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 Donnie Avery 4-60
WR Dwayne Bowe 3-40,1
TE Anthony Fasano 3-30

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 @OAK 0000018010 ***
Smith has one multiple touchdown affair in his past six outings. For fantasy purposes you can do significantly better than a game manager like him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC @OAK 9023200000 ***
The last time Charles saw these Raiders he scored five touchdowns; no reason to think he can't do significant fantasy damage once again, as this iteration of the Oakland defense is giving up 160-plus yards per game to opposing running backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC @OAK 004600000 ***
Bowe's high volume of targets suggest he'll be the Chiefs receiver that takes advantage of an Oakland D that's allowed at least one WR TD in six of the past seven games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Junior Hemingway, KC @OAK 002200000 ***
The Chiefs can barely fill the fantasy coffers of one receiver, and target volume says that receiver will be someone other than Hemingway.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @OAK 004401000 **
Kelce's seeing the targets, but aside from allowing a pair of scores to Julius Thomas the Raiders have been solid of late against tight ends.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @OAK 2233 ***
Few teams are more point- or kicker-friendly than the Raiders, but Santos isn't big on taking advantage. Between his propensity for single-field goal games and the Raiders being slightly stiffer defensively at home, best get your kicks elsewhere.

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 C.J. Spiller 80 6-40,1
WR Mike Williams 4-60
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.

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 Kyle Orton, BUF NYJ 0000028020 ***
Orton's fantasy effectiveness peaked three weeks ago with four TDs against the Jets; since then he's thrown just one scoring strike while the Jets secondary has actually been not horrible. Still, should be another opportunity to start Orton here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF NYJ 2003200000 ***
Maybe some upside in Brown as a pass-catcher, but the ground game is being split three ways, it's a tough matchup, and Fred Jackson will resume at least a portion of his old duties.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF NYJ 2004200000 ***
Not much to like about this matchup: a banged-up Jackson sharing carries with two other guys against a defense that limited Buffalo to 61 yards on 30 carries the last time they met.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF NYJ 200000000 **
Dixon has kind of been the workhorse with Fred Jackson out, but a) that hasn't amounted to much and b) Jackson should be back for this tilt. If Boobie couldn't give you fantasy help with 22 touches in the earlier meeting, tough to see him giving you much this time around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF NYJ 0061201000 ***
Watkins toasted the Jets for 157 and 1 in the earlier meeting, one of three receivers in the past five games to go off for at least 100 yards and a touchdown. He's been slowed a bit the past couple of weeks but should be healthy enough to approximate those numbers at home in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF NYJ 006701000 ***
Woods scored in the previous matchup with the Jets, but he's battling Chris Hogan for secondary looks and is no lock to do the same in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF NYJ 003400000 ***
It's been two months since Williams was fantasy-relevant; unless Sammy Watkins can't go he remains a bit player at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF NYJ 003200000 ***
Chandler scored one of two Buffalo TE TDs the last time they met the Jets, but he's just not targeted enough to bank on similar production--even with such a favorable matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF NYJ 3322 ***
Carpenter has kicked multiple treys in three straight, including a 13-point affair against the Jets a month ago. He seems to be on a roll, no reason to bet against him here.

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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