A fantasy vote for Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer was a Bengals holdout until early this week and is now reportedly the Raiders' starting QB.
Carson Palmer was a Bengals holdout until early this week and is now reportedly the Raiders' starting QB. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: October 21, 2011

WHILE THE acquisition of Carson Palmer has revived playoff aspirations in Oakland, it has also presented fantasy owners with an interesting dilemma: "Should I or shouldn't I pick him up?"

The short answer is yes.

While there are arguments on both sides of the equation of why Palmer will or won't be successful, the shelf life of a decent fantasy free agent isn't long. The only question that really should be asked is "What have I got to lose?"

Quarterbacks traded in midseason are rare. Quarterbacks traded in midseason after they've been sitting at home for 10 months are unheard of.

In other words, temper your expectations. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

* The Raiders' remaining schedule features five games against teams that are in the top seven of most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Two of those games are against Kansas City and another is against Denver, which is Oakland's opponent following next week's bye. At that point, Palmer will have been with the Raiders for nearly 3 weeks.

* Oakland's running game, second in the NFL, will keep defenses honest and limit how much double-teaming opponents can do on outside receivers.

* The Raiders' wide receivers are mediocre, though 2009 first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey has shown some life with 17 catches and 28 targets over the last three games. What the Raiders need is more consistency out of tight end Kevin Boss.

* Palmer has familiarity with head coach Hue Jackson, dating back to when both were at USC. Let's face it, the Raiders were in big trouble when Jason Campbell broke his collarbone and Kyle Boller was all that was left in the cupboard. Boller did hold on to the Raiders' lead in relief of Campbell on Sunday, but the guy is 2-10 as a starting quarterback since 2007.

* From a fantasy standpoint, what else is out there? In my 10-team league, the five best free-agent quarterbacks are Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, Curtis Painter, Andy Dalton and Matt Cassel. In leagues of 12 or more, the pickings are even slimmer.

ESPN has a source saying Palmer will start Sunday. Jackson said he might decide today.

"We're on course to where we need to go," Jackson said. "There's no decision . . . Sometime, maybe [this] evening, I'll figure it out. I'm not in a rush. There's no reason to rush."

Maybe the coach isn't in a hurry. But fantasy leaguers ought to be.

CONTEST OF THE WEEK

 Guess Aaron Rodgers' passing yards.

The dozen or so of us who watched the Sunday night game this week saw Jay Cutler throw for 267 yards as the Bears demolished the Vikings, 39-10. This week, Rodgers gets his first crack at Minnesota's defense. Rodgers is averaging about 340 yards per game and had 295 and 301 in two meetings with the Vikings last year. Minnesota, which is at home, gives up an average of 269.5 per game.

The reader who comes closest to guessing Rodgers' passing yards will win a Daily News T-shirt. Submissions must be in by 3 p.m. Sunday and can be emailed to FantasyFootball@phillynews.com or faxed to 215-854-5524. One per customer, please. The winner will be announced next Friday.

POSITION WATCH

* Quarterbacks: Christian Ponder's mobility, and the fact that the Vikes play six of their final seven games indoors, make the rookie quarterback worth monitoring . . . Anybody even remotely considering Arizona's Kevin Kolb ought to know that the Steelers' havoc-wreaking safety Troy Polamalu is not on the injury report.

* Running backs: Maurice Morris should be picked up in all leagues. Jahvid Best sustained his third concussion and is out indefinitely and third-stringer Jerome Harrison reportedly has a brain tumor . . . Reggie Bush is dealing with a balky hamstring and a stinger, which makes Daniel Thomas an even more favorable option this week against Denver.

* Wide receivers: Best of luck to anyone with Vincent Jackson in their lineup. The Jets' defense has given up a league-low three touchdown passes (thank you, Darrelle Revis) and just one in the last five games. Jackson (hamstring) was limited in practice . . . Mike Wallace (hamstring, this is a recording) also didn't practice, but there's optimism that he'll play . . . Sleeper of the week is Seattle's Doug Baldwin, a slot receiver who showed decent chemistry with new starting quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in the preseason.

FANTASY ISLAND

Carson Daily:

Considering Carson Palmer? Here's a look at the Raiders' remaining schedule and where their opponents' defense ranks in most average fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks:

Week 7: Kansas City, 5th, 16.4

Week 8: Bye

Week 9: Denver, 1st, 21.6

Week 10: at San Diego (Thurs.), 26th, 7.6

Week 11: at Minnesota, 19th, 12.0

Week 12: Chicago, 7th, 15.7

Week 13: at Miami, 2nd, 18.4

Week 14: at Green Bay, 12th, 13.3

Week 15: vs. Detroit, 29th, 6.3

Week 16: at Kansas City, 5th, 16.4

Week: 17 vs. San Diego, 26th, 7.6

FROM YESTERDAY'S CHAT

Q: I have to play Johnny Knox due to byes. Please tell me there is some hope and that he is relevant in London this week.

A: Ain't life bad when you have to worry about Johnny Knox on two continents? The Bucs are middle of the pack in points allowed to wide receivers. Get yourself some fish and chips and a warm ale and enjoy the heartburn.

Q: A.J. Green and Demarco Murray for Mike Wallace. I'd get Mike Wallace. Good or bad trade?

A: That's a good deal. The other guy is worried about Wallace being banged up. I'd be on that like a cheap suit.

Q: Kevin Walter is available. Should I drop Julio Jones and grab him? JJ has been doing nothing for me.

A: Unless you are 2-4 or worse, I wouldn't do that. I'd rather see you trade Jones for something better than Walter, whose value will slip when Andre Johnson gets back.

--

Look for the fantasy chat with Ed Barkowitz each Thursday at noon. For a full transcript of yesterday's chat, visit philly.com/dnfantasychat.

Ed Barkowitz, who dropped DeAngelo Williams for Maurice Morris, has been writing about fantasy football since 2001.

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