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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

NYJ at DEN (thu) * CIN at BAL PHI at NYG * TEN at ATL
* ARI at SF * DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
* BUF at MIA * JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

Prediction: OAK 24, MIN 17

Players to Watch: Carson Palmer

Update: Visanthe Shiancoe is listed as questionable and was limited in practices Thursday and Friday but is still expected to play.

The Raiders are all alone on top of the AFC West with just a 5-4 record and they have been 3-1 in road games. The Vikings are 2-7 and only 1-3 at home.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 23-20 10 @SD 24-17
2 @BUF 35-38 11 @MIN -
3 NYJ 34-24 12 CHI -
4 NE 19-31 13 @MIA -
5 @HOU 25-20 14 @GB -
6 CLE 24-17 15 DET -
7 KC 0-28 16 @KC -
8 Bye - 17 SD -
9 DEN 24-38      
Raiders Report | Statistics | Roster
OAKLAND at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer - - 260,2
RB Michael Bush 80,1 20 -
WR Louis Murphy - 40 -
WR Denarius Moore - 100,1 -
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh - 50,1 -
PK Sebastian Janikowski 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Vikings apparently need to leave home in order to win games. This week is a big test to see what happens when Carson Palmer plays outside of the division. And it comes against a really bad secondary so there is reason to be optimistic. Palmer has brought a new level of passing to the team already but the game film is being distributed and tougher games are looming on the horizon.

QUARTERBACK: Two weeks in and Carson Palmer looks like he may be worth all the draft picks - they'd probably just screw them up anyway. Palmer passed for 299 yards and two scores in San Diego with just one interception and after two games has five scores and average 316 yards per game. Not exactly what has been happening in the past. But Palmer caught two division rivals in the ultra-weak AFC West to start with - the jury is still out on any long term expectations.

Then again - the Vikings secondary is pretty bad. They just had to put Antoine Winfield on injured reserve finally and have another cornerback barred from the team until he settles his legal problems. Five opponents have passed for multiple touchdowns and about half end up near 300 yards or better. Palmer is a safe start this week and bears watching to see how he fares away from the division.

RUNNING BACKS: The Raiders have not ruled Darren McFadden out yet but he hasn't practiced in almost three weeks because of his foot and he does bring a valuable element to the running game. I will assume he remains out and update as warranted.

Michael Bush has done a decent job in his place in gaining 242 total yards in San Diego to set a new franchise record for most total yards since the AFL-NFL merger 41 years ago. He topped 95 rushing yards in each of the two games previous to that. Bush faces an average rush defense in the Vikings this week though they are better at home and still have not allowed more than 87 rush yards to any runner. Bush will also share a bit with Taiwan Jones who should play better on the faster carpet in the Metrodome. Bush won't have the high yards this week but stands a decent shot at one score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: I've finally decided what happened to Darrius Heyward-Bey and it is not that he was kidnapped as suggested in the Tunnel Vision column. DHB was a speedy prize of Al Davis who coveted fast players and wanted his first round pick to succeed. He was a flop for a while but finally started to do something this year. And then nothing. For two weeks, he is almost unseen. Seems most likely that HC Hue Jackson maybe doesn't like the Golden Child for whatever reason and once Big Al got his jumpsuit with wings, Jackson could make the team more "his own" without fielding calls from Davis about who starts. Sort of like when your boss hires his nephew off the street into a high paid position. Once the boss is gone, start reading the want ads.

Jacoby Ford is likely to miss this week because of his foot and will be replaced by T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Louis Murphy. Denarius Moore had his breakout game in San Diego with 123 yards and two scores on five catches. He's melding with Palmer already and the two are looking very deadly. The rookie Moore could be a real find in this offense with Palmer around.

The Vikings have already allowed eight receivers to turn in 90+ yards against them and chances are that both touchdowns will end up with this unit. Have to like Moore's chances again this week but the passing effort is still a work in progress and in that a risk to rely on.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value with Palmer so far.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 19 2 15 29 18 19
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 29 17 27 20 32 7
Advantage +31 to -31 OAK 10 15 12 -9 14 -12

Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SD 17-24 10 @GB 7-45
2 TB 20-24 11 OAK -
3 DET 23-26 12 @ATL -
4 @KC 17-22 13 DEN -
5 ARI 34-10 14 @DET -
6 @CHI 10-39 15 NO -
7 GB 27-33 16 @WAS -
8 @CAR 24-21 17 CHI -
9 Bye -      
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Christian Ponder - - 200,1
RB Adrian Peterson 110,1 10 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 40 -
WR Devin Aromashodu - 20 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 50,1 -
WR Percy Harvin 10 40 -
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Just when the Vikings looked better and beat the Panthers they took a bye and came out and were waxed on Monday night football by the Packers. Adrian Peterson continues to pull his own weight like Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville but a rookie quarterback is going through the learning pains and the offense stalls too easily. Add in a defense that has spend the last month allowing over 30 points per opponent and winning gets real tough.

QUARTERBACK: Christian Ponder took his third start last week and it was actually his second game against the Packers. Ponder passed for 219 yards and two scores in his first ever start but the replay in Green Bay left him with only 190 yards and no scores and one interception. Ponder also injured his left hand but the x-rays were negative so he should be ready to play this week.

That all said, Ponder faces a secondary that has been softer than most and allowed seven different teams to score two or more passing touchdowns. Then again Ponder is going to face a defense that just sacked Philip Rivers ten times. Expect just his normal yardage and no more than one touchdown.

RUNNING BACKS: Nothing wrong with Adrian Peterson who has scored at least once in each of the last five games and he has ten rushing touchdowns on the season. He's always been a lock for big yards at home and the Raiders have allowed as many as 163 yards to a runner this year (Willis McGahee). The Vikings will ride Peterson for 25 carries or so and he'll be a disappointment with anything less than 100 yards and one touchdown. His upside is much more than that.

WIDE RECEIVERS: With Ponder under the center, the passing yards have been fairly meager and get split up into individual chunks usually far too small for fantasy relevance. Michael Jenkins had a few decent games and even turned in 111 yards and three scores in the first Packers matchup but has remained below 50 yards since. Percy Harvin led the wideouts with 52 yards last week but that's right where he is ended each week with Ponder. There have been only one score to this unit in the three weeks of Ponder r.

The Raiders are weaker in the secondary and one touchdown pass should end up in this unit and favor Jenkins or Devin Aromashodu the most. But the yardage here is going to be moderate at best so none of the receivers make for a decent fantasy start..

TIGHT ENDS: Ponder has used Vishante Shiancoe more than Donovan McNabb did. Shiancoe has averaged four catches for about 40 yards per game with Ponder and scored once in the first Packers game. Shiancoe was held to one catch for 33 yards last week.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 8 23 21 15 16
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 28 29 17 14 11 23
Advantage +31 to -31 MIN -1 21 -6 -7 -4 7

NYJ at DEN (thu) CIN at BAL PHI at NYG TEN at ATL
ARI at SF DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
BUF at MIA JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

a d v e r t i s e m e n t