By Matt Vensel
4:00 PM EDT, October 18, 2011
Carson Palmer will be a hot commodity on the waiver wire this week after the Cincinnati Bengals traded him to the Oakland Raiders for a pair of high draft picks. I can't imagine that someone in your fantasy league already has Palmer on his or her roster -- unless you're in a league with Mike Brown, who finally made a deal Tuesday.
So what’s his fantasy value? At the very least, he should be as productive as Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell, who suffered a broken collarbone Sunday, an injury that set the gears in motion for a deal.
Campbell had strong weeks against the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots, but overall, he was in the middle of the pack among fantasy quarterbacks. There’s no reason to think that Palmer, who worked with Raiders coach Hue Jackson in Cincinnati, can’t step in and at least be as effective right away.
Jackson was the wide receivers coach in Cincinnati from 2004-06, which were Palmer’s first three years as a starter, and Palmer had two of the best statistical seasons of his career in 2005 and 2006 (that was also before Palmer had elbow surgery). If Palmer can still throw the deep ball, he should be productive enough to at least warrant a spot on your bench. Wait and see how he fits in before you plug him in as a starter.
As for Raiders skill players such as Darren McFadden, Darius Heyward-Bey and others, this trade ensures that Kyle Boller, who replaced Campbell on Sunday, won’t get a chance to torpedo their value down the stretch.
Brandon Lloyd is on the move, too: The Broncos really wanted to unload the wide receiver. The Rams had to do something to help out second-year quarterback Sam Bradford. It works out for both parties, I guess. Lloyd, who put up big numbers in Josh McDaniel’s offense in 2010, should be more valuable now. Meanwhile, in Denver, Eric Decker will be a must-start, but hold off before playing Demaryius Thomas.
What’s up with the Dallas backfield? Felix Jones is reportedly out 2-to-4 weeks with a high-ankle sprain, and the Cowboys were rumored to be receptive to trading Tashard Choice before Jones got hurt. Choice will probably share carries with rookie DeMarco Murray going forward, but considering how many chances Choice has been handed to assume the lead role in this backfield, I’d rather have Murray, who is at least an unknown.
Fantasy penthouse: Aaron Rodgers threw three first-half touchdowns then coasted the rest of the way. Ahmad Bradshaw had 130 total yards and three scores. Marques Colston is back with 118 yards and a TD. Jimmy Graham didn’t get in the end zone, but he was the only tight end to top 100 yards (he had 124).
Fantasy doghouse: Alex Smith beat the Lions, but he was a fantasy disappointment. Peyton Hillis might be the year’s biggest bust. Chad Ochocinco was worthless again. Vernon Davis had eight receiving yards.
The wire: 1.We already talked about Carson Palmer, but don’t forget about Tim Tebow, who I think has more fantasy value because of his running ability. … 2. Also, don’t forget about Jackie Battle, who had a 100-yard rushing game for the Chiefs before the bye. … 3. Michael Crabtree, who had nine catches for 77 yards in Week 6, could be available in your league. … 4. With Jahvid Best concussed, the Lions have reportedly acquired Ronnie Brown. He will split time with Maurice Morris. … 5. Chris Cooley is injured, meaning Fred Davis is worth adding.
Five guys I really like this week: 1. Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin get the juicy matchup against the Rams this week. … 2. If LaGarrette Blount is sidelined again, Earnest Graham should give you another solid week. … 3. Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham will each get quality looks against the Colts. … 4. Kellen Winslow will score his first touchdown against the Bears. … 5. Put Brandon Marshall in your starting lineup.
Reader question: @MrPeabody81 on Twitter asks, “What in God’s name do I do about Roddy White? I can't imagine getting good trade value. Do I just sit back and hope he blows up?” My take: It seemed as if Roddy White owners had finally caught a break when Julio Jones was sidelined Sunday, but White had just two catches for 21 yards (and was out-produced by Harry Douglas). He leads the Falcons in targets and receiving yards, but he has only gotten into the end zone twice, which has really killed his value. I think you’re just going to have to wait it out -- unless you get a fair offer based on his upside -- and pray he starts to produce soon.
Extra point: I’m really kicking myself for passing on Fred Jackson, but I know I’m not the only one who undervalued the Bills back. Through the first six weeks of the season, Jackson has been the top point producer among non-quarterbacks. He has scored a touchdown and/or topped 100 rushing yards in every game. He is also fifth in the league among backs in receiving yards. Not too shabby for a mid-round pick.
Matt Vensel is a blogger and community coordinator for The Baltimore Sun. Send your fantasy questions and comments to Matt.Vensel@baltsun.com, @mattvensel on Twitter or leave them in the comments section below.
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