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Denarius Moore is a Must Start Against the Vikings

You’re starting Oakland Raiders receiver Denarius Moore this week against the Minnesota Vikings, right? You’re just reading this because you need confirmation that it’s the right play for one of your fantasy WR spots in Week 11.

I understand. It’s a great play for you to make for a few of reasons before we even get to the he-is-good part.

First, he is the man for the Raiders with fellow receiver Jacoby Ford out with an ankle injury suffered in Week 10 and still with no timetable for his return. Second, the Vikings just lost defensive back Antoine Winfield for the season with a broken clavicle. Third, Oakland signal caller Carson Palmer is a top-10 fantasy QB in his first two games as the team’s starter with weeks of 25.58 and 20.16 points. He’s completing 60 percent of his passes as a starter, including 70 percent last week against San Diego.

Moore became Palmer’s favorite target when Jacoby Ford went down with an ankle injury early in last Thursday’s game. The rookie from Tennessee was targeted seven times to Ford’s second-best two. Moore caught five of the seven targets for 123 yards and two long scores (33, 27).

Moore has been inconsistent this season, but also had an inconsistent QB in Jason Campbell at the helm before Palmer came on board to step in for the injured Campbell. Moore was a stud in the preseason and then opened the 2011 campaign with a goose egg. He bounced back with 25.6 points in Week 2, 14.1 in Week 3, 9.85 in Week 4 and then fell off the map with days of .85, .95 and 1.88 fantasy points. Moore had his resurgence in Palmer’s first start, scoring 10.18 points against Denver and then exploded for the 27.75 points against San Diego.

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Yahoo league owners certainly saw the value in Moore as he went from being owned in 56 percent of the leagues on Monday to 81 percent of the leagues by Friday. And it should be more than that with the way Palmer is playing and the pass-friendly schedule the Raiders have over the next month. Including this week’s Minnesota game, the Raiders take on four of the worst fantasy defenses against receivers in the next four weeks — Minnesota (31), Chicago (22), Miami (23) and Green Bay (30).

Since you are looking to input Moore into your starting lineup this week, here’s what he is facing against Minnesota: Winfield had just returned to the lineup last Monday night after a four-game absence due to a neck injury before the clavicle injury. Cornerback Chris Cook is still suspended from playing and safety Husain Abdullah will not play after the suffering a concussion on Monday night.

The Vikings are ranked 30th in the NFL against the pass (272.8 YPG) with 16 touchdowns allowed (31st) and just six interceptions (24th).

The matchup doesn’t get much Moore enticing than that (see what I did there with the Moore thing … oh, just go set him to start in your lineup).

By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter