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NFL Fantasy Football: Kansas City Chiefs' Starting Options Against Oakland Raiders

The Kansas City Chiefs head out west to take on the Oakland Raiders in an AFC West rivalry match-up this Sunday. It's no secret that the talk leading up to this game has been all about Carson Palmer, and the trade that brought him to the Raiders from the Cincinnati Bengals.

Despite the impact that Palmer might make on the Raiders this season, it's not going to happen this weekend. The Chiefs will almost assuredly face Kyle Boller this weekend and that makes the Chiefs defense a possible sleeper this weekend. The Raiders do bring the NFL's leading rusher in Darren McFadden at 5.5 YPC and 101 yards per game with them on Sunday. But you'll be sure to see the Chiefs, who rank 14th in the NFL in rush defense, completely sell-out to stop the run and make Boller beat them through the air.

ESPN's fantasy rankings for this weekend aren't as high on the Chiefs defense as a possible starting option. via

Oakland might be in transition at quarterback, but that doesn't mean they're going to let Kyle Boller do much in the way of jeopardizing their chances at a divisional win. It's all about stopping Darren McFadden, and we're not sure the Chiefs can.

One of the popular 'sleeper' picks over the past two weeks has been picking up Jackie Battle because of his break-out game against the Indianapolis Colts. But temper expectations for Battle this weekend because the Chiefs have struggled in the past against big, physical defensive lines and that is exactly what the Raiders pride themselves on. via

Battle handled the added workload in fine fashion against Indy, and while we don't expect him to surprise Oakland to the extent he did in Week 6, he should be able to fill your flex spot quite nicely.

One of the 'safe' picks for the Kansas City Chiefs is wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. He has been an absolute stud (again) this year and is by far the safest starting fantasy player of all of the Chiefs' this weekend. Bowe is tied for second in the projections from ESPN this week for all receivers in the NFL. via

Bowe has now reeled off four straight games of double-digit scoring (ESPN standard) and has four touchdowns in his last three games. The Chiefs have finally appeared to recover from the blow of losing Jamaal Charles, and the offense is running much more smoothly. Bowe will continue to shine.
Matt Cassel is another possible started depending upon your league format. He's the 10th ranked quarterback this week and if the Chiefs are going to find success in Oakland this weekend, it's going to be because Cassel had success throwing the ball. Cassel played pretty well last year in Oakland as he went 20-35 for 216 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. That included one huge drop from Dwayne Bowe that could have sealed the victory, but it was a huge pass-play from Jason Campbell to Jacoby Ford that helped the Raiders pull out the victory last season. via
Usually bye weeks are a blessing, as teams get a chance to rest up. In Cassel's case, we think it might be a curse, as the ball had just started to roll downhill with a four-touchdown day against the Colts. Call this a case of momentum deferred.
This will be a huge test for the Kansas City Chiefs because they seem to have turned a corner over the last two games and a divisonal match-up with a hated rival will be the perfect barometer for where their team stands right now. The Chiefs offensive line will have a huge test with Tommy Kelly, Lamarr Houston and Richard Seymour on the Raiders defensive line. And of the defensive side it's all about Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson and Kelly Gregg in stopping the Raiders' Darren McFadden.