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Bengals vs. Raiders: Fantasy football starts and sits

Who is worth playing in fantasy when the Bengals host the Raiders?

Denver Broncos v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

The Bengals and Raiders are a matchup of two teams who have very little left to play for this season. Is there anything in the game to salvage for your fantasy football team though?

Must start

Joe Mixon (Bengals RB): It is hard to see anyone else being as playable as Mixon is. Last week the Bengals gave Mixon 31 touches, and the team happened to have their most competitive game in over a month. If they keep that up against a Raiders defense that allows 22.3 points per game to opposing running backs, according to Fantasy Pros, then he could have a very productive day for your fantasy team.

Favorable matchups

Jared Cook (Raiders TE): During a season where tight end has been an absolute wasteland for fantasy owners, Cook has become a very bright spot. Cook has recorded over 100 yards or scored a touchdown in his last four games, and with the Bengals situation at linebacker, it is hard to imagine that trend ending this week. Cook also tends to line up out wide, and without potentially both Dre Kirkpatrick and KeiVarae Russell playing, the Raiders should be able to find easy matchups for Cook all over the field.

Tyler Boyd (Bengals WR): Last week was a perfect example of how Tyler Boyd’s floor has been lowered by being the focal point of pass defenses with Jeff Driskel throwing him the ball. He worked hard to catch three passes for 52 yards. The only reason he is sitting as a favorable matchup is because he should still remain to see some serious volume. Hopefully, Driskel is more willing to air it out earlier in the game this week.

Good but not great

Derek Carr (Raiders QB): Carr actually has eight straight weeks without throwing an interception. Over that same span though he has three games without a touchdown as well. The Bengals are allowing the third most points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but aside from Jordy Nelson, can you name a wide receiver Carr is throwing to?

Doug Martin (Raiders RB): The Bengals defense hasn’t been good at stopping opposing running backs, but Martin has been pretty bad this season as well. He does have a touchdown in his past three games, but you need him to reach paydirt to be worth the play this week.

John Ross (Bengals WR): Ross caught another touchdown last week. He has scored a touchdown in five of his last seven games, but he hasn’t done much else to be fantasy relevant. Call it a gut feeling, but this feels like the game where Ross does just that touch more to be a flex option.

Bengals or Raiders defense: I wouldn’t recommend either defense given that neither has been very good lately. It is hard to ignore the fact that both offenses have had their trouble though. If I had to choose one, it would be that Raiders defense, but that is only because I trust Carr not to make mistakes more than Driskel.

Temper expectations

Jeff Driskel (Bengals QB): You may need a replacement for Carson Wentz. You should have better options on your waiver wire. You are gambling that Driskel can manage to reach the end zone at least twice since his passing yards won’t get nearly high enough to be worth playing.

C.J. Uzomah (Bengals TE): Uzomah has settled into gaining about 30 yards every game, but he still hasn’t scored since the Chiefs game back in Week 7. If he isn’t scoring touchdowns, he isn’t worth playing.

Jordy Nelson (Raiders WR): Two weeks ago Nelson caught 10 passes for 97 yards. That’s more catches and yards he had last week and the four weeks prior to his game against Kansas City combined. He should have plenty of volume without much competition for targets, but he is probably a safer bet to have around five catches for fifty yards.