FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: KC 24, BUF 20 (Line: BUF by 3)

Players to watch: Dexter McCluster, T.J. Graham

The Chiefs leave home after being pummeled by the Falcons who just made it look easy while the Bills return home after being waxed by the Jets that no one suspected of having an offense. This is a coin flip game but you have to like that the Bills just lost Fred Jackson again. And David Nelson. And the Bills embarrassed the Chiefs in week one last year way before everyone figured out the Buffalo offense.

The Bills won their 2011 season opener when they beat the Chiefs 41-7 in Kansas City.

Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ATL 24-40 10 @PIT -----
2 @BUF ----- 11 CIN -----
3 @NO ----- 12 DEN -----
4 SD ----- 13 CAR -----
5 BAL ----- 14 @CLE -----
6 @TB ----- 15 @OAK -----
7 BYE ----- 16 IND -----
8 OAK ----- 17 @DEN -----
9 @SD ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
KC @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 10 200,1
RB Jamaal Charles 80,1 3-20
WR Jeremy Maclin 6-80

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs were soundly beaten by the Falcons but that was more about how good Atlanta is this year and not as much about the Chiefs who did post 24 points. Matt Cassel passed for a credible 258 yards and one score but lost a fumble and tossed two interceptions. He also rushed in one score. It wasn't a winning effort but it was not a bad game. The Chiefs have a tough schedule with the AFC East showing up but Cassel looks like he'll make a game of it every time.

To his credit, he did spread the ball around. Dwayne Bowe (3-53) did not get much help other than what the Chiefs finally did with Dexter McCluster. He has been a round peg in a square hole so far, talented and dangerous and yet no one knew how to use him. Last year he flopped as a running back. This year he looks great as a wide receiver.

He led the Chiefs with six catches for 82 yards and his ten targets were four more than any other player. He was effective as a wideout split left where he could get the open space that makes him dangerous. He's the one to watch this week to see how much Cassel relies on him. The Chiefs have tried to find a suitable #2 across from Dwayne Bowe and Jon Baldwin was held without a reception this week. Steve Breaston caught just two passes. McCluster? Maybe his time has come. He looked the part.

The season opener also welcomed back Jamaal Charles who looked none the worse for the year off rehabbing his knee. Charles gained 87 yards on 16 carries which was far more productive than Peyton Hillis who settled for only 16 yards on his seven runs. Once the game was out of hand, they allowed Shaun Draughn to play but he's never supposed to be a factor. Charles looked fresh and ran hard. So much for career ending injuries anymore. Important too was that Hillis was not that effective as a runner but still had seven runs.

The Bills came in and just throttled the Chiefs last year but the tables are turned. Now the Bills have lost important players and are using an offensive scheme described as "the most predictable" in the NFL. The Chiefs just got every one back from injury and will make some amends on last year when the season was lost before it even started.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 10 1 32 8 22 30
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 28 15 29 9 25 32

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Alex Smith, KC @ATL 10000028020 ***
This is the eighth most exploitable fantasy defense for quarterbacks when using data from the past five weeks. Signal callers have scored 2.5 passing TDs per game, while the Falcons have one pick in the last four games and lost its best defensive back in Desmond Trufant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Spencer Ware, KC @ATL 6003200000 ***
Ware hasn't scored a rushing TD since Week 6, and he has seen a remarkably consistent workload since returning from a concussion. Unfortunately, it has not translated to fantasy points. The Falcons present one of the best matchups over the last five weeks' data usage, but can you trust Ware?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC @ATL 005601000 ***
This should be a good outing for the explosive Hill, who faces fantasy's seventh best opportunity for points. The Falcons have allowed receivers to score every 10.8 catches, which is the fourth softest defense of the position.

Update: Hill could see fewer looks if Jeremy Maclin indeed starts (GTD).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, KC @ATL 004500000 **
Update: Maclin is a game-time decision after being limited all three days in practice. The matchup is good, but starting him is awfully risky.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Conley, KC @ATL 003300000 ***
Conley has a fine matchup, so maybe he is playable for brazen DFS gamers ... otherwise, no chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @ATL 0071001000 ***
Atlanta has not allowed many catches or yards in the last five weeks, but giving up two scores in the past four games helps suggest Kelce could be in for a strong showing.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @ATL 3322 ***
Data from the past five weeks says this is a neutral matchup that leans negative, but game flow will matter oh so much with a capable defense traveling to a high-flying offense.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE -----
2 KC ----- 11 MIA -----
3 @CLE ----- 12 @IND -----
4 NE ----- 13 JAC -----
5 @SF ----- 14 STL -----
6 @ARI ----- 15 SEA -----
7 TEN ----- 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Reggie Bush 90,1 5-40
RB LeSean McCoy 80,1 4-20
WR Percy Harvin 20 6-80,1
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Bad enough that the Bills were dismantled by division rivals of the Jets but losing two starters from the offense could be hard to compensate. Fred Jackson is believed to have injured his LCL but has to wait until the swelling subsides before an accurate MRI can be taken. He's out for at least one month, maybe more. David Nelson suffered a torn ACL and has been lost for the season.

T.J. Graham gets called up to take Nelson's place but he's an untested third round rookie who has more raw talent than refined skills. Graham was able to climb the depth chart in training camp. He's worth a watch just in case he catches fire and exceeds expectations.

C.J. Spiller once again waits until Jackson is out of the picture and then suddenly he looks like the second coming of O.J. Simpson. Spiller led the league with 169 rushing yards on 14 carries with one score and added two catches as well. He's undeniably fast and dangerous and for whatever reason needs Jackson out to show it. Tashard Choice moves up to be the primary backup but for now, the offense becomes the Spiller Show.

Steve Johnson (4-55) and Donald Brown (5-41) both scored against the Jets but the stats were all pedestrian last week outside of Spiller. Johnson scored once in the 2011 meeting while both he and David Nelson ended with four receptions for 66 yards.

Seemingly on cue from last year, Scott Chandler opens the year with a touchdown. Now we have to see if he disappears the rest of the year again. Chances are good.

The Bills at home won't be a push over but also should allow those better weapons of the Chiefs to be the difference in the game. A loss here and the Bills are already looking up hill this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 16 6 14 13 30 27
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 32 3 28 26 30 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF @OAK 40000021011 ***
The Raiders have allowed the 17th most fantasy points, on average, coming off the 11th best overall matchup rating. Passers have thrown a TD every 10.6 completions while racking up only 238.6 yards per appearance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF @OAK 11012200000 ***
McCoy has scored thrice in his last three outings, and clearly even thumb surgery cannot contain him. The Raiders have given up touchdowns at the sixth highest rate to running backs on the ground and fifth with receiving scores included. The matchup is the eighth most favorable for the position since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Justin Hunter, BUF @OAK 002201000 ***
Hunter's role is too limited to chance it in fantasy, even against an Oakland team that has given up WR touchdowns at the ninth most efficient rate.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @OAK 005600000 ***
Watkins returned to play 45 percent of the snaps last week and caught three balls for 80 yards. This is a midrange matchup, but Oakland has allowed the seventh most points per catch by receivers. Look for Watkins to once again be worked in slowly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF @OAK 003400000 ***
Goodwin is a home run waiting to happen ... don't hold your breath, as projecting his success is a shot in the dark. The Raiders at least present a favorable matchup, but Goodwin is best left for DFS.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF @OAK 004300000 ***
Even when he has faced exploitable matchups, Clay has not been able to get the job done for most of the season. Injuries have taken a major toll on his ability this year. Oakland is a midrange opponent.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @OAK 2222 ***
The Raiders have allowed a mere five field goals and nine extra point tries (seven made) over the past five weeks, making this the sixth toughest matchup for kickers in Week 13.

WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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