Thigpen wasn't quite as spectacular as many expected last week against the Bills but his final numbers (240 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs) were strong once again -- assuming you weren't penalized by the INTs. The matchup this week isn't a good one, though, as the Raiders allow only 195.5 passing yards a game. Thigpen is rolling but he will be put to the test this week. This might not be the best week to go with him if you have a strong alternative.
Johnson had a productive game last week, rushing for 81 yards. However, 63 of those yards came on one play and he only got seven carries as the Chiefs continued to utilize a pass-heavy approach. That might change this week, though, as the Raiders are tough against the pass and vulnerable to the run, giving up 160 rushing yards a game. If the Chiefs are smart, they'll get the ball to LJ quite a bit on Sunday as the matchup is very favorable. There's some risk involved here because he hasn't been very involved the past two games but the matchup is too tempting to ignore. Start LJ as your RB2 because RB1 production is very possible.
Charles got five touches last week, including a 36-yard TD grab. He's being used as a third-down RB but he's not involved enough to consider from a fantasy perspective. Despite the tempting rushing matchup, it's too risky to start Charles this week.
Bowe caught only three passes last week but one went for a touchdown. He now has caught three TDs in his past two games and four in his past four. He's likely going to see plenty of Oakland's elite CB Nnamdi Asomugha and Asomugha has been shutting down WRs all season long. So this isn't a good matchup for Bowe at all. He has upside as the No. 1 WR with a QB playing well, but if you start him it's best to lower your expectations because this will not be easy.
Bradley caught only two passes last week but did score and has three TDs in his past five games. He also has reached the 50-yard receiving level in four straight games. He's heavily involved in the passing game and he may be more involved this week with Bowe battling Asomugha. But the Raiders don't give up much in the passing game so Bradley's upside is limited. It's best to find another WR3 this week and keep Bradley on your bench.
Gonzalez has been fantasy's best TE for the past several weeks. He was a monster last week against the Bills, catching 10 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. He has four TDs in his last five games and has 41 receptions in his last six. He'll be extremely active this week as the Raiders look to slow down the Chiefs' WRs on the outside. You start him and you never worry about him.
Barth totaled seven points last week, making his only FG attempt. He has made only three FGs in the past three games as the Chiefs have been getting the ball into the end zone with regularity. Things could be tougher this week against the Raiders so Barth has some mild fantasy upside in larger leagues.
The Chiefs rank last in the league in total defense and give up 29.7 points per game. The Raiders are vulnerable to sacks so the Chiefs could get 2-3, but Kansas City lacks talent defensively and is far too risky to start -- even against a middling offense like Oakland's.
Russell played well last week against the Broncos, completing every pass he attempted except one. Unfortunately, he only threw the ball 11 times. Such is life in this offense this season. Russell has given no indications he can be a reliable fantasy starter this season so even though this is a sweet matchup (the Chiefs allow 240.4 passing yards a game), he isn't worth starting in any league.
Fargas delivered nicely against a bad Denver defense last week, rushing for 107 yards. On the down side, he failed to score when given several chances inside the five (Darren McFadden took over and scored twice), but it was promising to see Fargas do well against a weak defense. He gets another poor run defense this week as the Chiefs give up 165.9 yards a game so he is looking real good as a RB3 with RB2 upside. The inability to score at close range last week is a red flag and McFadden is getting healthy but Fargas will get 15-20 carries and another 100-yard game is very possible. He's looking real good if you need him.
McFadden looked healthier than he has in weeks and had one of his best fantasy games of the season last week, scoring twice in the win over Denver. He only averaged 3.8 YPC and still isn't much of a factor in the passing game (only two receptions), but the fact he scored twice inside the five is very encouraging. The Raiders should be able to run at will against this poor defense so McFadden is a solid flex play if you're looking for some upside this week.
Curry is back in the starting lineup but he flopped again last week, failing to catch a pass in the win over Denver. It's become quite clear you can't trust him even if the matchup is great so despite the promising matchup this week, don't gamble on Curry.
Lelie had a big game last week against the Broncos, catching four passes for 92 yards and a TD against his former team. Given his proven inconsistent nature and the lack of potency in this passing game, it's safe to say Lelie won't be that good again anytime soon. He's the No. 1 WR in this offense but that's not saying all that much. You can do better.
Miller continues to be decent but nothing special at the TE position. He caught three passes for 41 yards last week and has caught 21 passes in his last seven games. He has topped 60 yards receiving only once and hasn't scored in that span. There's nothing special about him or this passing game so he's just a so-so starting option despite the great matchup.
Janikowski has made four FGs in his past three games and has at least six points in each of those games. His strong leg gives him value but the Raiders don't have the offense to help him deliver consistently strong games. This isn't a bad matchup but Janikowski is just a reach at this point so don't gamble on him if you don't have to.
The Raiders boast one of the league's best pass defenses, but they can't stop the run and they give up 22.3 points per game. They did a good job shutting down Jay Cutler last week and will force Thigpen into a mistake or two. But their overall weakness makes them a poor fantasy option this week against a suddenly potent offense.