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Friday, November 30, 2007
Updated: December 1, 6:21 PM ET
Alone on an Island: Bench Carson Palmer?

By ESPN Staff

Wondering what these guys were thinking when they broke from the pack in the Week 13 rankings? We like to call that being "alone on an island." Here is what our castaways had to say.

Matthew Berry on Carson Palmer
Ranked: 11 Composite Rank: 7.4

I know it's hard to consider benching Carson Palmer, but I want you to do it anyways. Yes, he had a good game against the Steelers in 2006, but the Bengals are a different team now and so are the Steelers. Pittsburgh allows only 150 passing yards per game, best in the NFL. And Palmer has only 13 touchdowns in his past 9 games. Oh, and the first time he faced Pittsburgh in 2007, Palmer threw for 205 and only one score. And all of this is before we know if the field is even playable. No thanks.

Eric Karabell on Calvin Johnson
Ranked: 35 Composite Rank: 24.2

In theory, all quarterbacks and wide receivers that play the Minnesota Vikings should go off. We've been hammering into everyone's heads the past month that the Vikings shut down the run, and are sieves against the pass. The problem is that hasn't been happening consistently of late. Eli Manning just got his butt kicked by the Vikes, with three picks returned for scores. In Week 9, the Chargers' Philip Rivers was below average, and it's not like Tony Romo ripped the Vikings apart in Week 7. Other weeks, sure, guys like Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb have thrived. I think Jon Kitna will be fine, though he had more turnovers than touchdowns against the Vikings in Week 2, and Roy Williams is a must-play. Johnson has scored the past two weeks, but I want to see more consistency before making him an automatic start first.

Scott Engel on Reuben Droughns
Ranked: 17 Composite Rank: 27.4

It's not looking good again for Brandon Jacobs again this week, which likely gives Droughns another chance to start. The Giants need to make some adjustments on offense to take pressure off the struggling Eli Manning. Chicago is allowing 126.8 rushing yards per game, so New York can certainly lean on Droughts this week. The Giants will look to establish the running game and Droughns is also a legitimate goal-line threat. While Droughns is not outstanding, he can be dependable. That makes him very valuable in a pivotal Week 13 in fantasy football. He'll work very well as a No. 2 fantasy running back for you this week. He should be the preferred option over Derrick Ward.

Christopher Harris on LenDale White
Ranked: 12 Composite Rank: 21.6

I hate White's results in two straight weeks against what looked like two easy opponents: 69 rushing yards combined. But I do think some of that lameness was due to Tennessee falling way behind early to both Denver and Cincinnati. White has gotten eight, 13 and eight carries the past three weeks; back in Week 9, he got 30 carries against the Panthers, broke a hundy and scored a touchdown. Houston's rush defense is just as inept as the Broncos and Bengals (in fact, it's quite a bit less ept), and with Albert Haynesworth likely to return, here's guessing the Titans don't get run over in the first quarter. A closer game would be good for the blobby White.

Nate Ravitz on Adrian Peterson (Bears)
Ranked: 12 Composite Rank: 16.8

Here's what I love about Peterson, compared to a lot of other backs in the league. He's a big part of his team's passing game. Only five running backs have more receptions than Peterson this season, and that's with "The Other" working as a part-timer. Peterson caught five passes Week 12, and I suspect he'll average at least that many as a starter. The Giants have a good run defense, but not a great one, and there's no reason to think they'll completely shut down the Chicago running game. I figure Peterson is good for at least 60-70 rushing yards (in a worst case) and 30-40 receiving yards. If he gets in the end zone (good chance), he'll be an excellent fantasy play this week.