The return of Carson Palmer back to Cincinnati is one of the many highlights of afternoon games in week 11. We know the story line from last year, where Palmer would rather retire than play another year for the Bengals. How did that work out? Well, the Bengals are an emerging team featuring a great combo of young talent at the skill positions, and a couple of extra draft picks to go along with it. Mr. Palmer, on the other hand, is the quarterback of one of the worst teams in football this year.
While Palmer’s passing numbers are nice as expected, averaging 288 yards per game through the air. Unfortunately for the Raiders, it’s all they have. They have next to no running game as Darren McFadden continues to prove that he is made of glass, and you would have to think that it’s time for fantasy owners, and the Raiders to move on from him. Marcel Reece has looked good catching passes out of the backfield, but he is limited, and once teams start keying in on him a little more he will not be as effective.
The problem for Oakland is that they are worse than brutal on the defense. They can’t cover, the can’t tackle, they are just pilons out there. They are giving up 32 points a game, which is a league worst. They have been getting physically mismatched in games as well, as running backs have been piling up the yards on them
Welcoming them is the Bengals from Cincinnati, who have been playing great football as of late. They are coming off a nice win over the Kansas City Chiefs, and physically beat down the New York Giants. They look to continue their quest for a wild card spot with a win over the 3-7 Raiders.
Andy Dalton looks to continue his precision passing and has really stepped up in his second year, where he is starting to figure out defenses in this league. Helping him out is receiving beast A.J. Green who is coming into his own, and challenging Calvin Johnson for title of the best in football. Green has found the end zone in 9 consecutive games and he is one reception (64) away from passing his total of catches from a year ago. Look for him to surpass that in this game, as well as run his TD streak to 10 against the Raiders.
The Bengals feature a nice running game with Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis who posted a season high game last week with 101 yards an a score. Look for him to hit that mark again against Oakland, who have been lit up for some big games this year, most notably Doug Martin piling up 250+ on them.
The major separation of these teams is defense. Coach Marvin Lewis has always had a sound and steady unit in his tenure in Cincinnati. They are no longer referred to as the “Bungals”. This defense ranks middle of pack in just about every category, but they know how to get after the quarterback -getting to the opposing signal caller a total of 31 times this year (3rd in NFL) Look for Cincy to win the line battle on both sides of the ball and give Carson Palmer fits. Bengals win easily
Fantasy Studs – AJ Green, Andy Dalton, Andre Hawkins, Green Ellis, Denarius Moore, Marcel Reece
Rude awakening in Cincy – Carson Palmer