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Let Jamaal Charles loose: TNF fantasy preview

Bring on Week 12! We kick things off Thursday night with a matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders that you can only watch on NFL Network.

It's not a game that screams "fantasy potential" but at least we'll get to see Jamaal Charles run wild against a winless Oakland team. The Chiefs haven't allowed a rushing touchdown yet this season which is pretty insane. Even Marshawn Lynch couldn't break the plane last week -- and he tried several times.

We might also get an extended look at second year Raiders' running back Latavius Murray who was efficient with his touches week. It sounds like the Raiders want to see what he can do with a bigger role since Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew haven't done much this season.

Don't forget to play TNF Fantasy Challenge for a chance to win a trip to a Thursday Night Football game next season. So who are you taking: Travis Kelce or Mychal Rivera? Alex Smith or Derek Carr? Get to it!


**Jamaal Charles, RB** 

Last week, Charles put up 159 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 20 attempts against Seattle, which is not an easy thing to do. It was his fifth straight game with a rushing touchdown and over the last month Charles is the second highest scoring running back in fantasy. His matchup on Thursday night couldn't be better against an Oakland defense that's giving up the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season.

**Alex Smith, QB** 

Smith has fewer than 200 pass yards in each of his last three games and hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in two straight. Neither of those are good things for fantasy production. Somehow Smith has yet to throw a touchdown pass this season to a wide receiver, but I guess when Jamaal Charles is your running back that's not something you need to worry about. Anyway, Smith isn't an ideal option at quarterback for fantasy given his less than pedestrian numbers in recent weeks, even against the 0-10 Raiders.

**Travis Kelce, TE** 

Travis Kelce led the Chiefs in receptions (three) and receiving yards (37) last week. Yep, there goes a tumbleweed rolling by. With Anthony Fasano inactive in Week 11, Kelce was supposed to have a big game versus a Seattle defense that has struggled against tight ends this season. But with Alex Smith only attempting 16 passes the entire game, there wasn't much to go around. In his last five games Kelce has just one touchdown and will be hard to trust Thursday night.

**Dwayne Bowe, WR** 

Even though Bowe leads the Chiefs with 41 receptions and 501 yards he hasn't been much of a factor in fantasy this season save for a couple of weeks when he brought some PPR value to the table. I don't see him having much of an impact against the Raiders on Thursday night either, with Kansas City likely to run the ball a ton. With zero touchdowns on the season fantasy owners forced to start Bowe can't feel good about it. Plus Oakland actually ranks pretty well in terms of fantasy points allowed to wide receivers this season allowing the ninth fewest in the league.

**Knile Davis, RB** 

Davis' fantasy value has been limited with Jamaal Charles at full strength but he managed to score a touchdown last week, marking his second in the last four games. You can't expect much from him on Thursday night but there's always a chance that the Chiefs get a big lead and decide to rest Charles giving Davis some garbage time action. If you're setting up for a fantasy playoff run and own Charles, Davis is a must own as one of the most valuable handcuffs in the league.


**Derek Carr, QB** 

Here are some great reasons why you should not be starting Derek Carr against the Chiefs in any fantasy leagues on Thursday night: The rookie signal-caller has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in four of his last five games and has five turnovers in his last three contests. The Chiefs have allowed just 201.6 passing yards per game this season which is the fewest in the NFL and have allowed just one passing touchdown or fewer in three of their last four games. Oh, and they have 30 sacks this season. Look for quarterback fantasy production elsewhere.

**Mychal Rivera, TE** 

Rivera has three touchdowns in the last three weeks yet is still owned in just 14.6 percent of leagues. He has the most targets among tight ends in the last month with 33 and has the second most receptions among tight ends in the last month with 24. If you're struggling at the position, Rivera is worth a start on Thursday night.

**Darren McFadden, RB** 

Sadly, McFadden leads Oakland with 393 rushing yards this season and is the only Raider with a rushing touchdown (he has two) all year. As a team, Oakland has fewer than 75 rushing yards in eight of 10 games this season and is averaging 63 rushing yards per game -- the lowest average in the NFL dating back to 1946. It's not looking good for McFadden on Thursday night against a Chiefs' defense that hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown all season.

**Latavius Murray, RB** 

Now we're talking. Let's get this guy some carries, eh Raiders? Entering Week 12, Murray has just 16 career touches yet leads Oakland's running backs with 5.6 yard per touch this season. It's only a matter of time until the talented second-year back out of Central Florida takes over for Oakland. Hopefully the Raiders' coaching staff is finally realizing that they need to get the ball into his hands if they want any chance at getting their first win in more than a calendar year. I know I mentioned before that Kansas City hasn't allowed any rushing touchdowns this season, but the team has surrendered 124.4 rushing yards per game. You're probably not starting Murray on Thursday night but he's a great speculative pickup for the fantasy playoffs and should already be owned in all dynasty leagues.

On the season, Jones-Drew has 33 rush attempts for 70 yards. To put how bad this is into perspective, Texans' backup rookie runner Alfred Blue took 36 carries for 156 yards last week filling in for an injured Arian Foster. It's rather disturbing to discover that MJD is owned in about 51 percent of leagues while Blue is owned in just 16.4 percent. I apologize for wasting your time.

**James Jones, WR** 

Jones leads his team with 49 receptions and 489 receiving yards on the season and has three touchdowns this year. From a fantasy perspective Jones isn't a great option at wide receiver in standard leagues on Thursday night given the poor play of quarterback Derek Carr but he should still be held onto in deeper PPR leagues.

**Andre Holmes, WR** 

There was a span of about four weeks earlier in the season when Holmes seemed like a legitimate starting fantasy wide receiver scoring four touchdowns in four games and double-digit fantasy points in three of four. But since Week 8, Holmes' production has fallen off a cliff with just four receptions in his last three games and in Week 10 he didn't catch one pass. You'd have to be pretty desperate to roll with Holmes against the Chiefs on Thursday night.

Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at Follow him on Twitter _@mfranciscovich_.

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