Fantasy Football

Palmer, Wilson top Two-QB list Luke Hoover
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Last week I mulled the unthinkable concept of benching Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs due to the superstar's recent struggles. I used Russell Wilson as the primary example of the type of hot quarterback to consider replacing him with because I faced that exact choice in two leagues. As it turns out, I couldn't pull the trigger on the switch. Fortunately, Rodgers' play was strong enough that benching the top scoring quarterback in both leagues made no difference (cards on the table, I did get obliterated by my brother in one league - thanks a lot Doug Martin, Stevan Ridley and Demaryius Thomas). Although the more than 10-point difference in quarterbacks didn't affect me last week, it certainly could have, and it's these type of hard choices that will decide many Super Bowls or playoffs this week.

1. Carson Palmer at Carolina - Although he's had a couple hiccups in the last four weeks, Palmer has still been one of the more consistently solid fantasy producers over the latter half of the season. He's notched at least two touchdowns in seven of his last nine games. I referred to him as the "King of Garbage Time" last week, and he fit that name perfectly as he did nothing while playing with a lead the entire game against a dreadful Chiefs team. Traveling to face a Carolina squad that's clicking offensively, though, figures to put him back in familiar territory: passing constantly in catch-up mode.

2. Sam Bradford at Tampa Bay - Bradford tied or set nearly every single-game career high last week with 35 completions on 55 attempts for 377 yards and three scores against the Vikings' usually competitive pass defense. Getting the league's worst versus the throw on the road should provide a healthy encore for the former No. 1 overall draft pick, particularly with Danny Amendola back in the lineup.

3. Russell Wilson vs. San Francisco - That 122-yard, zero touchdown performance in an ugly loss in San Francisco feels like it was another career ago for Wilson, though it was just Week 7. The rookie star has come a long way in the seven games since, having totaled 16 scores over that span while throwing only two interceptions. So while the 49ers defense is sure to rattle him at times, I'd feel more than comfortable counting on Wilson as a second starter in two-quarterback leagues (and as a No. 1 depending on the other options) even with a Super Bowl on the line. He's that gifted.

4. Kirk Cousins at Philadelphia - Of course, this option goes out the window if Robert Griffin III (knee) returns, but should Cousins draw his second start he's a terrific option in two-quarterback leagues. With the ability to read the field like a veteran, the touch and accuracy to make most throws, and underrated mobility, Cousins is reminiscent of a young Matt Ryan, but in an offense more conducive to fantasy production. If he gets to face an Eagles defense that's given up 26 touchdowns to just seven interceptions, expect Cousins to pick them apart.

5. Joe Flacco vs. New York Giants - Matt Ryan abused a banged up Giants secondary last week, and in bad need of a victory to clinch the AFC North, Flacco will look to have a similar performance. Although he may be without deep threat Torrey Smith (concussion), Flacco still has enough weapons to put together a strong performance as long as he's protected from New York's disruptive front four. Count on a Giants D that's dead last in yards per attempt allowed (8.2) and 28th in yards per game through the air (254) to give up some big plays to a desperate Ravens offense.

6. Chad Henne vs. New England - In four career meetings with New England, Henne has topped 300 yards on three occasions, including a career-high 416 in 2011. While a nice history versus a team certainly isn't a precursor of future success, it is worth noting that he never had more than one playmaking receiver when he faced the Patriots. With Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon both performing at a high level, Henne has a good opportunity to bounce back from a couple ugly efforts.


*Check injury status.

13. Joe Flacco BAL vs. NYG
14. Russell Wilson SEA vs. SF
15. Sam Bradford STL at TB
16. Josh Freeman TB vs. StL
17. *Kirk Cousins WAS at Phi
18. Carson Palmer OAK at Car
19. Nick Foles PHI vs. Was
20. Andy Dalton CIN at Pit
21. Colin Kaepernick SF at Sea
22. Ryan Tannehill MIA vs. Buf
23. Chad Henne JAC vs. NE
24. Jake Locker TEN at GB
25. Jay Cutler CHI at Ari
26. Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF at Mia
27. *Greg McElroy NYJ vs. SD
28. Brandon Weeden CLE at Den
29. Philip Rivers SD at NYJ
30. Christian Ponder MIN at Hou
31. *Brady Quinn KC vs. Ind
32. Ryan Lindley ARZ vs. Chi
33. *Robert Griffin WAS at Phi
34. *Tim Tebow NYJ vs. SD
35. *Mark Sanchez NYJ vs. SD

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Tagged: Falcons, Bills, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Jets, Eagles, Seahawks, Redskins, Jaguars, Ravens, Cardinals, Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco, Chad Henne, Matt Ryan, Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Ryan Lindley, Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin

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