FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 STL 0000019020 ***
The Rams have served up multiple passing TDs in four straight and five of six, as well as back-to-back 300-yard outings to a pair of quarterbacks known more for their running than their throwing. The last time Smith got home cooking he lit up the Patriots for three TDs; have to like his chances of something similar this time around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC STL 9013201000 ****
On the one hand, a Rams D that's allowed only one RB TD all season. On the other, Charles as the focal point of the Kansas City offense. Expect Andy Reid to find ways of getting the ball into Charles' hands--and Charles to find ways of getting the ball into the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knile Davis, KC STL 400000000 ***
Davis' 11 touches last week suggest he'll be getting a larger share of the workload than previously anticipated; however, the 31 yards those 11 touches produced suggest he still won't be much of a fantasy factor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC STL 005801000 **
Opposing WR1s have scored in four straight against the Rams, and Bowe is what passes for a WR1 in Kansas City.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Jenkins, KC STL 002400000 ***
Usually there's no need in identifying a WR2 for the Chiefs as their passing game production barely fills the WR1 cup let alone secondary targets. However, the Rams have allowed 10 different receivers to score and/or top 50 yards in just the past four games, so there should be enough for another fantasy helper here. That said, good luck finding one amongst this mötley crüe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC STL 004300000 ****
The Rams haven't given up much to tight ends this year, though Cooper Helfet got them for a TD last week. Kelce has scored in three of the past four games, so if Helfet opened a door Kelce should be able to push his way through into fantasy relevancy once again.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC STL 1133 ***
Last week's hero now has double-digit efforts in two of the past three games and could be viewed as a fringe fantasy helper 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 @DEN 0000025021 ****
Shooting it out with Peyton Manning hasn't proven to be lucrative, and it's been quite some time since Rivers had a monster game against the Broncos. That said, Rivers has multiple touchdowns in six straight and has played himself into every-week starter status regardless of opponent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Branden Oliver, SD @DEN 6014300000 ***
Oliver came back to Earth a bit last week with 78 combo yards and no touchdown. The Broncos aren't a particularly favorable matchup, so if you've been riding Oliver's hot streak be prepared for some more disappointment this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD @DEN 004501000 **
Much like last year, Royal flashed and is now fading. He has no track record to speak of against his former squad, and his catches have declined three straight weeks. Don't bank on him being a fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD @DEN 004500000 ***
Floyd's the slow and steady winning the race; that he's had at least 50 yards in each of his last four against the Broncos underscores that philosophy. Philip Rivers isn't afraid to throw at him, and good things can happen when you're getting targeted.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keenan Allen, SD @DEN 004400000 ****
Allen scored twice on two catches the last time these teams got together. That two matches the number of WR TDs the Broncos allowed last week, but it's infinitely more than the zero Allen has scored thus far in his sophomore slump of a season. We'll call the shot: he gets one here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD @DEN 006601000 ****
Gates has spaced out his big games against the Broncos--like, 2012 and 2007 spaced out. Denver has had a soft spot for tight ends this year so don't dismiss Gates altogether, but history isn't on his side.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD @DEN 1133 ***
Novak's a solid, consistent option but don't set expectations too high: you don't keep up with Peyton Manning by kicking field goals, and Novak has multiple treys in just one of his last three outings.

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

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