Adam Levitan

Football Daily Dose

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Trade Deadline Recap

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bengals owner Mike Brown engaged in a high-stakes poker game with Carson Palmer and the NFL this season. On Tuesday, he raked in a massive pot.

By convincing the entire league that he wasn’t bluffing when he said he won’t trade Palmer, Brown extracted the maximum possible value for his asset. In fact, he extracted way more than anyone could have ever expected.

That’s because Carson Palmer is a bigger name than talent at this point in his career. Don’t let yesterday’s rhetoric about Palmer’s skills fool you. Ever since injuring his elbow, he has been a shell of his once-elite self. Palmer is a statue in the pocket, his arm strength is sapped and he hasn’t played football in nearly a year. Hue Jackson, who coached in Cincy from 2004-06, is in for a rude surprise. There’s reason to believe Jason Campbell is a better quarterback than Palmer right now.

Alas, Campbell is likely done for the season due to a broken collarbone. And the Raiders hamstrung themselves by making Kyle Boller -- a third-stringer at best -- their backup. So away we go with Palmer.

How does all this affect the relevant fantasy parties? Glad you asked.

* Kyle Boller will likely start this week against the Chiefs. The Raiders have a bye in Week 8, so giving Palmer a couple weeks to get his body and mind right makes sense. Coach Hue Jackson declined to name an official starter Tuesday evening.

* Palmer will just be a low-end QB2 once he gets going. Although he has nice weapons, the drawbacks mentioned above are glaring. Bang it here for Chris Wesseling’s thoughts on the matter in Waiver Wired.

* The Raiders will go run-heavy. Darren McFadden and Michael Bush will continue to be the focal points of the offense, thus keeping Palmer’s attempts down.

* The value of the Raiders’ wideouts is unchanged. Again, Palmer is not an upgrade on Campbell. Expecting a bump in production from the likes of Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore is wishful thinking.  

Editor’s Note: For early rankings, exclusive projections, chats, the Running Back Report and much more, check out the Season Pass!

Right at the deadline, the Eagles traded Ronnie Brown to the Lions for Jerome Harrison and a seventh-round pick. Interesting.

On the surface, it just looks like two teams admitting mistakes. The Eagles didn’t trust Ronnie Brown and smallish Jerome Harrison wasn’t the proper complement to Jahvid Best in Detroit. However, the bigger concern is that the Lions were looking for a back that can handle a large workload if Best misses significant time due to his latest concussion.

As of Tuesday, the Lions were expressing no long-term concerns about Best. They simply said he is going through his concussion testing and will return when cleared. But given his history, there’s reason for concern. In the meantime, Maurice Morris will start and be the feature back. With Best nursing toe issues over the final eight games of last season, Morris averaged 9.8 carries for 40.7 yards and 2.2 catches for 14.5 yards with five total touchdowns. Brown and Keiland Williams will function in backup/short-yardage roles.

The Jags didn’t even attempt to retain Mike Sims-Walker as a free agent this summer. And then the Rams gave up on him after six games, simply releasing him. Now, in a move the stinks of desperation, the Jags have brought him back. Yawn.

In 14 games as a Jaguar last season, MSW averaged 3.07 catches for 40.1 yards. With Blaine Gabbert at the helm, he’s a poor bet to top those numbers.

There was plenty of smoke around Peyton Hillis, but no fire. He didn’t get a contract, didn’t get a trade and didn’t get a clean bill of health on his hamstring. For now, it’s the status quo. He has a hamstring injury of unknown severity and is questionable for Week 7. The problem is that without a huge workload, Hillis isn’t very valuable in fantasy. Montario Hardesty figures to get plenty of work even if Hillis is active.

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Christian Ponder has taken over in Minnesota, replacing Donovan McNabb. Good news for the entire offense. … Cedric Benson’s suspension was reduced to one game. Bernard Scott will be the feature back in Week 8. … Kevin Faulk (knee) is back at practice and set to come off the PUP list. … The Raiders’ fallback plan if they didn’t get Carson Palmer was reportedly Vince Young. … Percy Harvin played just 29 snaps last week. Bernard Berrian played 39. … Coach Gary Kubiak said he wants to focus on getting the ball to Owen Daniels more. … Tashard Choice wasn’t traded at the deadline because of Felix Jones’ 2-4 week ankle injury. He’ll be the second half of a committee with DeMarco Murray.

Andre Johnson (hamstring) revealed that his initial timetable was six weeks “at most.” The earliest possible return date for now is Week 8. … Brandon Jacobs (knee) guaranteed he’ll be back in Week 8. … Mike Wallace is dealing with a slight hamstring pull. He may miss some practice time. … Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring) came out of his return last week healthy. … Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral) hasn’t yet been ruled out, but Charlie Whitehurst is preparing to play this week.
There’s still time to change the course of your season with a trade or two. Last time we went down this road in this space three weeks ago, we hit some good ones. Here are three players I’m putting in offers on this week:

1. Dez Bryant: The fact that Bryant has no second-half catches in three of the Cowboys’ five games is a fluke. His ability to make things happen on jump balls and after the catch is elite. I still think he’ll be a WR1 when it’s said and done.

2. Tim Tebow: Get in on before Tebow bursts onto the scene this weekend in his first start of the season. For whatever reason, there are still  people out there that don’t believe him in as a fantasy stud. Perhaps the Brandon Lloyd trade will put a scare into owners. For more on that, bang it here.

3. Jermichael Finley: Outside of his three-touchdown game in Week 3, Finley is averaging 3.2 catches for 47.2 yards with no touchdowns. Quite frankly, I have no explanation. Finley has complained of double teams and had a couple bad drops, but there’s just no reason for the slump. We’re buying on simple, elite talent here.

Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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