We don’t know Carson Palmer personally, but we assume he’s a nice man. We know that he enjoys a finely-grilled long sausage, and he’s deeply concerned about your budgetary hot dog restraints.
What we don’t know, however, is why you still don’t like him, and why he’s so widely available on waiver wires. Of all the atrocities in this world, Palmer’s availability is the most heinous crime.
Ownership of the Raiders quarterback is still below 70 percent in both NFL.com and ESPN leagues. More specifically, he’s available in 37.4 percent of NFL.com leagues, and 34.2 percent of ESPN leagues. It gets worse over at Yahoo!, where Palmer is out there in 41 percent of leagues.
If those numbers don’t seem jarring to you, please consider that over the past two weeks Aaron Rodgers, Robert Griffin III, and Tom Brady have had their byes. Those guys are pretty good, as collectively they’ve logged 554 fantasy points this year, and they occupy three of the top five spots at their position in terms of fantasy production. So there were some dire times for their owners who had to replace that production for one week, especially those with Brady and Rodgers who spent a first-round pick on a quarterback, and then quite understandably waited, oh, nine rounds or so to take a backup, seeing little need to invest highly in a QB2 when a sizable investment in the position had already been made.
But despite those byes and the desperation they created, Palmer sat, and sat. Sure, his ownership increased, rising 14.2 percent last week in ESPN leagues. So then by our rough arithmetic, prior to that a quarterback who’s 302.6 passing yards per game is behind only two other passers and ahead of those Rodgers and Brady guys was available in 48.4 percent of leagues.
It was difficult to justify Palmer’s continued availability prior to Mike Goodson and Darren McFadden almost simultaneously combusting, but now that he’s the arm tasked with doing the passing in an offense that seems to despise running and he’s facing the Saints this week, there’s no reason why his ownership shouldn’t jump 20 percent across the board. With 41.7 per game, Palmer is second in pass attempts, and he’s consistently asked to be the only playmaker on the Raiders’ offense every game.
For Raiders fans, that sucks. But for you it’s tremendous, especially if you’re dealing with the schedule’s last remaining source of pain: Eli Manning’s bye. Over the Raiders’ last two games, Palmer has attempted 106 passes, while a Raiders running back has been given the ball on a handoff just 33 times. The result of his heavy workload over that stretch has been 782 passing yards and six touchdowns. Yes, he’s also chucked four interceptions, but that will happen when a quarterback is asked to claw from behind and throw on every snap. And really, who cares? Even with those picks and his lost fumble last week he’s still logged 50 fantasy points since Week 9.
Overall Palmer’s also recorded four games with 350 passing yards while completing 35 passes for 20 yards or more (5th), and now he’ll oppose a Saints defense that’s allowing a league worst 8.6 yards per pass attempt, and 307.3 yards per game (31st).
Employ this man.