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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

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 @NYG 10000032030 ***
Smith comes back from his bye week to face fantasy's best matchup for quarterbacks. New York is the worst team at defending in yardage, points per play, yards per completion, and fantasy points surrendered per contest. The Giants have permitted a touchdown pass every 9.1 completions, which ranks tied fourth.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kareem Hunt, KC @NYG 8004400000 ***
This is largely a moderate matchup on the ground and through the air. The Giants have not given up a receiving score on the last 20 grabs, but this is the ninth-best matchup for rushing TD frequency. This is the 10th-best matchup for overall yardage production on a weekly basis.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC @NYG 0051001000 ***
Following a week off to recover from some bumps and bruises, Hill gets to face the second-best matchup of Week 11. The Giants have given up six TDs to WRs in the last four games, and only Houston has provided more yardage on a weekly basis.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demarcus Robinson, KC @NYG 003500000 ***
Robinson has seen an uptick in playing time since Chris Conley went down. Wideouts have averaged 13.8 receptions for 215.3 yards and a TD ever 9.2 catches, or 1.5 per game, since Week 5. The Chiefs are coming back from a bye week and could give Robinson a few chances to make a big play. Starting him isn't exactly the safest move one can make, but it could pay off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @NYG 0071002000 ***
The Giants have given up a touchdown every game this year to the position. KC comes back from his bye week and takes on a team allowing a TD every four catches by tight ends. This is the second-best matchup in both scoring formats.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Harrison Butker, KC @NYG 3333 ***
All but two of the 22 kicks (both field goals) have made their final destination against the Giants. Despite missing two field goals, 1.5 per game have made it through the pipes. This is a top-12 matchup.

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 LeSean McCoy 80,1 4-20
PK Stephen Hauschka 2 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 Nathan Peterman, BUF @LAC 0000017011 *
Peterman was named the starter Wednesday and will get his crack at leading the 5-4 Bills into a playoff situation. The rookie is a more polished passer than Tyrod Taylor, but he is more of a conventional thrower and not as athletic. The Chargers have surrendered 246 per game, but this is the second-hardest team to face when it comes to throwing TD passes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF @LAC 6004300000 **
Shady has to shoulder the load with a rookie making his first start under center. The Bills' move to Nathan Peterman is mildly curious, but he is a better natural passer than Tyrod Taylor and is more suited for the offense. No team has given up more receptions and receiving yards per contests to RBs than the Chargers, though this is a stout group against the run. Only one of the past 88 carries has scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Deonte Thompson, BUF @LAC 001101000 *
Thompson could see more work if Zay Jones cannot play. He's a fringe consideration in the deepest of leagues, but starting him is a huge risk, particularly with rookie QB Nathan Peterman now starting. Los Angeles ranks in the bottom four for TDs allowed and is the sixth-hardest enemy for yardage.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, BUF @LAC 003300000 *
KB showed a little life in Week 10, his first start with the Bills. Now he has to get used to rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman after Buffalo, in a surprising move, benched Tyrod Taylor midweek. The Chargers have given up a lot of catches -- 13 per game -- but only 119.5 yards, or the sixth-fewest. Just two of the last 52 catches since Week 5 have found paydirt, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Zay Jones, BUF @LAC 003300000 *
Jones' status is unclear for Week 11. Check back Friday for an update.

Update: Jones was a full-go all week and has been removed from the injury report. Playing him is ill-advised with a tougher matchup and rookie quarterback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, BUF @LAC 002200000 *
Counting on Matthews this week is asking a bit much, especially with a rookie quarterback making his debut. The consistency and overall production hasn't been there. LA has given up on two scores in the past 52 catches against.

Update: Matthews is questionable after being limited all week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, BUF @LAC 003300000 *
Clay has faced back-to-back tough matchups since returning from his knee injury. The swap to rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman could be a catalyst to get him on track. The Chargers will have plenty to say about it as a defense that has given up one TE score since Week 5.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Hauschka, BUF @LAC 3311 ***
This portrays as a midrange matchup with some upside for Hauschka based on data over the past five weeks. Kickers have averaged a moderate 7.7 out of a possible 10.33 fantasy points per contest against the Bolts.

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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