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QB fantasy tips: Palmer primed for big day

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By PFW staff

The PFW staff likes Carson Palmer to have a big week at home against the Saints and Andrew Luck could be great against the Patriots, in our late-week fantasy tips for quarterbacks.

Raiders QB Carson Palmer has racked up 782 yards and six TDs in the past two games, and he has a favorable matchup at home Sunday vs. the Saints’ 31st-ranked pass defense. Now is not the time to bench him — no defense has a worse cumulative passer rating against it than the Saints (104.4). Palmer will be asked to carry the offense again with RB Darren McFadden (ankle) likely to miss at least one more game. Palmer is worth a start in most formats.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford has thrown three TD passes in two of his last three starts and draws a Green Bay defense that will be without star OLB Clay Matthews in Week 11. In a vital game for Detroit, Stafford is hard to bench. The Packers could give the Lions’ secondary fits, too, which means this could be a high-scoring affair if the offenses play to their vast potentials.

Only the Saints are allowing more yards per passing play than the Chiefs (7.96), so there could be some big-play opportunities for Bengals QB Andy Dalton in Week 11. Dalton has thrown multiple TD passes in 5-of-9 starts and at least three scores in four different games.

Squaring off against New England’s 29th-ranked pass defense on Sunday, Andrew Luck would seem to be a candidate for a big day. And while there should be ample opportunities for Luck to put up big numbers, keep in mind that the Patriots, who will be boosted by the debut of CB Aqib Talib, are third in the league in takeaways. Meanwhile, of Luck’s 13 turnovers during his rookie season, 10 of them have come away from Lucas Oil Stadium, potentially making Luck a boom-or-bust play in Week 11.

All of the diagnostic signs are pointing toward concussed 49ers QB Alex Smith being ready to play against the Bears this Monday night. Whether or not Smith will be effective as a fantasy signalcaller, though, remains to be seen in a game that would appear to have all the makings of a run-oriented, defensive slugfest.

Steelers QB Byron Leftwich will get the call on Sunday night with Ben Roethlisberger (ribs, shoulder) out. In Week 11, Leftwich is hard to recommend even against a Ravens defense that’s less formidable than in past seasons. Long term, his value will be greatest in bigger leagues and in two-QB formats, where the value of all starting passers is increased. The other pressing question for fantasy owners is how long to hold on to Roethlisberger. There’s no clear timetable for his return, making it a tricky thing to read right now.

It’s to the point where you have to consider dropping Michael Vick from your fantasy team. His concussion has him out for Week 11, and there’s a solid chance he could be shut down for the season for his own — and his team’s, perhaps — good.

Matt Cassel once more will start for Brady Quinn in Kansas City. Here’s hoping you are not relying on Cassel for fantasy purposes.

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