One of this week’s biggest NFL matchups will be taking place south of the border, where a 4-5 Oakland Raiders team trying to keep their season from unraveling will face the mighty New England Patriots.
Raiders cornerback Travis Carrie admitted to Brooke Cersosimo of NFL.com that the 2017 campaign hasn’t followed the script, but he’s confident the Raiders can turn things around. “This season is not going how we planned,” Carrie said, “but there’s still a lot of ball left. We still have seven games left that can really make a difference. … We will still make a push and a run just because the level of talent that we have. We have to worry about Oakland football and make sure we’re sound in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams. Going out there and executing day in and day out at practice is step one.”
Of course, Carrie also allowed that the Raiders will have their hands full Sunday afternoon with Tom Terrific and the Bradyettes. “I played against Tom Brady my rookie year,” Carrie said. “He and coach [Bill] Belichick — and really their whole staff — have been together for so long. They’re always in tune with each other, and when you have an organization where everyone is as in tune as they are, it’s very hard to beat. They’re very comfortable with who they are. They know their identity, what they’re good at and what their weaknesses are. When you try to attack their weaknesses, they already have a counter plan because they know. Going against a player like that, you really have to be on your P’s and Q’s.”
It’s gone largely unnoticed, but Carrie’s having a solid fourth season – especially from an IDP perspective. Carrie’s 50 total tackles are tied for the NFL lead among corners, and heading into Oakland’s Week 10 bye Carrie was fantasy football’s seventh-ranked player at his position.
And yet, I was able to pluck him off the waiver wire in a number of leagues this week thanks to that bye.
If I (or someone else) beat you to the punch on Carrie, here are some other streaming options to consider in Week 11.
Kenneth Acker, Kansas City Chiefs (at NYG)
Acker took the place of Terrance Mitchell in the Chiefs starting lineup a few weeks ago after the latter spent most of the first half of the 2017 season simultaneously making IDP owners and opposing quarterbacks very happy. “We thought (Kenneth) Acker had done a good job at practice,” defensive coordinator Bob Sutton told Ryan Tracy of Chiefs Digest. “He’s still got areas that he needs to improve. He’s done a good job and we just thought we had to take a look at another guy at that position.”
Acker picked up right where Mitchell left off from a fantasy perspective – his 11 total tackles with an interception in two starts ranks him second among cornerbacks in fantasy points over that span. There’s always a risk that the Chiefs will make another surprise switch at the position, but this week’s matchup with the hapless Giants is favorable – Big Blew ranks inside the Top 10 in fantasy points per game allowed to cornerbacks.
Dre Kirkpatrick, Cincinnati Bengals (at DEN)
Kirkpatrick told Rebecca Toback of SB Nation that he’s chomping at the bit to help the Bengals get their floundering season back on track. “I don’t even know what to say. It’s frustrating, man. I want to win. I don’t care about the personal, individual goals, I don’t care about that sh*t,” Kirkpatrick said. “That (explicative) (doesn’t) mean nothing to me. I want to win. I want to win as a team. I want to win as a unit, because when you win everybody looks good, and when you lose everybody looks bad. It’s a team game, man. We got to play together.”
Kirkpatrick’s tackle total for the season (29) is certainly nothing to write home about. But his IDP production has picked up over the last three weeks. Over that span he’s amassed 15 total tackles, a sack and a forced fumble – good for third among all cornerbacks over that span. If that’s not reason enough to pull the trigger, there’s also the matter of this week’s trip to Denver to face a Broncos team that’s second in fantasy points allowed to the position.