Opponent: Baltimore Ravens
Location: M&T Bank Stadium (Away)
In an age where the most prized QBs are those that are accurate and good decision makers, Carson Palmer has been carving a niche as a guy who gets big numbers simply by throwing a lot. The Oakland Raiders are one of the most pass heavy teams in the NFL and this makes Palmer a viable option for fantasy owners simply because he’ll put up meaningless stats. Against the Ravens whom have a depleted defense he is a low end starter worth playing if your other options aren’t reliable.
When he is on his game, Darren McFadden can be the best running back in the league. Until now, the reasons for his lack of production have been health. This year he hasn’t been injured but yet hasn’t put up big numbers. Now he has sustained an injury but his lack of numbers means you should have no faith in what’s behind him. His primary backup Mike Goodson is likely to be out also with an injury which leaves FB/WR Marcel Reece and third string runner Taiwan Jones. According to reports, Jones has been getting the first team reps in practice but I don’t think this matters much – I have no faith in him to produce and as such advice you to stay away. If I were to start an Oakland RB, it’d be Marcel Reece and that is only because he gets involved in the passing game. In PPR he’s an interesting wildcard and in deeper leagues I consider Reece a much better start than Jones.
It is no secret that Danarius Moore is one of the most popular wideouts in fantasy right now. He has been putting up big numbers thanks to the large number of targets he receives care of Palmer’s elastic arm and this week I expect no less than 80 yards on 5 receptions with the upside a lot more. Start him with confidence. Darrius Haywood-Bey is another intriguing option on this team who at times has shown the explosiveness that made him a first round draft pick a while back. With that said, he is extremely inconsistent and can give you a donut as easily as double digits – he’s worth trotting out as a WR2 or flex but be prepared for disappointment as DHB relies mostly on the deep ball for his production. My super sleeper for the week here is Derek Hagan – last week Rod Streater got the touchdown and this week I think it’ll be Hagan’s turn as Streater gets a little more attention.
Finally breaking through for his first NFL touchdown and then his second not long after in last week’s game against Tampa Bay, Brandon Myers has been a slowly developing option for fantasy owners with the talent at tight end dropping off this year. Against the Ravens, I reckon he’ll be good for 4-6 points making him a low end fantasy starter. Who knows – maybe he’ll find the end zone again.