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Breaking Down the Fantasy Matchups for the Ravens-Raiders


Ravens RB Willis McGahee vs. Raiders run defense

McGahee broke out of his slump last Sunday, running for a season-high 105 yards and scoring a touchdown. He returns to M&T Bank Stadium, where he has gained 64 yards rushing in each game there this season. Look for those numbers to increase against the Raiders. In the past four games, Oakland has allowed the opponent’s top running back to average 103 yards rushing and score a total of four touchdowns. Last Sunday the New York Jets’ Thomas Jones rushed for 159 yards against them. McGahee has a running style similar to Jones’.

Raiders RB Darren McFadden vs. Ravens run defense

After gaining 164 yards in Week 2, McFadden has cooled considerably, producing a total of 131 yards rushing in his past four games. He also has gone four weeks without a touchdown. This downward trend should continue against the Ravens’ strong front seven. The Ravens have held teams to 67.2 yards rushing a game, which is tops in the NFL. They limited Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown to 27 yards on 12 carries. The Ravens have also not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 25 straight games, the longest current streak in the league.

Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha

Asomugha has been ignored virtually all season, but the Raiders unveiled a slight wrinkle in last week’s win over the Jets. In some empty backfield alignments, Asomugha shadowed a receiver – usually Brad Smith – wherever he lined up. Usually he sticks to the right side. It’s a ploy the Raiders may consider against Mason, because he is easily the biggest chain-mover in a fairly conservative offense with a rookie quarterback. Mason has 33 catches, and 23 have been for first downs.

Raiders WR Javon Walker vs. Ravens CB Frank Walker

Chris McAlister was replaced in the starting lineup by Frank Walker last week after McAlister received a fine for violating a team dress code plus a shaky performance in the previous week against the Indianapolis Colts. Against the Jets, Javon Walker was finally more than just an expensive accessory for the Raiders offense, making five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. With a Ravens defense that excels in stopping the run, quarterback JaMarcus Russell will be looking to his big-play receiver to move the chains and score in a game that figures to be tough and low-scoring.

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