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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 @KC 0000024022 **
Rivers has multiple touchdowns in five straight meetings with the Chiefs, as well as multiple scores and/or 300-plus passing yards in six straight visits to Kansas City. The Chiefs haven't seen a ton of great quarterbacks, but they did hold Ben Roethlisberger to 220 and 1 last week and Peyton Manning to 179 and 2 a month ago, so it won't be easy. But history--and San Diego's lack of a running game--suggest Rivers can still get it done.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Branden Oliver, SD @KC 4002100000 ***
With no Ryan Mathews the Chargers' backfield has become a committee affair; at least Oliver's touches suggest he's the committee chair. However, that role hasn't amounted to much in the way of fantasy production for any of the committee members, and a date with a Chiefs defense that's allowed only four RB TDs all year isn't going to help matters.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Donald Brown, SD @KC 2003200000 ***
Brown wasn't even the best Brown on his own team last week, as retread Ronnie Brown was more effective. There's no fantasy value to be found here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD @KC 005600000 **
Let's face it, if your season boils down to Dontrelle Inman doing something for you in Week 17 you need to take a step back and re-evaluate things.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD @KC 003400000 ***
Floyd and Eddie Royal are tag-team replacing Keenan Allen as the Chargers' WR1, both doing enough to remain on the fantasy radar even in what looks to be a pretty tough matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD @KC 003400000 ***
No Keenan Allen? No problem, as Royal and Malcom Floyd stepped up their respective games. The Chiefs haven't given up many big games to opposing wideouts, but that doesn't mean Royal can't carve out a fantasy helper here--something along the lines of the 7-72-1 Antonio Brown took KC for last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD @KC 007702000 ***
Gates (and short-yardage TE John Phillips) scored against the Chiefs in the earlier meeting, but that's to be expected: in 19 career games against KC Gates has found the end zone 15 times. He's also scored in each of his last two games, and with Keenan Allen out--and a playoff spot on the line--he's Philip Rivers' go-to guy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD @KC 2222 ***
Novak's eight points in the earlier meeting with KC are indicative of his season, as he's hit double-digits just once in the past three months. But that eight is also indicative of what the Chiefs have been giving up to opposing kickers, so it's one of those high floor/low ceiling opportunities.

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 Chase Daniel, KC SD 0000018011 *
Update: Daniel will get the start in a must-win game due to Alex Smith's lacerated spleen. There's very little to like here from a fantasy perspective.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC SD 11023200000 ***
Charles has triple-digit combo yardage and at least one touchdown in five of his last seven meetings with the Chargers, including the one earlier this season. However, Charles hasn't carried the ball more than a dozen times since Week 12 so you run the risk of Andy Reid criminally underusing Charles yet again. However, Charles' high ceiling makes the risk worthwhile.
Update: Charles practiced on a limited basis all week and is listed as questionable, but with the Chiefs down to their second-string quarterback they'll need to lean even more heavily on Charles... assuming he can hold up to the workload.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC SD 004600000 **
Bowe scored each of the last two times the Chargers came to town, but it's been more than a year since a Chiefs' wideout found the end zone and there's little evidence Bowe will suddenly stumble upon it this week.
Update: Bowe missed a couple practices due to injury, plus he'll now be catching balls from Chase Daniels. As if his fantasy prospects could get any dimmer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Albert Wilson, KC SD 004500000 ***
Wilson has emerged to take his spin as the Chiefs' WR2, which is the fantasy equivalent of being the vice-president of Hair Club for Men. Only it probably has more benefits.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC SD 004501000 **
The Chargers have given up just three TE TDs on the year, so they're far from an easy mark. Kelce racked up 33 yards in the earlier meeting with San Diego, which isn't all that impressive. And he's still sharing looks with Anthony Fasano, completing the hat trick of frustration that conspire to leave Kelce out of your fantasy lineup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC SD 1133 ***
Santos' two most productive games were a dozen last week and 11 the last time he faced the Chargers. With the Chiefs still playing for something, he's as good a bet as any for a solid kicker outing.

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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