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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

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
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 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 Donnie Avery 3-40
WR Dwayne Bowe 5-80,1
TE Anthony Fasano 3-30

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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 26 3 32 27 16 24
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 19 17 24 7 1 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Alex Smith, KC @DEN 20000024022 ***
Smith had two of his better fantasy games playing catch-up to Peyton Manning last season. On the heels of a putrid performance against the Titans it would be tough to bank on him for a reprise; then again, garbage time stats count the same.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC @DEN 6015300000 ***
With a paltry workload the likes of which he hadn't seen since Week 8 of 2012, Charles was a non-fantasy factor in Week 1. Expect Andy Reid to correct that error, with expectations set somewhere between the 72 and 120 yards from scrimmage he generated in last season's home-and-home. Hey, it's better than last week's crapola, that's for sure.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC @DEN 005500000 ***
After sitting out a one-game suspension Bowe is primed to make his 2014 debut. He posted similar stat lines against the Broncos last season, 4-57-1 and 3-56. There's no question he's the go-to guy in this passing game, but that didn't prove to be enough last year and you'll have to cross your fingers and bank on the touchdown for him to have significant fantasy value here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Junior Hemingway, KC @DEN 002400000 ***
In theory the Chiefs will have to throw to keep pace with Peyton Manning & Co. and secondary targets such as Hemingway should have value. However, in last season's series with Denver--under those exact circumstances--only Dwayne Bowe scored or topped 50 yards. So, theory disproved.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @DEN 004501000 **
Despite one less target than Anthony Fasano last week, Kelce produced more yardage; he just didn't get the touchdown. It's a coin flip between the two tight ends, but Kelce is the young up-and-comer so he calls "tails" this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Anthony Fasano, KC @DEN 003300000 **
Fasano scored in both ends of the season series with Denver last year, plus he scored last week. And the Broncos gave up a TE TD while facing the talented Indy tandem of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener last week. So we're sayin' there's a chance; we're just sayin' we prefer Kelce's chances this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @DEN 0022 ***
The Brazilian went 50/50 on last week's attempts, and given that you don't keep pace with Peyton Manning by settling for field goals he's unlikely to see a dramatic enough uptick in chances or productivity to warrant fantasy consideration here.

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 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
RB Ryan Mathews 100,1 4-20,1
WR Malcom Floyd 4-50,1
TE Antonio Gates 4-60
PK Nick Novak 3 FG 3 XP

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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 23 6 31 9 12 17
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 23 26 21 9 29 32

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Philip Rivers, SD SEA 0000020012 ***
The stat bears repeating: only once in the past 17 games has a quarterback facing the Seahawks been worthy of a fantasy start (top 12 fantasy score that week). And in three of their past four games they've faced the upper crust of QBs--Peyton, Rodgers, Brees--and given up an average of just over 14 fantasy points per contest. You wanna throw Rivers up against that wall, you're on your own.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ryan Mathews, SD SEA 4004300000 ***
Mathews remains the kingpin of San Diego's three-headed backfield committee, but with fantasy points at a premium against an elite defense just a share isn't enough to warrant a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Danny Woodhead, SD SEA 2005300000 ***
Woodhead was a fantasy no-show in the season opener, and it's tough to see him getting off the shneid against Seattle here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD SEA 003301000 **
In Week 1 the Packers offered up their WR3 as a sacrifice to Richard Sherman. The Chargers won't necessarily do the same, but do you really want to put your fantasy faith in a third receiver against a shutdown D? Really?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keenan Allen, SD SEA 004500000 ***
Allen was shut down by Patrick Peterson last week; now he'll spend at least part of his Sunday battling Richard Sherman. Color us dispositive with regards to his fantasy prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD SEA 003300000 ***
On the bright side, he won't spend the entire day in Richard Sherman's shadow. If that's enough for you to reward him with a fantasy start... well, then you're a braver man than I.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD SEA 007700000 ****
Gates turned back the clock in Week 1 with a game reminiscent of his glory days. He'll have a decent shot at a follow up if for no other reason than he's likely to duck Richard Sherman. If you must back a horse in the San Diego passing game, Gates is probably your guy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Ladarius Green, SD SEA 002300000 ***
Green remains the padawan to Antonio Gates' Jedi; in this matchup with the Death Star of defenses, there isn't enough in the way of fantasy stats to feed two mouths so the junior partner is an even less likely fantasy helper.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD SEA 3311 ***
With points hard to come by, you can cross your fingers and hope San Diego gets close enough for some field goals... or look elsewhere for your fantasy kicker this week.

WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

a d v e r t i s e m e n t