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Raiders' Week 9 Fantasy Outlook

Quarterback

This position, in regards to Fantasy, is less of a crap shoot than it was two weeks ago, but there's still no way to confidently say play Palmer over other QBs in the NFL. Palmer's play against the Chiefs was not an indication of his future play because he was unprepared and didn't have his go-to: Darren McFadden. He was just trying to clean up Boller's mess. This week he still won't have McFadden, but he will have T.J. “Who's-Yo-Mama” Houshmandzadeh with whom he practiced during his “retirement.” Housh will give Palmer a reliable target that he's comfortable with and can go to on third downs, or any other down for that matter. It would irresponsible to give a definitive “go!” for starting Palmer on your team this week. On the bright side, Tebow will make him look like a pro-bowler again.

Running Back

All of you who have been reaping the benefits of McFadden's success have probably been drinking yourself to sleep after seeing him leave practice in a boot. Leave the kool-aid alone though because he'll be back. Until then you can play Michael Bush and/or Taiwan Jones. While neither will get tons of yards, they'll still get decent numbers, especially Bush. Palmer may go more to the air since he's got his training-mate on the team now, but the Raiders' success has been built on the run. Luckily, the Broncos will be unprepared since it's unclear if the game will be more passing or rushing. Play Bush, he should get 20 carries. The key to winning with regard to your Fantasy team is just remembering to sit McFadden and play someone who will actually run.

Wide Receivers

Darrius Heyward-Bey is the only receiver worth owning in terms of fantasy production. The addition of Houshmandzadeh to the mix really muddies the water for Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. If you’ve been stashing Moore this year, it’s OK to cut him loose now unless you are in a keeper league. Houshmandzadeh was quoted saying that there are a lot of fast guys on the team but they’re not as polished as route-runners. While he is definitely positioning himself within the team, there is a morsel of truth to that. Moore and Ford stretches the field in a way they play and cannot be counted on for consistent production. Coming off a bye, we’re hoping that DHB has built some sort of rapport with Palmer and he is proving doubters wrong. Right now he is considered to be a low-end WR2 and strong WR3.

Tight End

Kevin Boss can make a sneaky play this week for owners truly desperate for a TE. Oakland is squaring off against a Broncos defense who have been pretty stout thus far to opposing tight ends, but coming off a bye, the Raiders could play at a maximum effort to keep pace in the AFC West. The addition of Houshmandzadeh definitely hurts his value, as they both operate in the middle of the field. Boss is definitely a player worth keeping an eye on to see how Carson Palmer utilizes him.

Kicker

Sebastian Janikowski hasn’t been able to practice this week and Dave Rayner may get the call again. Avoid this situation if you can. Some strong plays this week include Matt Bryant who is squaring off against the Colts indoors.

Defense/Special Teams

While the Raiders defense has ranked towards the bottom in most statistical categories this year, this is a defense with value this week vs. Tim Tebow. The Raiders defense has played better than their stats suggests with Richard Seymour leading the way. Tebow is turnover prone and he is susceptible to the pass rush. Seymour alone could match his season sack total of five in this game, to double his output for the season. And yeah, I don’t need to tell you that Ford is returning kicks for this game. It’s added incentive for you to play them this week.

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