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 Dexter McCluster 2-20
RB Danny Woodhead 20 2-20
WR Stevie Johnson 4-60,1
TE Antonio Gates 4-60

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 TB 0000032031 ***
Rivers has a wonderful matchup, as Tampa has given up the ninth most fantasy points, on average, since Week 7. This defense has allowed two TD passes and 290.2 yards per outing. This, in part, translates to 25.9 fantasy points per contest.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Melvin Gordon, SD TB 7015400000 ***
Of the last 99 rushing attempts against the Bucs, zero have found the end zone. Gordon is due. The Matchup is negative for the most part, but Tampa Bay has allowed the 16th most offensive yards per game over the past five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD TB 007801000 ***
Inman stands to benefit the most from Travis Benjamin's knee injury and whatever may become of Tyrell Williams, as he is dealing with a shoulder injury of his own. Tampa Bay has allowed averages of 14 grabs (7th), 176 yards (8th) and a TD every 14 receptions (23rd) since Week 7.

Update: Williams (QUE, limited practice) is a game-time decision. Inman becomes a top target for Philip Rivers but also for the defense. He's a risky but worthy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyrell Williams, SD TB 004501000 *
Return Friday for a clearer picture of Williams' status. If he plays, there is some risk but a good deal of upside because of the matchup. Tampa Bay has allowed a touchdown per game to receivers over the last five weeks.

Update: Williams is questionable and was a limited participant Friday. Starting him is a huge risk in fantasy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Travis Benjamin, SD TB 003400000 ***
Still recovering from a PCL sprain, Benjamin won't be right for a few more weeks. Keep him on the bench in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD TB 004501000 ***
The Buccaneers have given up the seventh most yards and fantasy points per game to tight ends over the last five weeks. Gates disappeared last week, but this is a great matchup for him to contribute to gamers' lineups..
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Hunter Henry, SD TB 002300000 ***
It's a great matchup, but Henry isn't a sure thing in terms of involvement from a week-to-week basis. Play him if you must or disagree, as Tampa has given up the seventh most PPR points to tight ends since Week 7.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, SD TB 1144 ***
Lambo has a negative-leaning matchup with the Buccaneers, but that could be irrelevant if the surging Bucs struggle on the road all the way across the nation.

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 Jeremy Maclin 4-60,1

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 @ATL 10000028020 ***
This is the eighth most exploitable fantasy defense for quarterbacks when using data from the past five weeks. Signal callers have scored 2.5 passing TDs per game, while the Falcons have one pick in the last four games and lost its best defensive back in Desmond Trufant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Spencer Ware, KC @ATL 6003200000 ***
Ware hasn't scored a rushing TD since Week 6, and he has seen a remarkably consistent workload since returning from a concussion. Unfortunately, it has not translated to fantasy points. The Falcons present one of the best matchups over the last five weeks' data usage, but can you trust Ware?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC @ATL 005601000 ***
This should be a good outing for the explosive Hill, who faces fantasy's seventh best opportunity for points. The Falcons have allowed receivers to score every 10.8 catches, which is the fourth softest defense of the position.

Update: Hill could see fewer looks if Jeremy Maclin indeed starts (GTD).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, KC @ATL 004500000 **
Update: Maclin is a game-time decision after being limited all three days in practice. The matchup is good, but starting him is awfully risky.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Conley, KC @ATL 003300000 ***
Conley has a fine matchup, so maybe he is playable for brazen DFS gamers ... otherwise, no chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @ATL 0071001000 ***
Atlanta has not allowed many catches or yards in the last five weeks, but giving up two scores in the past four games helps suggest Kelce could be in for a strong showing.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @ATL 3322 ***
Data from the past five weeks says this is a neutral matchup that leans negative, but game flow will matter oh so much with a capable defense traveling to a high-flying offense.

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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