Carson Palmer: The Next Great Free Agent Quarterback
CP3, which is Carson Palmer’s new nickname and not the latest Chris Paul high-top from Jordan, has looked like his former Pro Bowl self in his first 3 weeks in the Black hole. He has always had a strong arm with an uncanny ability to throw the ball downfield, but he has never had a receiving core as fast as the bunch in Oakland. The team has a half dozen receivers (Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Louis Murphy to name a few) that were clocked in at sub 4.4 seconds 40-yard dashes at their respective combines. Palmer has picked up the west-coast offense faster than anyone in recent memory, showing signs of brilliance in his first month with the team.
Amazingly, in only three starts Palmer has 7 (6 passing and 1 rushing) touchdowns and is averaging an impressive 265 yards per start, but his 7 interceptions through three and a half games are a bit concerning for those desperately needing a quality starting signal-caller. He has been a bit generous with his distribution of the ball, evident by his 107 career interceptions, and must learn to better manage the game to be successful in Oakland.
Despite his propensity to turn the ball over, Palmer has all the tools to put up staggering numbers in Oakland and the young team has nothing but confidence in their leader. He has the luxury of having one of the best set of upcoming receivers in the game, as there is seemingly a different guy leading the team in passing each week. Palmer has targeted receiver Denarius Moore more than anyone else with 19 targets, quickly trusting the rookie to make plays on the ball. The duo looks like they will put up huge numbers in the closing weeks of the fantasy season, as they connected 5 times for123 yardsand 2 touchdowns in week 10 alone. Palmer can also rely on the punishing running attack of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, which will take more pressure off the two-time Pro Bowler taking shots downfield. McFadden is currently injured with a foot injury, but once healthy, he will help give Palmer even more time to find receivers downfield.
The 2002 Heisman Trophy Winner will be fortunate enough to be healthier than most starters for the remainder of the season, and will have the vigor of an adolescent boy by the time the fantasy playoffs come rolling around. The new addition can easily help out struggling teams looking for quarterback help, especially teams sitting with Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, or Christian Ponder atop their lineups. He will only become more valuable as the season goes on, especially with one fourth of the league currently having quarterback concerns. Palmer can be a worthy starter in one quarterbacks leagues, but he can be an absolute star in fantasy leagues that start two quarterbacks.
-By Adam McGill