Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:

Prediction: KC 17, SD 30 (Line: SD by 8)

Players to Watch: Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Ryan Mathews

Battle of the AFC West Hot seats. The 1-6 Chiefs seemingly get a little worse each week and the 3-4 Chargers just never get any better. The Chargers won 37-20 in Kansas City back in week four. Both head coaches may be gone in the offseason though Crennel could get extra time for being so new. Right now the saving grace for Norv Turner is that he also calls the plays so firing him in-season means needing a coach and an offensive coordinator. This will be the Thursday night game.

Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ATL 24-40 10 @PIT -----
2 @BUF 17-35 11 CIN -----
3 @NO 27-24 12 DEN -----
4 SD 20-37 13 CAR -----
5 BAL 6-9 14 @CLE -----
6 @TB 10-38 15 @OAK -----
7 BYE ----- 16 IND -----
8 OAK 16-26 17 @DEN -----
9 @SD ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Jamaal Charles 60,1 3-20
WR Jeremy Maclin 6-80,1

Pregame Notes: The offense has crumbled in Kansas City and taken down Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles along with it. The offense hasn't scored more than one touchdown in the last three games and the shift to Brady Quinn so far has proven that yes, things can always get a little worse. On the plus side, it is already certain that the Chiefs will be drafting at the top of the first round next April but then again the needs are so great it will just be another case of a great player getting his career ruined by landing on a terrible team (See "Blackmon first wideout drafted!").

Quinn left the Oakland loss with a concussion after completing only two passes for a net one yard and the previous week handed Bowe his worst game of the year. With a Thursday game, Quinn won't likely heal enough to let him back in to ruin this week's game. Matt Cassel should start and threw for 251 yards and two scores in the previous meeting with the Chargers back in week four.

Jamaal Charles was inexplicably dropped from the game plan last week when he was limited to only five carries for four yards. Peyton Hillis returned from his five game absence and was given four carries but HC Romeo Crennel was at a loss to explain why Charles was not used. Hillis was limited to around five carries in the games previous to his injury and was not a factor. This all smacks of how Charles was limited to six runs for three yards and Hillis was given 11 carries for 66 yards in Buffalo back in week two. The following week was when Charles ran 33 times for 233 yards and Hillis was only allowed three runs for 11 yards. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to Brian Daboll's offense when Charles has clearly been the superior back and only real option for the offense. That makes Charles a big risk each week thanks to his inconsistent usage. Charles ran for 88 yards and one score in the week four meeting with the Chargers.

Dexter McCluster recorded six catches in each of the last two games but he too varies wildly in use and too rarely creates fantasy relevant numbers to be considered for even a flex start.

Tony Moeaki comes off his best game of the year with 57 yards on four receptions but too often he ends with one or even no catches. The tight ends have only scored once all year and that was in the season opener.

The wideout stats are pathetic here and only getting worse. Dwayne Bowe is the only fantasy relevant receiver and even he wants to be traded. His best game of the year was when he posted seven receptions for 108 yards and one score versus the Bolts in week four.

Both Charles and Bowe enjoyed good games against the Chargers a month ago and are still worthy of a start but the inconsistency of the offense makes risk a constant companion here. There is nothing special about the Chargers defense but then again - nothing is special about the Chiefs offense.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 26 3 32 27 16 24
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 19 17 24 7 1 26

QB Alex Smith, KC BUF 30000018010 ***
Only a Week 8 rushing score stands between Smith and six straight weeks of sub-20 point fantasy efforts. The Bills have held three of four--including Tom Brady last week--below that threshold, with only Ryan Fitzpatrick's 20.7 outing snapping the streak. So there's not a lot of fantasy upside to Smith this week.
RB Spencer Ware, KC BUF 8011100000 ***
Ware tore up the Chargers last week in relief of the injured Charcandrick West, but the Bolts don't put up much resistance to any ground game. The Bills are a different animal, having allowed only one 100-yard game on the year. That said, Ware should see the bulk of the touches in an RB-centric offense so he at least warrants fantasy consideration if West remains sidelined.
WR Albert Wilson, KC BUF 003301000 *
There's barely enough for any wideout to carve out fantasy value, let alone a wingman to blip on the fantasy radar. On the bright side, the Bills have allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 60 yards in four straight games so there's a chance Wilson does something to help your fantasy squad.
WR Jeremy Maclin, KC BUF 003400000 ***
Maclin is KC's WR1 in theory, but he hasn't done anything of fantasy note in a couple weeks. The Bills aren't a shutdown pass D but it won't be easy for Maclin to get his so temper expectations accordingly.
TE Travis Kelce, KC BUF 004400000 *
Buffalo hasn't allowed a TE TD since Week 6 or a tight end to top 40 yards since Week 2. Meanwhile, the Chiefs still refuse to lean on Kelce as a critical element of their offense; he's scored once since Week 1 and hasn't seen double-digit targets since Week 3. While he should be an every-week fantasy play, between his under-usage and the matchup you have better fantasy options at your disposal.

Update: Kelce is listed as questionable with groin and ankle injuries, and he was limited in practice Friday after practicing fully Wednesday and Thursday. It's already a tough matchup, and if Kelce's health further limits his playing time or productivity he won't be the fantasy performer we've become accustomed to.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC BUF 4422 ***
Lots of things are trending upwards in KC--including Cairo, who has nine points or more in four straight. Buffalo isn't an easy matchup, but right now Santos has a hot hand worth riding.

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @OAK 22-14 10 @TB -----
2 TEN 38-10 11 @DEN -----
3 ATL 3-27 12 BAL -----
4 @KC 37-20 13 CIN -----
5 @NO 24-31 14 @PIT -----
6 DEN 24-35 15 CAR -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @NYJ -----
8 @CLE 6-7 17 OAK -----
9 KC ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 230,2
RB Donald Brown 50 3-20
WR Malcom Floyd 4-50,1
WR Stevie Johnson 5-80,1
TE Antonio Gates 4-60

Pregame Notes: The visiting Chiefs are just what the Chargers need since they are on a three game losing streak and the last team they beat was actually these Chiefs. The defense continues to be a problem though they did hold the Browns to only seven points in the rain and wind in Cleveland. The Bolts need this win because they won't be favored in a game again until probably week 15 when the Panthers show up. Norv Turner may not make it to 2013 since this team is teetering on a free fall with no help in sight.

Philip Rivers was on a three game stretch of two touchdowns each until the Cleveland game and he passed for 209 yards and two scores in Kansas City back in week four. Rivers is limited by a set of receivers that continually disappoint and with so many dropped passes it cannot be hung on Rivers. Sadly even Vincent Brown is not expected back for a while. His fractured ankle was expected to be healed up by week nine but he has yet to even run and is behind that schedule. Not that Brown can provide a savior to this situation but the passing game is devoid of any sort of play makers.

Antonio Gates suddenly produced six catches for 81 yards and two scores versus the Broncos in week six but then was back to just two receptions for 14 yards last week. He gained 59 yards on three catches in Kansas City but has three games that failed to produce more than 22 yards. Take away the one Broncos match-up and Gates has no touchdowns and yardage like most any blocking tight end.

Robert Meachem caught a beautiful 51-yard touchdown last wee... no wait. He dropped it. That's right, he was ten yards beyond any defender and could have skipped into the end zone but out right dropped the perfect pass and ended with zero catches last week. Meachem has been a bust of extreme dimensions so far and yet another albatross around the neck of the GM for bringing him in, paying him big bucks and pretending that he was anything more than a #3 wideout that needs Drew Brees around to produce even marginal stats. There is a sad statement - the Saints got Brees and eventually gave Meachem. And last week was not the first time that Meachem had no catches in a game. He did that in week four in Kansas City as well. Malcom Floyd only managed 23 yards there as well.

Eddie Royal remains out with a hamstring strain.

At home, Ryan Mathews should provide the bulk of the offense and rushed for 61 yards on 14 runs in the first meeting with the Chiefs. Jackie Battle was given 15 carries for 39 yards and a score along with four receptions for 42 yards and a second touchdown in the last meeting with the Chiefs in a game that right after Mathews lost a fumble against the Falcons and Norv Turner was in "teach him a lesson" mode. Battle has never done anything since and only had five runs over the last two games. This should be a big game for Mathews.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 23 6 31 9 12 17
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 23 26 21 9 29 32

QB Philip Rivers, SD @JAC 0000027011 ***
Would you believe the worst fantasy performance in Jacksonville by a visiting quarterback was Cam Newton back in Week 1? Since then every visiting QB has topped 20 points, with three of the four throwing for at least 290 yards. Rivers' only road misstep came when he was pulled in a loss in Minnesota with 246 yards and just one TD; he's reached multiple touchdowns in the other three road trips and has 804 passing yards in just his last two away from home. He's down several receivers but that hasn't stopped him yet; no reason to think it does sow now.
RB Melvin Gordon, SD @JAC 4002100000 ***
Gordon is seeing the majority of the carries, but he's not doing enough with them to warrant fantasy consideration--plus he's still looking for that elusive first NFL touchdown.
RB Danny Woodhead, SD @JAC 1004300000 *
The Jags are a bottom-8 defense in RB receptions, yardage and TDs so this looks like another job for Woodhead, who has topped 60 receiving yards six times this season.
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD @JAC 004401000 **
Inman looks to be the lead wingman, which against the Jags generally means fantasy relevancy as they've allowed multiple receivers to score and/or top 50 yards in eight of 10 this year.
WR Stevie Johnson, SD @JAC 007800000 ***
Johnson is the only receiver Philip Rivers knows by name, and his targets since Keenan Allen went down with an injury reflect it. Jacksonville has allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in eight of 10 this year, so favorite or not Johnson is in line for a fantasy helper here.
WR Malcom Floyd, SD @JAC 003400000 *
Floyd returned to practice this week, playing through a torn labrum. He'd be a familiar target for Philip Rivers, but it remains to be seen how effective he can be given the injury. Look for fantasy help elsewhere.
WR Javontee Herndon, SD @JAC 002300000 **
Another guy you and Philip Rivers have never heard of, only Javontee is actually one of Rivers' targets. He out-targeted Dontrelle Inman last week but has yet to hit the 40-yard mark so he's too far down the pecking order to warrant fantasy attention. That said, just wait; another injury is sure to winnow the Chargers' receiving corps further, pushing Herndon onto the radar.
TE Antonio Gates, SD @JAC 004400000 *
Over the past two games the Jags have given up two TE TDs to the Ravens and 109 yards to Tennessee's Delanie Walker. Meanwhile Gates has topped 50 yards in every game since his return, seeing 43 targets in those four games. He'll get every opportunity to extend Jacksonville's run of futility against the position.
TE Ladarius Green, SD @JAC 002200000 **
Green was back at practice late last week, but he didn't play in Week 11 and he has yet to practice this week. Check back Friday for an update on his status.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, SD @JAC 2211 ***
There's a decent baseline here, as the Jags have given up at least seven points to every kicker who's visited Jacksonville. But that's also near Lambo's max, so don't get too excited.

*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:

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