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 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.

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

QB Alex Smith, KC @CIN 0000023022 ***
It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for Smith to dink and dunk his way to a couple touchdowns, like every quarterback the Bengals have faced before him. After all, the Chiefs aren't going to run on Cincy so there will be plenty of passing work for Jamaal Charles. But don't expect gaudy yardage; take your two TDs (maybe) and be happy.
RB Jamaal Charles, KC @CIN 7005301000 ***
Cincy has given up the second-most RB receptions, fourth-most RB receiving yards, and most RB receiving touchdowns. So even if Charles can't get going on the ground, he'll find a way to make his appointed fantasy rounds.
WR Jeremy Maclin, KC @CIN 005600000 ***
Does Jeremy Maclin have a Steve Smith in him? Probably not, but his lion's share of the KC downfield passing game should still net him enough to be a fantasy helper.
TE Travis Kelce, KC @CIN 006901000 ***
After giving up 103 yards to Ravens tight ends last week, the Bengals likely don't have an answer for a legit (and heavily targeted) talent like Kelce.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @CIN 2222 ***
The Bengals don't give up many field goals, which is okay because Santos doesn't kick many. Of course, that's bad news if you're looking to Cairo for fantasy help.

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 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.

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

QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF NYG 40100030010 ***
Taylor takes on a Giants defense that's allowed three straight 300-yard passers. He's posted back-to-back games with three TD tosses, so between the yardage and the scores--and his bonus rushing stats--he's a solid fantasy play this week.
RB Karlos Williams, BUF NYG 10013200000 ***
With Shady McCoy a likely no-go, Williams should expand on his 6-12 carries. Hey, he turned a dozen into 110 yards last week and has a touchdown in every game this year, so a regular workload only amplifies what he can do for your fantasy squad.
WR Robert Woods, BUF NYG 005601000 **
Woods should see a few more looks with Sammy Watkins on the sidelines, maybe even enough to make him a fringe fantasy option.
WR Percy Harvin, BUF NYG 1005500000 ***
Harvin stepped up with 7-66 last week as Sammy Watkins was hampered and looks to be the lead receiver with Watkins slated to sit out this week. He's balling as well and as consistently as he has since his days in Minnesota, and a star turn should yield helpful fantasy numbers.
WR Chris Hogan, BUF NYG 004500000 ***
Hogan slides into Sammy Watkins' spot in the Buffalo receiver rotation. Since a talent like Sammy provides inconsistent results, don't expect much from Hogan in his absence.
TE Charles Clay, BUF NYG 006701000 ****
Clay has scored in two straight, seen an increasing amount of targets, and faces a Giants defense that's given up 241 yards and three TDs to the position already this year. Yahtzee!
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF NYG 1144 ***
Buffalo's offense has almost been too good, at least from a kicker's perspective in that Carpenter is piling up PATs instead of field goals. Nice problem to have.

* 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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