Don't look now but Russell is starting to look like an actual NFL quarterback. He has passed for 478 yards and four TDs with only one interception the past two weeks and led the Raiders to an upset win over Houston last week. The matchup is more difficult this week as the Bucs allow only 190.1 passing yards a game. Tampa Bay's defense has been struggling of late but back at home against Oakland should be a proper tonic, so don't reach for Russell despite his promising showings the past two games.
Fargas had another solid game in Week 16, rushing for 93 yards in the win over Houston. He's now rushed for 70 yards or more in three of the past four games. The Bucs are struggling badly against the run of late and now give up 113.9 rushing yards a game. The Raiders will run it and run it and run it so Fargas has a chance to put up some decent RB3 numbers this week. He's worth a look in that role if you need him for the regular-season finale.
It took them nearly the entire season but the Raiders are finally starting to make proper use of McFadden's talent. He rushed for 46 yards for the second straight game and caught five passes for 41 yards. He has 11 receptions in the past four games and has become a solid RB3 in PPR formats. He'll be active again with double-digit touches so consider him as a flex play in PPR leagues if you need him this week.
Higgins had a huge Week 16. He caught a TD from Russell and returned another kick for a score, this time an 80-yard punt return. When it comes to big plays, he's one of the most explosive players in the game today. As a receiver, he's getting a little more involved with six catches and two TDs in the past two games. He's very hard to trust despite the production but if you're really desperate and really feel like gambling he's certainly proven he can pay off big.
Schilens caught three passes for 52 yards in last week's win over Houston. He only has 12 receptions this season and hasn't been a consistent option so he's not worth reaching for this week. Avoid him.
Miller had another quality game in PPR leagues last week, catching four passes for 70 yards. He leads the team with 54 receptions and has caught 22 passes in the past four games. On the down side, he remains locked at one touchdown for the year, which limits his upside. Count on him for 4-5 receptions and solid yardage if you need him but don't expect a huge game.
Janikowski converted both of his FG attempts last week against the Texans and has now made 23 of 29 this year. His strong leg gives him mild upside but the Raiders aren't likely to score much this week so find another option if you can even in larger leagues.
The Raiders rank near the bottom of the league in total defense and give up 24.9 points per game, but they have fantasy value due to their return games and big-play potential. It's always risky gambling on a defensive or special teams touchdown, but the Raiders are doing it with such regularity the odds are in their favor many weeks. If you need some juice, they are showing they can provide it.
Garcia is warming up as the fantasy season comes to a close. He threw for 231 yards and a TD last week and has three TD passes in his past two games. This will be a tougher matchup for him this week, however, as the Raiders give up only 197.7 passing yards a game. Consistency isn't Garcia's strong suit and with a matchup this difficult on paper, it's best not to expect much if you start him this week.
Dunn has been a major disappointment in recent weeks. He rushed for only 20 yards last week and has been held under 50 yards rushing each of the past three games. The good news is the matchup is extremely favorable this week as Oakland gives up 162 rushing yards a game. Despite the cake matchup, it's best not to expect Dunn to go off since he's played poorly for weeks. But he should at least be a decent flex play so use him there on Sunday.
Williams came up small last week against the Chargers, rushing for only 27 yards. The good news for his owners is he's been getting a decent number of carries (31 in the past three games). Look for that to continue this week and that will help him generate quality production against a weak Oakland run defense. He's a good bet to score and finish with more than respectable RB3 production.
Bryant's superb 2008 season has likely cemented his standing as a Top 10 fantasy WR next year. He had 80 receptions and seven touchdowns this season and last week he topped 100 yards receiving for the third straight game. Sounds like a must start, right? Well maybe not this week as he'll see a lot of Nnadi Asomugha, who put the clamps on Andre Johnson last week. It's hard to sit Bryant given how good he's been, but if you start him it's best to lower your expectations. Asomugha is that good.
Clayton had a sweet matchup last week against the Chargers and caught two passes for 23 yards. That should tell you all you need to know about how worthless this guy is. He shouldn't be started in any league.
Stevens caught two passes last week and has 11 in his past four games. He's been held under 35 yards in each of those games and hasn't scored so he's not a good reach against any defense at this point. Look elsewhere.
Bryant drilled three FGs last week and has made eight in his last four games. This matchup isn't imposing by any means since the Bucs should be able to run the ball effectively. Bryant is a good bet to get 2-3 FGs this week so he's looking real good if you need him.
The Bucs are reeling defensively. They are struggling against the run and Philip Rivers lit them up with four TD passes in Week 16. The Raiders are playing better offensively but they're not a dynamic offense by any means so the Bucs should fare well. Don't expect Oakland to score many points and 1-2 takeaways is very possible. The Bucs are a solid start this week.