Given that the San Francisco 49ers have a short week and will be playing San Diego on Thursday Night Football, it seemed timely to get this stream posted sooner rather than later. Both the 49ers and Oakland Raiders are in the playoff push in their respective divisions, but you're likely in the midst of the actual playoffs in your fantasy football league. Most leagues are likely in semifinals at this point, although some (including a 4-team playoff I did not make in one league) are just kicking off round one of their playoffs. If you had a bye hopefully you aren't forgetting to set your roster for the semifinals.
The 49ers will head down to San Diego for a pivotal battle for playoff contention for both teams. The Chargers are heavy favorites while the 49ers have been wildly inconsistent. Both teams are coming off strong efforts at home last week but both are equally capable of stinkers. The Chargers were swept by the Raiders this season and looked fairly abysmal in those efforts. The 49ers have dominated weak competition but struggled when facing superior competition.
Both teams will have some interesting sit/start options. For both the Raiders and 49ers, one of the tougher choices is the 49ers defense. Last year they were the number one scoring fantasy defense courtesy of an inordinate amount of turnovers. Through the first three quarters of this season, the defense had some ups and downs but its ups rarely seemed to reach last year's highs. This past week against Seattle they finally broke out with a five turnover effort including an interception returned for a touchdown. We'll see if they can build on that effort.
On the other side of the Bay, the Raiders host the Broncos in a must-win for Oakland. One noteworthy consideration is that Darren McFadden is 7 rushing yards away from 1,000 for the season. It will be their first 1,000 rushing season since Justin Fargas went for 1,009 in 2007. If McFadden can stay healthy these final three games, he has a good shot at finishing with the most rushing yards by a Raider since they returned to Oakland in 1995. Napoleon Kaufman holds that honor with 1,294 yards in 1997. McFadden has been a beast for the Raiders this season when healthy and thus a beast in fantasy.