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 0000027031 ***
Rivers gouged the Broncos for 252 and 3 in the earlier meeting, but he's been banged up and shut down for most of the past month, with only a blow-up game in Baltimore to show for his fantasy resume. Expect Rivers to have to go to the air once again, with solid fantasy numbers in the offing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Branden Oliver, SD DEN 3003300000 ***
Update: With Ryan Mathews dinged this could be a committee approach. It's not a favorable enough matchup that a share of touches for Oliver will be a fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Donald Brown, SD DEN 3001100000 ***
Update: Maybe Brown gets some play in PPR leagues if Ryan Mathews doesn't go, but that's a pretty thin thread to be grasping at in your fantasy playoffs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keenan Allen, SD DEN 007901000 ***
Allen carried the torch for San Diego's wideouts in their earlier matchup with the Broncos, turning 13 targets into 9-73-1 While it's been proven he can be taken away by a shutdown corner, such individuals are few and far between in this league so he remains a solid fantasy play for this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD DEN 004600000 ***
Floyd was solid not spectacular in the earlier meeting with the Broncos, but there is upside considering the likes of Sammy Watkins and Kenny Britt--home run threats in a vein similar to Floyd--have had success against Denver.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD DEN 003400000 ***
With Philip Rivers likely shooting it out with Peyton Manning this week, enough passing game stats might be produced to return Royal to fantasy relevancy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD DEN 004501000 ***
Gates scored twice in the earlier meeting with Denver, and another strong showing wouldn't surprise against a Broncos D that's allowed three TE TDs and three games of 60-plus yards to opposing tight ends.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD DEN 1133 ***
Novak mustered all of three points when he visited Denver in Week 8. He could see a mild uptick here, as the Broncos' only two games of double-digit kicker points allowed have come on the road, but that upgrade barely gets him onto the fantasy radar this week.

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 OAK 0000020010 ***
Smith's 234 and 2 in the earlier loss to Oakland was his best fantasy outing since the first month of the season. If that's the top end, might as well swing for the fantasy fences elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC OAK 12022100000 ***
If Charles gets in some practice time this week he's his usual must-play. He tallied 122 yards from scrimmage and scored in the earlier meeting, giving him eight TDs and 465 combo yards in his last three against Oakland.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC OAK 004500000 ***
The Chiefs haven't scored a WR TD all year; the Raiders haven't allowed one in a month. Looks like Bowe is bench fodder again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jason Avant, KC OAK 004500000 ***
Avant outgunned Dwayne Bowe last week, which isn't necessarily saying much. No reason to look for any fantasy help among KC's wideouts anyway.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC OAK 004701000 **
The Raiders have given up four TE TDs in the past five games and served up 67 yards to Kelce in the earlier meeting. Kelce is coming off a 7-110 showing in Arizona and is easily the best fantasy play in KC's passing game.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC OAK 1133 ***
Santos hasn't seen double digits since Week 8 and has just one multiple field goal effort in the past six games, but his peak effort during that span was eight points in Oakland. Don't go overboard, as he's topped out at 11 this year, but there's a chance he's fantasy relevant this week.

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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