2013 Fantasy Football Dark Horse Sleeper: Carson Palmer

By Dustin Manko
Carson Palmer
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

One way fantasy football is like real football is both require precise timing. A player who has been lousy for seven weeks could suddenly have value if the situation is right. Sometimes it takes an injury for this player to gain relevance, like the case with Terrance Williams’ leap to fantasy radars due to the Miles Austin hamstring injury. Other times, it takes a soft schedule on bye week, like the case of Carson Palmer this week.

I know Palmer has been pretty bad this season. He ranks 25th in quarterback scoring in standard leagues, averaging 14.32 points per contest. In most cases that’s not going to cut it. Palmer could be a dark horse sleeper this weekend, the Arizona Cardinals host the Atlanta Falcons, who currently are allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, seventh most to wide receivers and ninth to tight ends. The matchup is right.

In single quarterback leagues, I would still start a slew of other quarterbacks over Palmer. But with six quarterbacks on bye week, such as Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco and Jake Locker, Palmer could be a decent bye week filler, especially in two quarterback or deep leagues where quarterbacks are hard to find.

Palmer still has Larry Fitzgerald to throw the ball to, and reports from Arizona indicate that the long week of rest has helped Fitzgerald shake off a nagging hamstring injury and Michael Floyd is proving himself as a viable receiving threat, coming off a 71 yard performance last week. With the Cardinals run game in shambles, and the Falcons run defense being better than expected (19 teams allow more fantasy points to running backs), it would make sense for the Cardinals to rely on arguably their best player (Fitzgerald) against a soft passing defense.

In addition, Palmer has attempted 266 passes this season, sixth most in the league for an average of 38 per game, a number most fantasy owners would love to see their quarterback attempt weekly. If Palmer can get on track this week, he has a very quarterback friendly schedule the rest of the way, with the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams on the docket.

Fantasy football is a game of matchups. With a bad passing defense on the slate this week, this could be the right week to bet on Palmer, especially for you fantasy owners in a bye week pinch.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Read more from Dustin here.





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