The Raiders may not have a defense worth bragging about, but we should see some offensive fireworks between New Orleans and Oakland this week.
Carson Palmer vs. Saints
Without Darren McFadden and the defense playing as the worst unit in football over the past two weeks, fantasy owners can count on Palmer throwing early and often against the Saints. Expect the Raiders to be playing from behind most of this game, and Palmer is set to throw the football over 50 times.
With the emergence of Brandon Myers, Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey playing well, Palmer is turning into a weekly low-end QB1 option.
Andrew Luck @ Patriots
Like Palmer, Luck will likely be in a trail position throughout the second half and will throw the football frequently.
Don’t expect the Colts to win this game, but much like the Bills last week, expect Indianapolis to have little trouble racking up the yardage and putting points on the board.
Felix Jones vs. Browns
It’s a toss up whether the Cowboys will come out and play playoff-caliber football or regress into a dysfunctional haze on a week-to-week basis. I’m placing my bets on the playoff caliber team showing up this week after a big win in Philadelphia, in which the defense and special teams accounted for 21 points in the fourth quarter alone.
Quietly, Tony Romo is back to mistake-free football in recent weeks, and the defense appears to be jelling. Playing against a young Browns offense in Dallas, look for the Cowboys to control the football, and Jones is a good bet for RB2 production.
Jonathan Dwyer vs. Ravens
It was Isaac Redman who started for the Steelers last week, but Dwyer quickly took over as the main option in the backfield. Expect Dwyer to continue to dwarf Redman in touches, and if Rashard Mendenhall is out again, we should like Dwyer’s odds of retaining RB2 production against a struggling Ravens run defense.
This will be a close game unlike the blowout the Ravens enjoyed against the Raiders last week. Dwyer should have no problems carrying the football at least 15 times with Ben Roethlisberger ailing.
Danario Alexander @ Broncos
While Alexander has burst onto the scene in recent weeks, I would be surprised if the Broncos elect to use Champ Bailey on him to start the game. Malcom Floyd has made some big plays against the defense in the past, and the coaching staff won’t forget that.
If the Chargers are to remain a playoff contender, it will be important for Alexander to continue his breakout and post big numbers again. He has the situation to put together at least a WR3 performance for you this week, so get him in the lineup.
Andre Roberts @ Falcons
The Cardinals are struggling to run the football, but when the quarterback has enough time, they are doing a good job moving the ball through the air.
John Skelton will take some hard hits, but he will also make some plays as the Cardinals figure to play from behind against the Falcons this week.
Bengals Defense @ Chiefs
Kansas City is clearly a team to target weekly for fantasy defense play.
The Bengals stand to benefit this week, as they did a fine job against the Giants last week. Pressure will be a problem for Matt Cassel, and big plays should be expected from Cincinnati this week.
Joe Flacco @ Steelers
Great performance from Flacco last week, but he won’t face a pathetic Raiders defense in this game.
The Steelers will be ready for their division rival, and while Flacco will make some plays, we should expect a low scoring, hard-hitting game—the usual case when these two teams meet.
Pierre Thomas @ Raiders
Thomas has continued to lead the team in snaps in the backfield, but Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory are out working him.
I don’t like Thomas going forward, thus we should look to keep him on the bench going forward.
Taiwan Jones vs. Saints
It was Marcel Reece after all who carried the majority of the load in Oakland last week, and it is Reece who is used more in the passing game.
The Raiders figure to play from behind, and Jones isn’t an option to consider this week.
Josh Gordon @ Cowboys
The Cowboys' corners are playing well, and I expect them to handle Gordon.
Defense seem to have caught up to Gordon in recent weeks and are giving his big-play ability more respect in the game plan. Expect others, like Greg Little, to work the football underneath.
Keep Gordon on your bench.
Emmanuel Sanders vs. Ravens
It seemed like Sanders would have a chance to make an impact for fantasy owners, but with Ben Roethlisberger’s injury, we should look to Sanders as an option to waive off our teams.
The Steelers will lean on the running game and defense to win games until Roethlisberger is back to his old self.
Vernon Davis vs. Bears
If it appears Alex Smith is a scratch for Monday night, look to another tight end to put in your lineup.
Davis is an inconsistent option even when Smith is in the lineup, let alone playing with a run-first quarterback in Colin Kaepernick and against one of the better defenses in football.