Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- Both teams enter Week 7 coming off a bye and with only one win so far this season.
- Las Vegas will likely play this game without Darren Waller, and their offense has become very concentrated toward Josh Jacobs, with a likely renewed focus on getting Davante Adams involved.
- Houston won their first game of the year before the bye, leaning heavily on their running game on the back of Dameon Pierce.
- Houston’s defense has performed well for most of this season but has faced a very easy schedule of offenses.
How houston Will Try To Win ::
The Texans have been very competitive this season despite talent deficiencies across the board. They play a relatively conservative game and have learned to lean on rookie sensation Dameon Pierce in their running game, giving him 24 opportunities (carries plus targets) per game over the last three weeks. Head coach Lovie Smith also stated this week that their intention is to continue leaning on Pierce in all but 3rd and long situations when he leaves the field for Rex Burkhead. It is not a surprise that the Texans would lean heavily on their running game, as quarterback Davis Mills is decent as a game manager at times but has not shown much growth in his second season. Mills ranks 25th in the NFL in QB rating and 30th in the league in yards per pass attempt – he also has thrown only five touchdown passes while turning the ball over five times, with another three fumbles his own team recovered.
The Raiders defense has been much worse against the pass than the run this year, but the overall context and approach of the Texans team will dictate that they continue a conservative, run-heavy approach in this matchup. Houston has played at a relatively quick tempo this season – ranking 11th in situation-neutral pace of play – as a result of changing tempos at times to keep defenses off balance and occasionally “steal” a play from an unprepared defense. However, they are unlikely to become overly aggressive in this matchup or consistently play at a fast pace unless forced to do so.
How las vegas Will Try To Win ::
- It’s tempting in a spot like this to imagine a scenario in which the Raiders attempt to “assert dominance” coming out of the bye, but realistically, the composition of both their team and their coaching staff point to this team being likelier to focus on “wins” over “production”; and against a Houston team that doesn’t have the weapons or makeup to surge back from a deficit, we can feel relatively comfortable predicting a methodical approach from the Raiders that remains methodical if they remain in control of this game
- With that in mind, I won’t be stacking up the Raiders offense as a priority (i.e., this won’t be something I feature on my tighter builds, and while I may have some onslaught builds in MME that put Carr // Jacobs // Davante on a roster together, this will be the exception for me rather than the norm), but Jacobs and Davante are nevertheless very much in the “one-off” mix, with each player capable of producing a score you “had to have” this week
- Jacobs is expected to be the highest-owned player on the slate (which is funny, given how disgusting it felt in Week 1 — not that long ago! — to play him on my Main Build at 1% ownership, and given how much time I felt I had to spend explaining why it was a sharp play!), and while there are obvious ways any player could fail, it’s difficult to argue against a role that has yielded five receptions in three consecutive games, with touch counts of 33 and 26 in his last two; I’ll want to keep in mind the fact that Jacobs posted only 14.7 DK points against Tennessee just three games ago (with five receptions!), and is still reliant on touchdowns for ceiling — which makes Davante (one of the top two or three wideouts in the NFL, who derives his ceiling from touchdowns as well, and is projected at 1/6 the ownership of Jacobs) one of the most intriguing plays on the slate :: if Davante is scoring the touchdowns here, those who roster him will benefit from his points while simultaneously hurting roughly 40% of rosters around them
- Dameon Pierce is less shiny than Jacobs, given the lower scoring expectations for the Texans, but there is no question he can post a score that would justify having rostered him, keeping him very much in the mix as well
- Brandin Cooks is unlikely to reach double-digits unless Houston is trailing by a couple scores, which makes him less attractive to me as a one-off play, but fine to consider on builds that feature Jacobs or Davante