Not sure what to tell you here except don’t play Campbell or Boller. Obviously. Al Saunders basically told everyone that Palmer will start, but Jackson is trying to “surprise” people on Sunday. Hue, your surprises are welcome in Raider Nation, but not in Fantasy Land. Pick up Palmer as your QB if you need one this week because chances are very good he’ll start. That being said, he has a big playbook to learn. He’s worked with Jackson before at USC and Cincy, so he knows his style, but hasn’t had the time to memorize the NFL’s most prolific playbook. This leaves the chance of interceptions if he gets routes confused, so most likely he’ll be handing off a lot. Running is what the Raiders do best, but it gets you nowhere in Fantasy. Pick up Palmer, but don’t play him just yet, unless you’re QB-less.
If DMC is going to have a huge, monster week, this is it. Not only will he be able to run all over the Chief’s defense, his quarterback will require it. No matter if it’s Boller or Palmer, they’ll be demanding a lot of McFadden this week. He’ll generate RB points that you have only seen in your, well, fantasies. Michael Bush may also get his season high yardage in this game. DMC can do a lot, but he can’t do it on his own. Bush will be right there to back him up. You may even get a TD out of him. Rock is listed as questionable, so that’s an obvious no. and he’s primarily special teams player. Taiwan Jones may get some carries, since the run game will be so heavily used, but not enough to advise playing him.
The wide receivers you want to own in Oakland is Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore at the present time. With the arrival of Palmer in Oakland, anyone of the young Raiders receivers may have sneaky value in the second half of the season. The rapport Palmer had with Terrell Owens was great chemistry and smart fantasy owners are invited to scout the return of Louis Murphy. Murphy is a do-it-all receiver, making his stamp in the possession game. Murphy and QB Bruce Gradkowski had great chemistry before injuries plagued this QB and WR combo. If you held on to Jacoby Ford since your fantasy draft day, it’s safe to let him go unless you are in deeper leagues. Ford is relegated to kick and punt returns to utilize his great speed, but is untrustworthy in fantasy purposes in terms of the kind of steady production he will provide you. Maybe wait one more week before cutting Ford loose to see if his role continues to expand as he gets healthy. Our money in terms of the rest of the season production lies in DHB, Moore, and possibly Ford and Murphy.
While you’re scouting Murphy, Kevin Boss is a player that can make an impact during your fantasy playoffs as well. Once QB Palmer and Boss have a couple of games under their belt, Palmer may lean on Boss to move the chains and play possession ball that Head Coach Hue Jackson and the Raiders will want to employ. Boss scored a touchdown against the Browns on a fake punt thrown by Shane Lechler. Keep Boss in your “players to watch” list.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders are auditioning kickers due to injury to Sebastian Janikowski. If your fantasy team depth is enough to hold two kickers, I advise you hold onto Janikowski because his leg is truly special. However, fantasy wise, kickers are replaceable as their output is unpredictable. Monitor the situation with Janikowski closely. A great play this week would the Seahawk’s Steven Hauschka as they play the Browns this week or the Ravens’ Billy Cundiff as he put up 20 points in most leagues last week.
A lot of fantasy owners are clamoring for the Dallas defense this week and deservedly so due to their matchup vs. the hapless Rams. But if you lost out on the waiver wire add, consider the Raiders defense this week. They are playing the Chiefs who got blown out the first two weeks of the season and beat two below average teams in the Vikings and the Colts. There is no faith now that the Chiefs are better than their 2-3 records suggest. They are trotting out RB Jackie Battle, a former special teamer and Matt Cassel was throwing a ton in their last game against the Colts. Word out of their camp was that Head Coach Todd Haley would have gotten fired if they lost against the Colts. What makes the Raiders D/ST a great play is the ability of KR Ford to take it to the house as he did vs. the Browns for those valuable special teams points. This week the Raiders will put the hammer down on this AFC West rival and continue their undefeated streak in the division.