SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders throws a pass from the pocket in the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Ahoy, Raider fans! RaiderDamus is back again with another exciting edition of the Fantasy Foretelling. It's time for me to tell you all what to do with the real-life players on your make-believe team. The Raiders this week travel to Minneapolis to play a team that was completely humiliated on national television by the Packers. This one could get ugly. Read after the jump for my personal, completely accurate recommendations.
Recently, the Raiders have played a couple games against a team we all thought was terrible who turned out to be good (Denver) and a team most thought were good who turned out to be terrible (San Diego). This week the Raiders play the Vikings, a team that everyone thinks is terrible and they actually are terrible. So hey, there's that. For proof of my statement, I offer up the names of the Vikings' secondary starters, as shown by Yahoo: Asher Allen, Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond, and Cedric Griffin. If you whispered, "who?" at your computer just now, please know two things- first, you are not alone in that sentiment, and second, your computer cannot hear you and is not likely to answer your query.
But onto the fantasy talk. I'll start with the home team.
QB Christian Ponder: Bench. Meh. I mean, I know I'm calling it in here, but really. The Vikings' best receiver is Percv Harvin, who is not even technically a receiver, and they do not get him the ball nearly enough for him to be effective. On the other side is Michael Jenkins, who has that whole Craig Krenzel-style stench of failed Ohio State on him. 150 pass yds, 1 TD, 2 INT.
Adrian Peterson: Start at all times. The Raiders have struggled against the run, which that is a nice way of saying "OMG Bresnahan should be fired what the hell are they doing out there dammit Kelly stay in your gap blah blah blah". This is not a rant post about our run defense, this is a fantasy column and here you go. Adrian Peterson is going to run a lot, and he may score a touchdown. Whatever you decide to yell after he does so is between you and your upstairs neighbors. 140 rush yds, TD.
Percy Harvin: Start, just because I don't trust the Raiders' kick coverage teams enough to not let him run a kickoff back a long way. Start him on the off chance he does something worthwhile. 50 rush yds, 50 rec yds, ??? return yds.
Vikings defense: If you own them, please shoot yourself in the face. We don't need your genes in our pool.
On to our heroes, the Oakland Raiders!
QB Carson Palmer: Must-start. The Vikings are 30th in the NFL against the pass and, as I previously mentioned, are starting someone named Mistral Raymond at safety. Carson Palmer is going to eat them alive. While he isn't Aaron Rodgers good and won't throw four touchdowns, he may come close. I just watched the AccuScore sims of the game and they have Carson at 1.2 INTs in the game. That's fun and all, but it's pretty skewed by his first two games. He threw one last week but was getting sacked at the time and if he had been able to step into the throw it could have been a touchdown. That's not to say that Palmer won't face pressure from the Vikings' defensive line; he will, especially from Jared Allen, but I don't think he will throw a pick this game. After a long week of preparation and more playbook cramming, he will be on fire and ready to do some damage. 285 pass yds, 3 TD.
RB Michael Bush: Start unless you have a better option. The Vikings are actually very stout against the run, ranking sixth in the league giving up only 94 rush yards per game. I think most of Oakland's success comes through the air, but I think Bush will be a big part of that with short passes and screens and he may have another goal line score. 80 rush yds, 50 rec yds, TD.
WR Denarius Moore: Start. He is moving into WR2 territory. The Vikings will game-plan for him. It will not work. He is special and in the absence of Jacoby Ford, who I doubt will play, he is Palmer's favorite target. The Vikings have nobody who can consistently cover him or keep up with his speed. 150 rec yds, 2 TD.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey: Bench. He still hasn't got his mojo working with Palmer and until he does, I can't recommend him. He may be better in real life than in fantasy for the purposes of this particular game. 40 rec yds.
TE Kevin Boss: Start. When the Oakland WRs start to spread the field, Boss may benefit with short underneath routes. 50 rec yds. TD.
Oakland defense: If there's ever a game to start them, this is it.
Alright folks, time to deliberate on the fate of the game while I consult the Great Beyond for the final score. You can expect a full report later today.