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 @OAK 0000018010 ***
Smith has one multiple touchdown affair in his past six outings. For fantasy purposes you can do significantly better than a game manager like him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC @OAK 9023200000 ***
The last time Charles saw these Raiders he scored five touchdowns; no reason to think he can't do significant fantasy damage once again, as this iteration of the Oakland defense is giving up 160-plus yards per game to opposing running backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC @OAK 004600000 ***
Bowe's high volume of targets suggest he'll be the Chiefs receiver that takes advantage of an Oakland D that's allowed at least one WR TD in six of the past seven games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Junior Hemingway, KC @OAK 002200000 ***
The Chiefs can barely fill the fantasy coffers of one receiver, and target volume says that receiver will be someone other than Hemingway.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @OAK 004401000 **
Kelce's seeing the targets, but aside from allowing a pair of scores to Julius Thomas the Raiders have been solid of late against tight ends.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @OAK 2233 ***
Few teams are more point- or kicker-friendly than the Raiders, but Santos isn't big on taking advantage. Between his propensity for single-field goal games and the Raiders being slightly stiffer defensively at home, best get your kicks elsewhere.

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 BAL 0000028021 ***
Until last week's egg against Cincy Brees was money at home. Write that off as an aberration, keep in mind that the Ravens are just a couple weeks removed from giving up a six-pack to Ben Roethlisberger, and start Brees with confidence.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO BAL 7015300000 ***
It's a relatively simple equation: give Ingram 90 percent of the carries--which is exactly what he's seen over the past month--and he'll produce helpful fantasy numbers. Those numbers won't be gaudy against a Ravens defense that's allowed only three RB rushing scores all year, just one in the past seven games, but there's still performance-league fantasy help to be had here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO BAL 004700000 ***
The Ravens have served up three 100-yard WR efforts in the past four games, and the Saints best bet to extend that run might be Stills. Give him his stats plus those of the injured Brandin Cooks and suddenly Kenny is more than just one of the better deep threats in the game--with plenty of fantasy value to boot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO BAL 004600000 ***
It's been a month since Colston's 111-yard effort against Detroit, as he's returned to his frustratingly pedestrian numbers. The absence of Brandin Cooks might float all the other boats in the Saints' receiving corps, so nudge Colston from fringe to decent fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO BAL 008902000 ***
The Ravens have allowed only two TE TDs all year, but this is Jimmy Graham we're talking about. He's an every-week starter and a matchup nightmare for most defenses, so there's always plenty of fantasy upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO BAL 1133 ****
The Ravens haven't allowed a double-digit kicker game since the season opener, and Graham has been mostly ordinary the past three games. On the bright side, he's at home and indoors, and the Saints offense still can light up a scoreboard from time to time.

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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