last week. He's been a bust this season as the Raiders' passing game has offered little of substance. Even if you're in a league which requires starting someone named Curry at WR, see if there's someone else you can start instead of this guy. There has to be. There just has to be.
Miller continues to disappoint those who predicted him to be a big-time sleeper at TE this season. He caught three passes for 42 yards last week against the Panthers. That's his usual brand of production. The Raiders don't have a good QB and they don't have enough talent around Miller to take any pressure off him. He's a poor starting option again this week.
Janikowski provided all of the Raiders' scoring last week, converting a pair of FGs and just missing from beyond 50 yards on the final play of the game. Did anybody else wonder why the Raiders were attempting a FG on the game's last play when they were down by 11? If I was a cynical man, I'd look at the point spread (Carolina favored by 9.5) and wonder if the two were related. Nahhhhh. Oh, Janikowski should be good for 2-3 FGs again this week since he's all the Raiders have in the way of scoring. In larger leagues, he isn't the worst option you can choose from this week.
The Raiders rank 25th in the league in total defense and give up 24.2 points per game. They befuddled Jake Delhomme last week and have shut down Brett Favre as well this year so it's not out of the question that they can keep Chad Pennington under wraps. Pennington is managing the game very well right now, though. He isn't taking sacks and he isn't turning the ball over often. On the road, this isn't a good matchup for the Raiders so don't reach for them even in larger leagues this week.
Pennington had another solid game last week, passing for 209 yards and a TD in the win over Seattle. Solid is actually a disappointment for Pennington these days given how good he's been. The 209 passing yards were his second-lowest total of the season and his lowest output since Week 2. The Raiders give up only 198.6 passing yards a game so don't expect Pennington to go off this week. He'll be solid again, though, so if you need him in a start-2 QB league plug him in.
Brown managed only 39 yards rushing last week but caught four passes and scored so his overall production wasn't too bad. The Raiders are horrible against the run, giving up 158.1 yards a game, so Brown should get back on track in a big way this week. Look for the Dolphins to control the game on the ground and give Brown and Ricky Williams plenty of work. Brown is a strong RB2 with mild RB1 upside this week. Start him with confidence.
Williams got into the Wildcat fun last week when he scored on a 52-yard run out of that formation in the win over Seattle. He finished with 105 yards rushing and added two receptions. He's a fine flex play this week as the Dolphins will look to run frequently at Oakland's soft front seven. If the game gets out of hand, Williams could be especially busy in the fourth quarter. He's looking real good if you need him this week.
Camarillo was shut down last week by the Seahawks, catching only four passes for 21 yards. The Raiders have a good pass defense, led by shutdown CB Nnamdi Asomugha, and Camarillo isn't looking as good this week. He'll get his usual 4-5 receptions because he's targeted often by Pennington, but there isn't much upside as Miami will likely focus more on its ground game this week. He's just a WR3 in PPR formats this week with some WR4 downside.
Ginn had a strong game last week, catching four passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. He remains inconsistent, however, and this isn't a good week to use him given the strength of the Raiders' defense resides in their secondary. His best value could come as a return man and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him break a couple long returns and possibly a touchdown this week. In leagues that reward individual special teams production he's worth a look. In all others, it's best to keep him benched.
Fasano's fantasy value has pretty much evaporated. He has only four receptions in his last three games as the Dolphins are working harder to get their WRs more involved in the passing game. He's not even worth a reach play this week as Oakland's secondary will shut him down. Keep him benched.
As the Dolphins' offense has warmed up, so has Carpenter's fantasy value. He only made three extra points last week but this game looks like one that will give him more FG opportunities since Miami will struggle to sustain anything through the air. The Dolphins will control this game so look for Carpenter to get 1-2 FG chances this week, making him a solid fantasy starter if you need him.
Miami's defense came up real small against the hapless Seahakws last week and nearly blew the game, allowing a TD on Seattle's last drive only to be saved when a two-point conversion that would have tied the game was incomplete. The Dolphins get another sweet matchup this week and look for them to bounce back and fare much better. The Raiders can't throw the ball at all and while Miami's run defense looked soft last week, it won't get run over by the Raiders since Justin Fargas lacks Julius Jones' talent and ability. The Dolphins are a little harder to trust after last week's disaster but this matchup is too good to ignore. Give them one more shot and expect much better results on Sunday.