A long, sloppy, penalty-filled Thursday night game between San Diego and Oakland ended in a 23-20 Raiders victory, as Sebastian Janikowski booted a field goal before the Oakland defense secured a game-winning stop in overtime. This game required extra kick in the egg nog of viewers, and got fantasy football championship week off to an underwhelming start.
Not many fantasy stars emerged from this game, as both quarterbacks managed to throw just a single touchdown. Latavius Murray was the top producer on the night, turning in 117 total yards and a touchdown on 24 touches. San Diego’s run defense, which has given up over 100 rushing yards in 12 of 15 games this season, could not slow Murray in one of his finer performances of the 2015 season. Amari Cooper dropped coal in the stocking of his fantasy owners with a disastrous two-catch performance as he dealt with a foot injury throughout the game. With Cooper slowed, Michael Crabtree led the Raiders with six grabs on eight targets for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Danny Woodhead failed to find the end zone after his four touchdown explosion on Week 15, but did do solid PPR damage with eight catches for 53 yard on Thursday night. With Stevie Johnson out and Antonio Gates lightly involved, it was Dontrelle Inman turning the top fantasy performance from San Diego, as the receiver hauled in eight of a team-high 13 targets for 82 yards and a touchdown. With Philip Rivers low on receiving options, Inman has been a solid performer recently, tallying 160 yards in his last two outings.
Chargers at Raiders Quick Slants
With Melvin Gordon sidelined, Donald Brown led the Chargers backfield with 14 carries but managed just 17 yards on his opportunities. Brown did add 33 receiving yards and one rushing score for desperate fantasy owners who took a chance and started him. … Derek Carr’s slow stretch run continued on Thursday, as he threw for just 204 yards and one score on 38 attempts. Carr threw one interception on the night and completed passes to nine different players. … Antonio Gates was a disappointment in this game, catching only two passes for 11 yards. Philip Rivers was throwing plenty on the night with 49 attempts, but was unable to get his tight end involved.
Editor's Note: This is your chance to try FanDuel risk free! Sign up today and if you lose your first contest, you’ll be refunded the entry fee up to $10. Play now.
In Other News….
The NFL’s hottest wide receiver, Doug Baldwin, did not practice on Thursday and is dealing with a hamstring injury. Coach Pete Carroll said Baldwin “could be a game-day decision” this week as Seattle takes on St. Louis, but Carroll apparently sounded optimistic when discussing the situation. There is no concrete information suggesting that Baldwin is in serious danger of missing Week 16, but more news surrounding Baldwin’s troublesome hammy should surface in coming days. Baldwin has been a surprising fantasy playoff monster in recent weeks with 10 touchdowns in his last four games, so fantasy owners who have been riding the Seattle receiver would love a chance to saddle up one more time in championship week.
Denver coach Gary Kubiak has not been thrilled with Brock Osweiler’s performance in recent weeks, and Kubiak announced that Peyton Manning (foot) will have a “big workout” on Saturday to determine whether he could possibly play again this season. If Manning turns in a solid showing, he could get a tune-up in Week 17 before the NFL playoffs begin but it has yet to be seen whether his foot issue is behind him. Brock Osweiler will wait patiently with the rest of the NFL to see if playoff starts are in his future.
Jonathan Stewart (foot) is out for Week 16, leaving Cameron Artis-Payne the best bet for carries in the Carolina backfield this week. Cam Newton and hefty running back Mike Tolbert will still be involved near the goal line, however.
Adrian Peterson (ankle) did not practice on Thursday and his Week 16 status is now in question. More news on Peterson’s status should be released on Friday, but Jerick McKinnon could be in line for a healthy boost in work this week if Peterson is sidelined. Chances are good that Peterson suits up, but fantasy owners should have contingency plans in place just in case.
Injury Quick Slants
Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday and is headed for another weekend of uncertainty. A game-time decision is likely. … Denard Robinson (foot) got in a full practice on Thursday and is staring at a great Week 16 matchup at New Orleans. … Dez Bryant (foot, ankle) did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and is now in danger of missing Week 16. Stay tuned to Rotoworld this weekend for more updates on Bryant’s status. … Drew Brees (foot) did not practice on Thursday but still plans to start this week against Jacksonville. Matt Flynn or Garrett Grayson would take over if Brees is forced to sit. … Tyler Eifert (concussion) is in the NFL concussion protocol, but did some side work at practice on Thursday and is getting closer to a return. Week 17 seems likely for the Bengals tight end. … Ted Ginn (quad) practiced on Thursday and appears to be ready to roll for Week 16. … Shaun Draughn (knee) has not practiced at all this week and looks like a dicey bet for game action on Sunday. The 49ers will be left with Kendall Gaskins and DuJuan Harris at running back if Draughn sits. … Matt Hasselbeck (jaw) was limited in practice on Thursday despite dealing with a long list of injuries. The Colts are tentatively expected to start Hasselbeck this week with Charlie Whitehurst waiting in the wings. … Brian Hoyer (concussion) practiced on Thursday and looks like a good bet to push Brandon Weeden back to the bench this week. … Houston wide receiver Cecil Shorts (hamstring) is out for Week 16, so fire up Nate Washington. … Charles Clay (back) did not practice and should be considered questionable for Week 16.