FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: SD 20, KC 23 (Line: SD by 1)

Players to Watch: Jamaal Charles

Players Updated: Peyton Hillis, Dwayne Bowe, Nate Kaeding

The Chargers lost 20-23 in Kansas City last year. Both meetings were three point wins by the home team in games full of field goals. While the Bolts won seven of the last nine meetings, they lost the last two played in Kansas City. These divisional rivals almost always have lower scoring, very close match-ups.

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @OAK 22-14 10 @TB -----
2 TEN 38-10 11 @DEN -----
3 ATL 3-27 12 BAL -----
4 @KC ----- 13 CIN -----
5 @NO ----- 14 @PIT -----
6 DEN ----- 15 CAR -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @NYJ -----
8 @CLE ----- 17 OAK -----
9 KC ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD @ KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 240,2
RB Ryan Mathews 60 6-50,1
RB Danny Woodhead 20 2-20
WR Malcom Floyd 5-80,1
TE Antonio Gates 4-60
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Chargers come off their first loss of the year thanks to the visiting Falcons showing up with a much better defense than the Raiders or Titans. That resulted in a bad game by Rivers with only 173 passing yards and no scores. The offense is not passing well and sorely misses having a younger, healthier version of Antonio Gates and anyone who can remotely replace Vincent Jackson. Take away three touchdowns to Dante Rosario against the TItans and Rivers has really struggled to do much. On the road this week may not be any improvement.

Antonio Gates returned last week but only came up with three catches for 22 yards on seven targets but claims his ribs are not an issue. This offense still has no real passing outlets other than Malcom Floyd being miscast as a #1 receiver thanks to Robert Meachem being such a flop. If the rumors were true that Wes Welker is on the trading block, this is where he should go. The Chargers passing game has never looked this bad.

Ryan Mathews returned from his broken clavicle and ran for 44 yards on ten carries but was limited solely because the Falcons were so far ahead that rushing was not in the plans. Notable here was that Ronnie Brown was inactive this week and thus may have played his last down for his last NFL team. Jackie Battle had three runs and Curtis Brinkley took another. This will be Mathews gig from now on and he will not be spelled much. That should be more evident this week and again in New Orleans the following weekend.

This game will revolve around how well Mathews runs and if Floyd and Gates-lite is enough to win. Even against the Chiefs that may not be enough.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 26 9 30 12 11 29
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 29 22 19 18 19 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Philip Rivers, SD @DEN 0000025021 ****
Shooting it out with Peyton Manning hasn't proven to be lucrative, and it's been quite some time since Rivers had a monster game against the Broncos. That said, Rivers has multiple touchdowns in six straight and has played himself into every-week starter status regardless of opponent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Branden Oliver, SD @DEN 6014300000 ***
Oliver came back to Earth a bit last week with 78 combo yards and no touchdown. The Broncos aren't a particularly favorable matchup, so if you've been riding Oliver's hot streak be prepared for some more disappointment this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD @DEN 004501000 **
Much like last year, Royal flashed and is now fading. He has no track record to speak of against his former squad, and his catches have declined three straight weeks. Don't bank on him being a fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD @DEN 004500000 ***
Floyd's the slow and steady winning the race; that he's had at least 50 yards in each of his last four against the Broncos underscores that philosophy. Philip Rivers isn't afraid to throw at him, and good things can happen when you're getting targeted.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keenan Allen, SD @DEN 004400000 ****
Allen scored twice on two catches the last time these teams got together. That two matches the number of WR TDs the Broncos allowed last week, but it's infinitely more than the zero Allen has scored thus far in his sophomore slump of a season. We'll call the shot: he gets one here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD @DEN 006601000 ****
Gates has spaced out his big games against the Broncos--like, 2012 and 2007 spaced out. Denver has had a soft spot for tight ends this year so don't dismiss Gates altogether, but history isn't on his side.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD @DEN 1133 ***
Novak's a solid, consistent option but don't set expectations too high: you don't keep up with Peyton Manning by kicking field goals, and Novak has multiple treys in just one of his last three outings.

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 27-24 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 vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 230,2
RB Jamaal Charles 80 6-50
WR Dwayne Bowe 5-70,1
TE Anthony Fasano 4-40

Pregame Notes: The road trip to New Orleans was more than just good food and a 32 oz. Hurricane with a Krazy Straw. It was a win. The Chiefs were not very competitive against the Falcons or Bills but the lack of any defense by the Saints was just what the Chiefs needed. Matt Cassel faced what should have been a tasty match-up but only threw for 248 yards and no score because that was all he needed to do.

Peyton Hillis sprained his ankle in the game and was wearing a walking boot early in the week. That meant Charles was given an incredible 33 carries to gain 233 yards and one score with 55 more yards as a receiver. It was vintage Charles who admitted he had been thinking about his knee in previous weeks but just let it go.

Charles ran 91 yards untouched on his touchdown so if he has lost a step, it was one he can still live without. Charles monster game came after he only gained three yards on six runs in Buffalo and that's a pretty significant swing. Especially for several Charles owners who actually benched him last week. Long as Hillis is laid up, Charles should have a big role though probably not 33 more carries any time soon. Shaun Draughn fills in for Hillis but doesn't offer enough for fantasy merit.

The passing game still ignores the tight ends and Kevin Boss has been out with a concussion anyway. Tony Moeaki is only good for one or two small catches each week.

Dwayne Bowe still rang up seven catches for 79 yards versus the Saints while no other receiver had more than 36 yards. But he is getting no help from the other wideouts with Doug Baldwin stuck at three catches per week and Steve Breaston does well enough to catch even one. Dexter McCluster injured his elbow in the Saints win and may be an injury risk. He has yet to offer any significant production since opening the season with 82 yards against Atlanta.

The Chargers have been very good against the run and even on the road should impact Charles as a runner. But they have allowed a passing score every week and been especially good against wide receivers. That makes this a lower scoring game that probably turns on mistakes and turnovers more than big plays.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 17 1 27 25 5 28
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 15 21 7 27 2 12

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Alex Smith, KC STL 0000019020 ***
The Rams have served up multiple passing TDs in four straight and five of six, as well as back-to-back 300-yard outings to a pair of quarterbacks known more for their running than their throwing. The last time Smith got home cooking he lit up the Patriots for three TDs; have to like his chances of something similar this time around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC STL 9013201000 ****
On the one hand, a Rams D that's allowed only one RB TD all season. On the other, Charles as the focal point of the Kansas City offense. Expect Andy Reid to find ways of getting the ball into Charles' hands--and Charles to find ways of getting the ball into the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knile Davis, KC STL 400000000 ***
Davis' 11 touches last week suggest he'll be getting a larger share of the workload than previously anticipated; however, the 31 yards those 11 touches produced suggest he still won't be much of a fantasy factor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC STL 005801000 **
Opposing WR1s have scored in four straight against the Rams, and Bowe is what passes for a WR1 in Kansas City.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Jenkins, KC STL 002400000 ***
Usually there's no need in identifying a WR2 for the Chiefs as their passing game production barely fills the WR1 cup let alone secondary targets. However, the Rams have allowed 10 different receivers to score and/or top 50 yards in just the past four games, so there should be enough for another fantasy helper here. That said, good luck finding one amongst this mötley crüe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC STL 004300000 ****
The Rams haven't given up much to tight ends this year, though Cooper Helfet got them for a TD last week. Kelce has scored in three of the past four games, so if Helfet opened a door Kelce should be able to push his way through into fantasy relevancy once again.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC STL 1133 ***
Last week's hero now has double-digit efforts in two of the past three games and could be viewed as a fringe fantasy helper here.

WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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