FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

Prediction: KC 20, NO 34 (Line: NO by 9)

Player Update: Marques Colston

Apparently they need coaches and they really, really need a better defense. Giving up 75 points in two weeks is hard for anyone to keep up with but it makes for wonderful fantasy stats. The Chiefs are also 0-2 but on the road is no place to expect a turnaround since - and here is the phenomenal part - they too have allowed 75 points in two weeks. Thank you Schedule Gods for this game. By the time it is over who cares who wins? We'll need a calculator for the fantasy points.

Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ATL 24-40 10 @PIT -----
2 @BUF 17-35 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 @ NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 250,2

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs defense has been their downfall so far and that is unlikely to change soon with a stretch of games that is looking harder each week. The Chiefs may well be 0-6 at their bye week before a chance to beat the Raiders can remove their goose egg from the standings.

Matt Cassel has been decent enough playing from behind each week and scoring twice while tossing at least 250 yards worth of passes. He's a bit of a turnover machine though with three interceptions and two lost fumbles and he has already been sacked eight times. This may be the one week to start the Saints defense.

Jamal Charles has been bothered by soreness in his surgically repaired knee and apparently did not get the memo from Adrian Peterson about acting like nothing happened. Charles was yanked last week after only three yards on six carries and is no lock to play in this game. Peyton Hillis gets the benefit of Charles not being 100% which is why they brought him in. But Hillis only gained 66 yards on 11 runs because the Chiefs cannot afford to just run the ball when they fall quickly and significantly behind each week.

Dexter McCluster would intuitively matter more with Charles out but last week he only totaled 32 yards on four catches after posting six receptions for 82 yards versus the Falcons. This week will be interesting to see how they use him and how often. He offers a different element to the offense that needs all the weapons it can find. Jonathan Baldwin returned last week and ended with three catches for 62 yards while Dwayne Bowe had one of his big games with 102 yards and two scores on eight catches. The Chiefs are giving up points like they were beads at Mardi Gras when the parade float from Hooters passes by. This means Dwayne Bowe should have many more big games if only in the fourth quarter just like last week when he scored both touchdowns.

Look, sadly at some point the Chiefs will find a defense and games will become "normal." But we can only hope it takes all season because this is fantasy nirvana for both the KC passing game and everyone who gets to play the Chiefs.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 6 4 25 19 25 32
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 32 27 26 2 28 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Alex Smith, KC BUF 0000026010 ***
It's not that Buffalo is necessarily a great defense against quarterbacks as much as its run defense is so miserable that quarterbacks don't have to throw all too much. Last week, Philip Rivers demonstrated just how poor the aerial D can play. Smith is still a risky start based on the entire recoiling of the offense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kareem Hunt, KC BUF 11014300000 ***
If this isn't the game in which Hunt gets on track, he may not again in 2017. The Bills have given up two rushing scores per game, plus one through the air on 30 catches. The matchup is No. 1 in rushing and receiving TD frequency, as well as fantasy points in both scoring formats. It's second in offensive yards per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC BUF 004500000 **
The vertical passing game of the Chiefs has fallen flat in recent games. This week, at least the upside is present, and Hill's athleticism makes him a threat. Buffalo has given up a lot of catches (8th most) per game, but the big plays haven't been there outside of last week's total meltdown. Tread cautiously.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Albert Wilson, KC BUF 004500000 *
Wilson's status is unclear at this time.

Update: Wilson returned to practice on a full-time basis Thursday and did the same in Friday's session. He has no fantasy value of note.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demarcus Robinson, KC BUF 002300000 ***
Regardless of a matchup or uptick in action, Robinson is not trustworthy enough for lineup inclusion in Week 12.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC BUF 0061001000 ***
Tight ends have averaged 5.2 catches (9th) for 60.2 yards (6th) a game vs. the Bills, with one in 13 scoring (18th).
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Harrison Butker, KC BUF 3333 ***
Largely powered by last week's thorough drubbing, this is easily the best matchup for extra points. Field goals against don't lag too far behind. The Bills represent the fifth-best matchup overall.

New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 WAS 32-40 10 ATL -----
2 @CAR 27-35 11 @OAK -----
3 KC ----- 12 SF -----
4 @GB ----- 13 @ATL -----
5 SD ----- 14 @NYG -----
6 BYE ----- 15 TB -----
7 @TB ----- 16 @DAL -----
8 @DEN ----- 17 CAR -----
9 PHI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 300,3
RB Mark Ingram 40,1
TE Coby Fleener 5-40,1

Pregame Notes: Unlike the Chiefs, it is not so much that the Saints offense has been bad, it is just that they cannot quite keep up with all the points that their defense hands out. When each game has 60+ total points, it is truly a thing of fantasy beauty and has no real end in sight.

The only downside to Drew Brees is that he has two interceptions in both games. Otherwise, he is still chunking 320+ yards per week and scoring two or three times. Granted he cannot quite keep up with the opponent so far but having a bad defense means good things at least for his fantasy prospects.

The rushing effort is very productive and yet cut up into three parts to water down what could be. Darren Sproles does not even bother with rushing attempts any more. He has 18 catches on the season and not one carry. Mark Ingram has 22 runs for 68 yards and a score and not one reception. Pierre Thomas varies wildly from 29 total yards to 143 yards and that was in consecutive weeks. Bottom line here - Sproles is a receiver, Ingram is just a runner and flip a coin to see what Thomas might be this week.

Jimmy Graham still has a stranglehold on being the primary receiver with 23 passes that became 13 catches. He has no less than 71 yards each week and so far scores in every game just like you assumed when you drafted him way too early.

The wideouts remain spotty. Last week they did little and none had more than 49 yards and no score. But in week one at home, Marques Colston had a touchdown as did Lance Moore who had 120 yards on six catches. But they have not been consistent and with that risk in relying on them.

That all said - this is the week to start your Saints. With the Chiefs showing up, it should be a nice free-for-all in scoring that hopefully does not end up with the running back committee where it is too split out to net a monster game for anyone.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 4 3 23 3 20 29
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 31 21 17 20 26 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Drew Brees, NO @LAR 0000024011 ***
Stats say this isn't going to be a big game for Brees. Brees himself may have something else to say, of course. On the road, he faces a Rams defense that has given up just 227.3 yards and a TD per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alvin Kamara, NO @LAR 6017600000 ***
Echoing the Mark Ingram profile, Kamara earns the battle of strong performance vs. tough matchup. The Rams have given a mere 115 offensive yards per game to RBs, with just one in 52.5 touches scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO @LAR 9012100000 ***
This is one of the tougher matchups for Ingram this year, but the Saints' rushing attack has been on a tear, so he wins the benefit of the doubt. Only one in 45 rushing attempts has went the distance, and this one is terrible for PPR stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Coleman, NO @LAR 002301000 **
Coleman, despite a profitable projection, isn't a conventional fantasy-worthy start. He is merely a dice roll in the deepest of DFS formats for a bargain buy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Thomas, NO @LAR 006700000 ***
Los Angeles has permitted receivers to average 12 catches a game, which ranks 12. Only every 16th grab has scored, and this is the 18th-best opponent for per-game yardage figures.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ted Ginn, NO @LAR 003300000 ***
Ginn rebounded a little last week after a quiet game the week before. LA has been reasonably sound vs. wideouts, and they were really good before last week's game with Minnesota. The position has scored three times in the past four games, or once every 16 catches (21st).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, NO @LAR 002200000 ***
We had a Fleener sighting a week ago. Don't get overly excited. Los Angeles has given up only one TE score in the last four games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Wil Lutz, NO @LAR 1133 ***
Wildly, only two of the last seven field goals have been true. Each of the half-dozen extra points were good, though. The inaccuracy makes this the second-worst matchup, though it could be the sixth-worst if each kick was perfect ... not exactly a huge improvement.

WEEK 3
2012
*NYG at CAR (THU) *DET at TEN *NE at BAL SF at MIN
*ATL at SD HOU at DEN *NYJ at MIA *STL at CHI
*BUF at CLE *JAC at IND *PHI at ARI TB at DAL
*Updated *CIN at WAS *KC at NO *PIT at OAK *GB at SEA (MON)

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