Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @Dorey_TheHuddle

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

*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
WR Rod Streater 2-30
WR Mike Williams 4-60,1

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 OAK 0000019010 ***
Since Smith took the Raiders for three TDs (2 passing, 1 rushing) in Week 13, they've held Brock Osweiler, Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers to a combined two scores. Meanwhile, Smith hasn't topped 200 yards since Week 12 and his last 300 yard game is three months in the rear view mirror. Lots of reasons to look elsewhere for fantasy help this week.
RB Charcandrick West, KC OAK 7011100000 ***
West continues to get the majority of touches in KC's backfield, but it'll take a touchdown to have real fantasy value and that's a 50/50 proposition between West and the bulkier Spencer Ware. That leaves Charcandrick as a good not great play this week.
RB Spencer Ware, KC OAK 500000000 ***
Ware has had success at the stripe before, and the Raiders have allowed RB TDs in three of the last four games. But his getting a quarter of KC's backfield touches makes it extremely difficult to bank on Ware for fantasy help.
WR Jeremy Maclin, KC OAK 006801000 ***
The only Chiefs wideout who warrants fantasy attention, Maclin rolled up 9-95-2 in the earlier meeting with Oakland. The Raiders have consistently allowed WR1s to produce and Maclin has five TDs in his last five games, so a repeat performance is in order.
WR Albert Wilson, KC OAK 004300000 ***
Every couple of weeks Wilson usurps Jeremy Maclin for a touchdown; then he slinks back into the wallpaper for a couple nothing games. The Raiders haven't allowed multiple wideouts to score in a game this year, and the top wingman yardage games are 73 (more than a month ago by Golden Tate) and 89 (back in Week 2 by Kamar Aiken). Wilson isn't bringing anything to the fantasy table here.
TE Travis Kelce, KC OAK 005600000 ***
The Raiders were a soft mark for tight ends early on, but they haven't allowed a TE TD since Week 12 and blanked Kelce (2-42) a month ago. He's been a little more involved in the offense but thanks to Andy Reid's usage (or lack thereof) is still more potential than productive fantasy play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC OAK 3322 ***
Raiders lead NFL
in kicker points given up,
so start your Santos!

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
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 @DEN 0000024001 ***
Rivers' quest for the passing title takes a hit against the league's top pass defense. The Broncos limited him to 202 yards in the earlier meeting, and he hasn't thrown for 300 yards against Denver since January of 2011. Don't expect much here with the Broncos still playing for playoff positioning.
RB Danny Woodhead, SD @DEN 1005600000 ***
Game script suggests plenty of throwing, and the Broncos' pass rush suggests plenty of checkdowns to Woodhead. That's the extend of the upside in San Diego's backfield this week.
WR Travis Benjamin, SD @DEN 003500000 *
The Steelers have allowed two receivers to score or top 60 yards in three straight so you have to believe there's at least one fantasy helper here. And Benjamin is the best bet among Cleveland's thinning receiving corps.

Update: Benjamin was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable due to an ankle injury. You may need to check his status pre-game if you're planning to use him in your Week 17 fantasy lineup.
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD @DEN 004400000 ***
Inman proved to be Philip Rivers' go-to guy last week, and the Broncos have been much more lenient of late in giving up five WR TDs over the past three games. But seeing as how Chargers wideouts combined for four catches and 60 yards against Denver just a month ago, expectations should be limited.
WR Javontee Herndon, SD @DEN 005300000 ***
Herndon's top NFL outing is 5-47, and he's still looking for his first pro TD. Unlikely to come against a top pass defense on a team going nowhere... at least until the offseason.

Update: Herndon is listed as questionable with a chest injury, but after limited practice sessions early in the week he was available for the full session on Friday so he should be good to go this weekend.
WR Malcom Floyd, SD @DEN 003300000 ***
Banged up, facing an elite pass defense, with nothing to play for... tough to get excited about Floyd's fantasy prospects here.
TE Antonio Gates, SD @DEN 006500000 ***
The Broncos haven't given up a TE TD in a month, with Gates' 6-50 the top TE game against them in that span. He's topped five catches and 50 yards each of the past three meetings with Denver, with three TDs in those three games, so there's at least a little upside to him here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, SD @DEN 1100 ***
Three points in home game
vs. DEN; even altitude
won't be enough help

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

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