Carson Palmer is a name that is generating a lot of buzz this week, partly because of his solid stat line in Week 10 (299 yards, 2 TD passes, 1 INT). It also has to do with the fact that a lot of quarterbacks are injured in fantasy land (Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel, Michael Vick). Facing off against a depleted Vikings secondary this week, Palmer is a recommended start this week. The Vikings placed cornerback Antoine Winfield in injured reserve and will be counting on Benny Sapp. Unfortunately for Sapp, he will most likely going up against one of the hottest receivers in the NFL in Denarius Moore. With a plethora of options in the passing game, fantasy owners should be able to count on Palmer against a weak Vikings’ secondary this week.
Michael Bush has been a force in the running game, scoring double-digit fantasy games in three straight games. While Darren McFadden has been seen out of his protective walking boot, he has been ruled out for week 11. Fantasy owners can look forward to a full load of work for Bush. Clearly, Bush is running with authority and is making a case to be a full-time starter for the Silver and Black next year or elsewhere. Take advantage of his production while you can. Taiwan Jones is the change-of-pace back, but it’s very hard to trust him. He has shown spurts of breakaway ability, but his chances are limited. Additionally, Jones is struggling in pass-protection, making him an even riskier play as the coaches might want to employ Bush on all three downs.
Denarius Moore lit it up last week vs. the Chargers to the tune of 5 receptions for 123 yards and two TDs. Moore is the best fantasy option when it comes to the Raiders’ wide receiving corps in terms of being the safest option as well as the one possessing the most upside. Consider him a WR2 play this week with the upside of a WR1. Held without a catch for the past two games, Darrius Heyward-Bey is a droppable candidate this late into the season. Sure he may be able to turn things around, but it’s a risky proposition. Acquire depth elsewhere as you make the push towards fantasy playoffs. The same can be said about Jacoby Ford who is battling an injury.
Kevin Boss showed signs of life last week catching two passes for 32 yards. He could develop into a nice option for CP3, but fantasy players should take a wait and see approach when it comes to Boss and the other Raiders’ tight ends. The Raiders just haven’t used the tight end as a weapon in the passing game.
Fantasy owners who own Sebastian Janikowski have been frustrated as of late due to his injury. According to Contra Costa Times, Janikowski did not practice Thursday and Hue Jackson called him 97.2% healthy. Roll the dice with Janikowski or look into the availability of Rob Bironas of the Titans. When his team is playing well and Chris Johnson is running well it gives him both the opportunity for PATs and field goals.
Don’t be tempted to play the Raiders’ defense or special teams this week even if they are facing the Vikings. The Vikings have played their opponents tough (disregard their last game vs. Packers game as it was a blowout). The Raiders’ defensive unit has been tough to rely on, giving fantasy owners negative points in three games this year. Also, the loss of Ford in the return game makes them a risky start as the Vikings have an emerging offense led by the poise of Christian Ponder and the dangerous Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin.