Wow, you picked a doozie! Let's see...
Carson Palmer: as I'm sure you know, he's been heating up as of late. DHB and D Moore have been more and more reliable (overall) since the beginning of the season, as has Palmer's confidence in throwing to them. Palmer also nicely mixes up his long ball attempts with check-downs, which I maintain isn't a bad thing (unless that's pretty much ALL you do! I'm looking at YOU, recent Alex Smith!). Looking for Myers across the middle has been a recipe for success when utilized, and we hope it continues because he is showing himself a formidable TE. We all know that NO is a terrible passing defense.... or are they? Didn't they do a surprisingly decent job this weekend against ATL!? Crazy stuff. Could it be that NO's secondary woes are behind them, and now they are a D to be reckoned with? Or was this just a fluke? Well, they have won 4 out of their last five games. Let's look at this from a different persecutive though: that of Drew Brees. If it wasn't clear last week it never will be: the Raiders secondary is beyond horrible. And with added injuries this past week, it only got easier for Flacco to pick them apart. Yeah, FLACCO. Enter Drew Brees. Is there any doubt the Saints score less than 40 this week, mainly through the air? And when that happens, Carson will need to carry the team on his back. That's going to eliminate the already half-dead "running attack" they have minus DMC. So, I expect the Saints to actually turn the ball over a few times, once or twice via interception. What would have been a cherry match-up for almost any other Q in the beginning of the year will become a likely nightmare for Palmer. All that being said, it may not be the worst fantasy week for him; for he WILL have to throw the ball a ton for the Silver and Black to stand any chance of winning. And with interceptions costing a paltry -2, Palmer could stand to deliver a 20+ day.
By now we know that Andy Luck is legit, maybe even elite. Here again is the makings of a shootout: Bill refuses to let his team score less than 35 points per game, regardless of how badly they are destroying their opponents. It's no secret the Pats have struggled against the pass this year. And Luck is looking more sharp each week. This has the makings of a high-scoring affair, one in which Luck will have a chance to shoot it out against someone he no doubt grew up idolizing one way or another (you know: either the girls or the Q skills).
When it's all said and done, I lean towards Andy Luck. Both games will likely be shootouts, but
1) Luck is better than Palmer
2) The Raiders are struggling too much to have a good day in this shootout
RB: Martin / Lynch / Lacy / Ridley / Wilson / Michael
WR: A Johnson / VJax / Gordon /Ja. Jones / Nicks / Douglas
PK: Bailey; DST: KC