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 DEN 20000025010 ***
The Broncos shut out Smith the last time they played; in fact, Smith has barely registered on the fantasy radar this year. He could surprise and throw a 248 & 3 game at Denver like he did to the Patriots earlier this year... but probably not, so don't bank on it.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC DEN 9014400000 ***
Charles has just one TD in his last six meetings with the Broncos. You can't bench him here, as he's too big a part of the KC offense, but you have to lower your expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC DEN 005700000 ***
Since blowing up the Broncos for 13-186-2 in the first meeting of the 2010 series with Denver, Bowe has faced the Broncos six times without topping 100 yards--and with just one TD in those six contests. He's the only wideout on the Kansas City roster worthy of fantasy consideration, but this week--like most--he's at best a fringe option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC DEN 005601000 **
Kelce is getting the targets, but he's losing the occasional TD to Anthony Fasano. Still, after 4-81 in the front end of the season series, and with no real WR2 stepping up in KC, he's as good a bet as any to carve out some fantasy goodness from Alex Smith's meager stat line.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC DEN 2222 ***
Santos has been solid but not spectacular, and a battle with Peyton Manning isn't likely to turn into a kicking festival.

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 @PIT 0000030031 ***
The Steelers have allowed multiple TD tosses in five straight; Brees has multiple scores in nine of his last 10, so no reason to let his three-game losing streak lead you to believe he won't be a fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO @PIT 7002200000 ***
With Pierre Thomas back in the mix it was business as usual for the Saints' backfield--and that's a bad thing, as it means productivity spread too thin for any member to be a reliable fantasy option.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO @PIT 006901000 ***
Stills was Drew Brees' target of choice last week, and while it's still a bit of a cluster in New Orleans he appears to be the most reliable fantasy option--especially against a Pittsburgh defense that's given up some big fantasy games to speed guys.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO @PIT 005700000 ***
Colston scored last week and remains in the mix of New Orleans receivers, but we've learned by now he's more of a fringe option than someone to be banked on.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO @PIT 007802000 ***
Not that you'd deviate from Graham, but you really have to like his chances against a Steelers defense that's already served up eight TE TDs on the year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO @PIT 2133 ****
The only favorable trend working for Graham is that the Saints' offense is struggling, but even then they're going for it on fourth and close rather than kicking more field goals. He's not the sterling option you'd think tacking on points for this offense.

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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