All week, everyone has been gushing over the Oakland Raiders defense. They are currently fifth in the NFL against the pass and 10th in the NFL against the pass. They have also racked up two interceptions and nine sacks over the first two games of the 2013 fantasy football season.
However, there is just one thing wrong with starting them this week; they will faceoff against QB Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos’ video-game like offense.
Denver is unstoppable right now and that makes Oakland’s defense one option to leave on the bench at all costs. The Mile-High squad features the third-best passing offense (376 yards/game) in football and they have scored an insane 90 points through the first two games.
Looking at the numbers, Oakland doesn’t deserve as much praise as they have received this season. In Week 1, they faced off against the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck was not himself and looked somewhat rusty in the opening game of the season.
The next week should be completely discounted, because Oakland faced off against the offensively-challenged Jacksonville Jaguars. Any defense could face off against Jacksonville and look amazing, so let’s not get carried away with Oakland having an All-Pro defense just yet.
Probably the most overlooked reason to avoid starting Oakland’s defense is that they just lost their best player for the entire season. SS Tyvon Branch fractured his fibula and it has already come out that he has been paced on season-ending IR. Branch is the unquestioned leader of the defense and his presence will be greatly missed on Monday night, especially once Manning really starts spreading the ball around.
If you own Oakland’s defense, this is one week to bench them, because it is going to get ugly on Monday night.