|Written by Michael Amato|
|Wednesday, 28 November 2012 08:23|
There hasn’t been too much to smile about in Raider nation over the last decade. Ever since Oakland lost Super Bowl XXXVII to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, the Raiders have been abysmal. The Black Hole is supposedly one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, which I suppose is true because Oakland sure as hell is having a tough time winning there.
One of the reasons the Raiders have struggled so much recently may have to do with their coaching situation. The team seems to go through them faster than napkins, and Dennis Allen is now Oakland’s seventh coach in the past ten years. Throw in a couple of bad moves, like when Randy Moss arrived and suddenly forgot how to run a route, a JaMarcus Russell draft pick, and you have a good recipe for ten years of despair.
The Raiders atrociousness aside, if there is anything they have gotten used to, it’s playing from behind. When you are getting trounced on a regular basis you can’t help but air it out frequently, something that can pay big dividends to fantasy owners. Oakland has to throw the ball out of necessity, and ranks in the top ten when it comes to passing, averaging 289.5 yards per game. On the flipside, they sit 28th overall when it comes to rushing at just 82.6 yards per contest. Somewhere a whole bunch of people who drafted Darren McFadden this year just cringed.
Playing from well behind usually means a lot of three and four wide receiver formations and easy completions, considering the defense is going to give you underneath throws because it eats into the time remaining. Essentially, if the defense is up by multiple scores late in a game, then they don’t usually mind giving up a touchdown if it takes five or six minutes off the clock.
Take Carson Palmer’s numbers this year for example. Palmer has 291 completions and 206 of them have come when trailing, and 16 of his 18 touchdown passes have come while playing from behind. And six of those have come when the Raiders were behind by two possessions.
Palmer’s numbers in just the fourth quarter are also impressive. Of his 3,181 yards, over 1,000 of those have come in the final quarter, accounting for nearly a third of his production in that area. He also has a six touchdown to four interception ratio in the fourth quarter.
One of his favourite targets, Denarius Moore, also loves him some garbage time. Moore has 36 receptions so far in 2012 and 24 of those have come in the second half when the Raiders are trailing. Giving more credence to the fact that a defense will give up the easy underneath throws when they are well ahead is Moore’s average yardage per catch numbers. Moore averages a whopping 41 yards per reception in the first quarter, but that number drops to just 13.4 in the fourth. He also has 11 catches of 20-plus yards this season, but only two of those have come in the fourth quarter.
Players like Palmer and Moore are serviceable fantasy options both because of their talents, and their situation. Each greatly benefits because of how bad the Raiders are. On the other end of the spectrum, teams that often have a lead can really inflate a running back’s value. Sometimes realizing how strong or weak a team is can help you as an owner figure out the variables when making decisions during your draft.
That’s not to say the only thing Palmer and Moore have going for them is playing from behind regularly, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
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|Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 08:24|