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Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 9

Deshaun Watson is BACK! Although the Houston Texans quarterback didn't exactly accomplish much on the ground, Watson managed to throw for five touchdowns in what was easily the highest number of passing scores he has had in a game this season.

Unfortunately, the Texans didn't escape the game unscathed, as wide receiver Will Fuller tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of 2018. Looking to the Miami Dolphins, Kenyan Drake (14 touches, 95 total yards, two touchdowns) and Devante Parker (six receptions, 134 yards) both turned in solid outings for fantasy owners in need.

NFL fans are desperately craving a highly-contested football game on a Thursday night. After watching two blowouts, is it possible that the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers will buck the trend and put up plenty of fantasy points? Let's dive into Thursday Night Football Analysis for Week 9!

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Oakland Raiders @ San Francisco 49ers

Date and Start Time: Thursday, November 1 at 8:20 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:


Offensive and Defensive Rankings:

Raiders 49ers
Passing Yards 11th 25th
Rushing Yards 26th 6th
Pass Defense 22nd 21st
Rush Defense 32nd 13th


Must Starts

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineup

Jared Cook (TE, OAK)

Jared Cook followed up the departure of wide receiver Amari Cooper with a four catch, 74-yard day that included a 25-yard touchdown reception in Week 8. Given how he leads all tight ends in targets inside of the 10-yard line and the San Francisco 49ers have proven to be susceptible to top-12 tight ends this season, it is easy to list Cook as the only true must-start for Thursday night.


Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Jordy NelsonMartavis Bryant (WRs, OAK)

The position group that was supposed to benefit the most from the absence of wide receiver Amari Cooper ended up not making much of a noticeable impact against a vulnerable Indianapolis Colts secondary last week. Jordy Nelson, Seth Roberts, and Brandon LaFell all received four targets, while Martavis Bryant dropped a goose egg for fantasy owners. Despite the nice matchup against a 21st ranked San Francisco 49ers passing defense, no Oakland wideout should be relied upon in this game.

Nick Mullens (QB, SF)

On a short week to recover from his wrist injury, starting quarterback C.J. Beathard has ended up on the wrong side of questionable and won't be playing on Thursday night. Rookie Nick Mullens has no experience throwing passes in an NFL regular season game and shouldn't be anywhere close to any fantasy owners radar when it comes to streaming options considering how the Oakland Raiders are allowing the second-fewest red zone plays in the NFL.

Marquise Goodwin (WR, SF)

Where Marquise Goodwin could have been considered a decent flex option against an Oakland Raiders squad that is known to be susceptible to big-gain plays, the information that rookie quarterback Nick Mullens is starting demolishes his floor. Those who need to gamble with so many bye weeks around the league could give Goodwin a shot, but know that the odds are against him performing beyond WR4/5 levels.

Other Notable Sit Candidates: Kendrick Bourne (WR, SF)


Solid Options/Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Derek Carr (QB, OAK)

Derek Carr's best games in 2018 have come in shootouts with the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, and Indianapolis Colts. A gun-slinging contest is definitely NOT the most likely game script, but San Francisco ranks 27th in passing points allowed per game and have allowed the most multiple passing touchdown games across their seven this season. The cards are aligning for Carr to turn out decent numbers and even surprise, given how bad both defenses are.

Solid Options: Doug MartinJalen Richard (RBs, OAK)

With some of the most brutal bye week absences for fantasy rosters taking place in Week 9, Doug Martin and Jalen Richard have to be in the mix to be solid options at the running back position. San Francisco is certainly no pushover when it comes to run defense, but Martin totaled 15 touches and 5.5 yards per carry taking over as the lead back a week ago while Richard has had six or more receptions in five games so far in 2018. Short version: Martin deserves attention in standard formats while Richard could prosper in PPR.

Solid Option: Matt Breida (RB, SF)

It is undeniable that Matt Breida's efficiency has been hobbled by a number of injuries. After rushing 32 times for 274 yards through his opening three games, Breida has rushed 52 times for 213 yards and a touchdown in the last five weeks. A date with the Oakland Raiders' 32nd ranked rushing defense that surrenders 169.1 total yards per game to backfields is just what the San Francisco 49ers lead back ordered to get back on track.

Solid Option: George Kittle (TE, SF)

While the downgrade at quarterback to Nick Mullens is a noteworthy problem, George Kittle has a market share of 23.9 percent of the San Francisco 49ers' receptions and the Oakland Raiders just gave up three touchdowns to the tight end position when facing Indianapolis. With so many tight ends on bye weeks, Kittle should remain a viable option considering his well established role in Kyle Shanahan's passing attack.

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