The new cards are good and certainly give the faction more power. But overall i think Outlaws has been massively overdo for a shining moment.
In terms of just raw fundamental power Outlaws have always been at the top. The best values for Outlaws are also values with some of the most powerful effects in the game, and most of the decks played out of the faction are easy to understand pressure decks that push the win condition. In addition the fact that the faction has many cheap dudes with influence and has access to high amounts of control point generating cards lets the faction deal with any slow or slide deck relative easy.
Quite honestly it is shocking that, outside of the hot lead flying meta, Outlaws have always been a fairly underrepresented faction. However they do have a horrible weakness to acing effects, such as shot guns and soul blast due to their reliance on lower values. With many meta decks shying away from these reusable acing affects its no wonder that Outlaws are seeing a rise in competitive play.
On the topic of why protection racket? Its a solid home. Many players like to play very greedy starting posses in Outlaws and the home allows players to mitigate some of the downside of starting low income. The home also is much lower risk than desolation row, even if the reward might be lower, protection racket is a significantly more flexible home as we can see from these lists a much wider structure sample than desolation is able to provide.
Looking over these lists i do think there is a little "getting away with murder" in the sense that nobody is packing unprepared or any way of dealing with the factions largest weakness. So i imagine that there will be a shift towards acing affects in addition to other low value punishment in order to put a dent in this gameplan.