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

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 NE 30000022011 ***
Tannehill, Cassel, Carr... Smith may be the best quarterback the Patriots have seen thus far. Minimal fantasy upside, but upside nonetheless.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC NE 9013200000 ***
Charles has done nothing thus far to live up to his first-round status, and there's no guarantee he's fully healthy here. Moreover, after being gutted by the Dolphins in Week 1 the Patriots have been much better against the run. And, of course, Knile Davis lurks. Leap of faith to bank on big numbers from Charles here, but his upside demands you at least plug him into the lineup.
Update: Charles practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, but who knows what share of the backfield workload he'll return to if he returns on Monday night. The MNF aspect makes him an even trickier fantasy play this week unless you're also holding Knile Davis.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knile Davis, KC NE 300000000 ***
Update: Jamaal Charles has practiced on a limited basis thus far this week, but his status for Monday night remains unclear. Hopefully if you have Charles you also have Davis and can plug in the appropriate one based on pregame news Monday night.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donnie Avery, KC NE 005600000 ***
Avery put up big numbers without Dwayne Bowe around; since then he hasn't made it out of the teens. No reason to think this matchup changes anything for him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC NE 003400000 ***
Only one Chiefs WR has topped 40 yards this year; only one WR has topped 56 yards against the Pats. If you have to back a KC wideout Bowe's your guy, but... you don't have to, you know.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC NE 004501000 ***
Kelce is more of a WR2 than anything on the KC roster; heck, if he weren't sharing looks with Anthony Fasano he'd be more of a WR1 than Dwayne Bowe. He's been a solid contributor with upside; nothing wrong with that at the tight end spot, especially in a six-team bye week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC NE 2122 ***
Unless your league has a Brazilian multiplier, Santos' weekly four or five points won't help your fantasy squad.

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 @DAL 0000032040 ***
Brees has been merely okay by Brees standards, but facing a defense that just gave up a hat trick to Austin Davis you have to think he can ratchet that up a notch on Sunday night.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Khiry Robinson, NO @DAL 500000000 ***
Teams really haven't tried to run against the Cowboys--no back has more than 16 attempts or 67 yards--and with Robinson sharing the workload with Pierre Thomas you can't bank on him for much more than the usual fringe fantasy contribution.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Pierre Thomas, NO @DAL 3003200000 ***
The plus side to Thomas is his contributions in the passing game; doesn't hurt that he also swiped a goal line score from Khiry Robinson last week. It's a good matchup but not so good as to elevate Thomas from his usual place amongst the fringe fantasy contributors.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NO @DAL 007801000 ***
Cooks has been the Saints' most targeted wideout in all three games this season, so he's the most likely of this unit to post helpful fantasy numbers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO @DAL 002301000 ***
Stills remains a peripheral contributor to this offense. It's a somewhat favorable matchup, maybe even enough to make Stills a viable fantasy option with six teams on the bye.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO @DAL 004600000 ****
New Orleans' passing game hasn't been as explosive as usual, so numbers for the wideouts have been somewhat subdued. If you usually start Colston there's no reason not to do so here, but don't go out of your way to do so.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO @DAL 00101202000 ****
The Cowboys have been an extremely favorable matchup for opposing tight ends--and now they face the best in the business. Should be a banner evening for Graham.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO @DAL 2244 ***
Diminished returns for Graham, and the Cowboys haven't served up a ton of opportunities for opposing kickers. That said, there should be plenty of points scored here so assuming Graham isn't shanking PATs he should be a fantasy helper.

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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