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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
RB Jamaal Charles 50 4-30
WR Donnie Avery 3-40
WR Dwayne Bowe 5-100,1
TE Anthony Fasano 3-20,1
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 2 XP

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 @SD 0000010010 *
The Chiefs are locked in as the fifth seed in the AFC, so Smith may not stick around for 38 passes to match the 294 & 3 he put up against San Diego last month. Plan accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knile Davis, KC @SD 6001100000 ***
Davis' only extended action came in Week 15, when he saw nine carries for 34 yards and a score against Oakland. He has the upside of Jamaal Charles Light numbers, but the Bolts are no pushover and for the moment still have something to play for.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC @SD 00000000 *
Charles needed just 14 carries to rumble for 115 yards and two scores in the earlier meeting with San Diego; it's unlikely he'll get even that light workload in Week 17.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Junior Hemingway, KC @SD 004301000 *
Maybe Hemingway gets some more looks as the Chiefs rest their regulars. Maybe he faces a disinterested Chargers defense depending on what happens with the early games. Maybe you have better fantasy options at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donnie Avery, KC @SD 004500000 **
Avery was KC's top receiver the last time they faced San Diego. With the Chargers still angling for a playoff spot and KC set at the 5 spot, regulars like Avery and quarterback Alex Smith might see more pine time than playing time; plan your fantasy rosters accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC @SD 00000000 *
Only three teams have given up more fantasy points to wide receivers than the Chargers, but last time all that meant for Bowe was 51 yards and a score. With his playing time potentially limited this week, that's the upside; your fantasy team can do better. UPDATE: Bowe won't play this week due to lingering effects of a concussion.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Anthony Fasano, KC @SD 003200000 **
Fasano scored in the earlier matchup with San Diego, and he returned to action last week after a couple games off due to injury. But with the status of Chiefs starters in question due to their already-decided playoff fate, he's at best a risky fantasy play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, KC @SD 1111 *
Succop hasn't had a double-digit effort since before the Chiefs' Week 10 bye, and with nothing on the line in San Diego he's a risky bet to help your fantasy team get its kicks.

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
RB Pierre Thomas 80
WR Marques Colston 4-60
WR Robert Meachem 2-20
TE Jimmy Graham 6-80,1
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 3 XP

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 TB 0000029030 ****
Ah, home sweet dome. It's been almost three full seasons since the last time Brees didn't throw for either 300-plus yards or multiple touchdowns at home. In fact, he has multiple TDs in 23 of his last 24 at home and 300-plus yards in nine straight and 18 of 24 at home. With the Saints needing a win to make the postseason, expect Brees to be firing on all cylinders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Pierre Thomas, NO TB 4004300000 ***
The Saints haven't scored a running back touchdown in five games, with Thomas and Mark Ingram taking turns being the primary ball-carrier. Expect a little more than the 75 yards three New Orleans backs combined for in the earlier meeting between these teams, but it will be so fractured that a legit fantasy helper is unlikely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO TB 300000000 ***
The Saints haven't scored a running back touchdown in five games, with Ingram and Pierre Thomas taking turns being the primary ball-carrier. Expect a little more than the 75 yards three New Orleans backs combined for in the earlier meeting between these teams, but it will be so fractured that a legit fantasy helper is unlikely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO TB 004500000 ***
Colston paced Saints receivers in the earlier meeting, but that was pre-Darrelle Revis. This time around Colston might find the going tougher against a healthy Revis, but he's been an inconsistent fantasy play anyway. Weigh the home uptick the Saints' offense gets with the possibility of Revis blanking Colston and he's pretty much right back where he started--a good play but hardly a sure thing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO TB 002400000 ***
Stills is the last non-Colston Saints wideout to score... and that was back in Week 10. This passing game runs through the tight end, with an assist from the running backs; even at home, where the Saints' numbers tend to climb, Stills is too far down the pecking order to be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO TB 0091102000 ***
The last time Graham saw the Bucs he went for 10-179-1--and that was on the road. If you only count his home games, Graham would still rank third among tight ends with nine touchdowns. So, yeah, he's a good play... again.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO TB 2233 ***
Graham tallied seven points in his Saints debut, more than half his team's points. Should be a significantly easier row to hoe this week--not to mention a home date in the SuperDome--so expect Graham to have ample opportunity to get his kicks this week.

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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