Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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* 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
  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 Jason Avant 2-20
WR Dwayne Bowe 3-40,1

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.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 10 1 32 8 22 30
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 28 15 29 9 25 32

QB Chase Daniel, KC SD 0000018011 *
Update: Daniel will get the start in a must-win game due to Alex Smith's lacerated spleen. There's very little to like here from a fantasy perspective.
RB Jamaal Charles, KC SD 11023200000 ***
Charles has triple-digit combo yardage and at least one touchdown in five of his last seven meetings with the Chargers, including the one earlier this season. However, Charles hasn't carried the ball more than a dozen times since Week 12 so you run the risk of Andy Reid criminally underusing Charles yet again. However, Charles' high ceiling makes the risk worthwhile.
Update: Charles practiced on a limited basis all week and is listed as questionable, but with the Chiefs down to their second-string quarterback they'll need to lean even more heavily on Charles... assuming he can hold up to the workload.
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC SD 004600000 **
Bowe scored each of the last two times the Chargers came to town, but it's been more than a year since a Chiefs' wideout found the end zone and there's little evidence Bowe will suddenly stumble upon it this week.
Update: Bowe missed a couple practices due to injury, plus he'll now be catching balls from Chase Daniels. As if his fantasy prospects could get any dimmer.
WR Albert Wilson, KC SD 004500000 ***
Wilson has emerged to take his spin as the Chiefs' WR2, which is the fantasy equivalent of being the vice-president of Hair Club for Men. Only it probably has more benefits.
TE Travis Kelce, KC SD 004501000 **
The Chargers have given up just three TE TDs on the year, so they're far from an easy mark. Kelce racked up 33 yards in the earlier meeting with San Diego, which isn't all that impressive. And he's still sharing looks with Anthony Fasano, completing the hat trick of frustration that conspire to leave Kelce out of your fantasy lineup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC SD 1133 ***
Santos' two most productive games were a dozen last week and 11 the last time he faced the Chargers. With the Chiefs still playing for something, he's as good a bet as any for a solid kicker outing.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  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 C.J. Spiller 80 6-40,1
TE Scott Chandler 4-40
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.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 16 6 14 13 30 27
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 32 3 28 26 30 21

QB Kyle Orton, BUF @NE 0000025021 **
Orto threw for 299 and 2 in the earlier meeting with New England, but he'd been in a bit of a slump until last week's 329 and 3 in Oakland. He'll catch the Patriots with nothing to play for, but he's still a bit of a risky fantasy play.
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 2007500000 ***
Jackson has scored in three of his last four against the Patriots, and four of his last six--including a rushing TD in the earlier meeting with New England. The risk is that the Bills know what they have in Jackson so they may give CJ Spiller some extra looks--but that's just one of the many risks you run with a Week 17 title game.
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3003200000 ***
Spiller returned to four carries for negative four yards last week in Oakland, along with four catches for 14 yards. But he actually has a decent track record in New England, topping 100 combo yards on each of his last three visits and scoring in two of his last four trips to Gillette Stadium. If the Bills opt to give him an audition to keep his job, he has a decent shot of carving out some fantasy value.
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 007701000 **
With Darrelle Revis all over Sammy Watkins, Woods paced the Bills in the earlier matchup with 7-78-1. Woods also scored last week, and they're likely to be playing catchup so another solid fantasy outing wouldn't surprise.
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @NE 004500000 ***
Hogan has the distinct advantage of not drawing Darrelle Revis. He scored in the earlier matchup and is a viable option if New England's varsity corners stick around long enough to blanket Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @NE 003300000 **
Watkins was shut down by Darrelle Revis in the earlier meeting, but with New England having locked up home field advantage Revis may make an early exit. You wanna hang your fantasy hat on that, go ahead.
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004401000 ***
Chandler had his best game of the season, 105 yards, in the earlier meeting with New England. He scored last week and, given the strength of the Patriots' corners, is a viable alternative for Kyle Orton--and thus a fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 1122 ***
New England has allowed multiple field goals in five of their last six; Carpenter has kicked multiple field goals in five of his last seven. Expect an uptick over his two point performance against the Patriots earlier this season--maybe even a big one if Bill Belichick starts playing the JV sooner rather than later.

* 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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