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Key Fantasy Matchups for Sunday’s Raiders-Saints Matchup


Raiders TE Zach Miller vs. Saints SS Roman Harper

The Raiders finally let Miller loose last week after defenses had clamped down on him through three games. He had five receptions for 95 yards, including a career-best 61-yard touchdown catch that came when four receivers ran vertical routes and quarterback JaMarcus Russell found him in the seam. He is the receiver Russell trusts the most. With head coach Tom Cable promising to balance what had been a run-heavy offense, Miller figures to get additional work. Harper, a second-round draft pick in 2006, is a physical player who tackles well but can be had in coverage – especially against a player who is as adept as Miller at finding open areas in a zone.

Saints RB Reggie Bush vs. Raiders LB Thomas Howard

Bush returned two punts for touchdowns last week. With Shane Lechler as their punter, the Raiders may be more concerned with him as a receiver out of the backfield. Bush leads the NFL with 38 catches, virtually all of them on safe, shallow routes near the line of scrimmage, although he has the skill set to go deep. Howard led NFL linebackers with six interceptions last year and returned two for touchdowns. He is one of the few players at his position with enough speed and athleticism to entrust with covering Bush. Howard has gone six games without an interception and could be looking to take one back the other way – which could be dangerous if Bush springs a double move.

Saints RB Deuce McAllister vs. Raiders DT Tommy Kelly

The Saints will likely look to lean on the running game more this week. The Raiders’ run defense isn’t as stout as the Minnesota Vikings’ run stoppers. Oakland ranks 17th in the league; they’re surrendering 113.2 yards per game. McAllister helped open up the Saints offense two weeks ago versus the San Francisco 49ers. The high-priced, underperforming Kelly will be the Raiders’ first line of defense to stop McAllister.

Saints WR Devery Henderson vs. Raiders CB DeAngelo Hall

Henderson has always been known as the Saints’ biggest threat for the deep ball. He became more involved in the passing game in the Monday night loss to the Vikings, when he caught four passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. He’s averaging 31.7 yards per catch. Although Hall has two interceptions, teams have been picking on him considering that Nnamdi Asomugha, a more accomplished yet lesser known corner, is on the other side of the field.

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