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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: DEN 31, KC 13 (Line:: DEN by 10.5)

Players to Watch: Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball

Here is the first of two free wins for the 7-3 Broncos. The 1-9 Chiefs are on a seven game losing streak and have not scored more than one touchdown in any of the last six games. The Chiefs will certainly win another game. It just may not be this year.

Denver won 17-10 in Kansas City last year.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 31-19 10 @CAR 36-14
2 @ATL 21-27 11 SD 30-23
3 HOU 25-31 12 @KC -----
4 OAK 37-6 13 TB -----
5 @NE 21-31 14 @OAK -----
6 @SD 35-24 15 @BAL -----
7 BYE ----- 16 CLE -----
8 NO 34-14 17 KC -----
9 @CIN 31-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DEN @ KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 300,3
RB Ronnie Hillman 60 2-20
WR Emmanuel Sanders 5-60
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-90,1
WR Wes Welker 6-70,1

Pregame Notes: Make no mistake - the Broncos know how to score points. They've been above 30 points for the last five games and while the jury is still out on if they van beat a top defense, we may not know that until the playoffs other than the week 15 game in Baltimore. No doubt the Broncos will be favored in all other games - likely by a big margin - and roll up some major points along the way.

Peyton Manning is playing as well as he ever has. He is on pace to crest 4700 passing yards and 38 touchdowns. He's thrown for three scores in six of the last seven games and averaging 298 yards per game. That's probably more than even Tim Tebow would have done had he remained.

The big question this week is who will be the running back? Willis McGahee tore his MCL and fractured his leg and will miss 6-8 weeks which probably means he might be of use if the Broncos reach the Superbowl. His loss is a big hole to fill and they will employ a committee to get the job done. Ronnie Hillman will be the primary and the receiving back while Lance Ball will handle any heavy lifting in the short yardage and between the tackles. Once McGahee left last week, Hillman ran 12 times for 43 yards and caught two passes. Hillman clearly is the better runner but at 5-9 and 190 lbs. he's not an every down answer.

In other news, Knowshon Moreno has been promoted and now takes care of filling the Coke machine out by the elevators. Actually there are some reports that he be involved as well which only makes a bad situation worse.

Joel Dreessen was on a nice run earlier in the season but now has declined to just 30 yards or so per game and scored just once in the last six weeks.

With three passing scores to distribute every week, the wideouts are all fantasy relevant here. Eric Decker remains light on yardage in most weeks but already scored eight times this year and in six of the last seven games. Demaryius Thomas only scored five times but he's turned in five games with more than 100 yards and is on a pace for almost 1500 receiving yards. Even Brandon Stokley has five touchdowns though he almost never gains more than 50 yards in any game.

This week you just have to hope they keep the work ethic and continue the 30 point games since they know they can beat the Chiefs. Even the Chiefs know the Broncos can beat them. I like a defensive score in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 6 17 2 6 12 2
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 21 23 8 6 28 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Peyton Manning, DEN @NE 0000031030 ***
Think Bill Belichick has Peyton's number? Think again; Manning has multiple TD tosses in five straight regular-season meetings with the Patriots dating back to the 2008 season. He's topped 300 yards in three of those five as well. This iteration of the New England defense has surrendered multiple scoring strikes in four of five; this iteration of Peyton has at least three TDs in four straight and six of seven. Fantasy owners needn't concern themselves with the war; Peyton consistently wins this battle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ronnie Hillman, DEN @NE 9003201000 ***
Focus too much on Peyton Manning and Hillman will get ya; he's racked up triple-digit combo yardage in all three starts since Montee Ball went down. The Patriots have allowed three 100-yard rushers in the past four games as well as a couple of 50-plus yard receiving games to backs; if they devote too much game plan to Manning, Hillman's fantasy prospects climb from good to very good.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Juwan Thompson, DEN @NE 201000000 **
Thompson looks to be taking over as the goal line complement to Ronnie Hillman--and a a Patriots D that's allowed five RB TDs in the past four games might be susceptible to a goal line back.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN @NE 0061001000 ***
The Patriots have to hope adding Darrelle Revis to the roster slows Thomas, because nothing else they've tried to date has; in four career meetings he's averaging almost seven catches for almost 110 yards, though he's scored just once in the four games. He brings a four-game streak of 100-yard efforts into this tilt, and you have to like his chances of exiting with at least a fantasy helper if not a fifth straight above the century mark.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN @NE 004500000 ***
Not only have the Patriots allowed multiple WRs to score in two of their last four games, they never had an answer for Sanders when he played for Pittsburgh; in three games he racked up 16-209-1. With four TDs in the past two games he's beyond his scoring slump, and odds are he won't see Darrelle Revis so the run of success should continue.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Wes Welker, DEN @NE 004400000 ***
Welker has never caught a TD pass against his former mates--not as a Dolphin before joining the Patriots, nor in his lone meeting with them as a Bronco. He's also slid down the passing game pecking order in Denver, to the point that he's a reach of a fantasy play even in a six-team bye week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, DEN @NE 004601000 ****
After a scorching start Thomas has been kept in check the past two weeks. Don't expect that to continue against a New England defense that's allowed three 90-yard games to TEs and three TE TDs in the past five games.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN @NE 1144 *****
Kicking behind a Peyton Manning offense has its advantages: four or more PATs in all but one game this year. It also has its disadvantages: only one game with multiple field goal attempts. You'll get solid, but spectacular doesn't appear to be in the offing.

Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 ATL 24-40 10 @PIT 13-16
2 @BUF 17-35 11 CIN 6-28
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 13-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Jamaal Charles 70 2-10
RB Joe McKnight 10 2-10
WR Donnie Avery 4-60
WR Dwayne Bowe

Pregame Notes: The year could have gone better. Were it not for the three point win in New Orleans in week three, the Chiefs would probably be looking at an 0-fer season. Romeo Crennel's stint as a head coach seems to suggest that he is a defensive minded coach because the offense has varied between being bad to being just mannequins with red shirts on. The problem in fantasy terms is that not only has the Chiefs stripped themselves of all fantasy value other than Jamaal Charles, but they are encouraging other teams to just mail in their win and not rack up all the points and yards that are there for the taking.

The Chiefs have not named a starting quarterback largely because they have no one to choose from. Brady Quinn likely gets the start despite never scoring at all this year while Matt Cassel has worn out his welcome. The fact that Charles is able to accomplish anything as a runner is a miracle since no one respects the pass. The Chiefs only have six passing scores on the year and just one in the last seven weeks.

Charles still outs out the effort and even comes off the Bengals game where he gained 118 total yards. The question is how badly the defense wants to shut him down. His production has been wildly varying with as good as 288 total yards and as bad as ten total yards. He has the upside to turn in a decent game every week despite what is happening around him. Plus there is always the hope for trash time yardage.

Just to make matters worse, Dwayne Bowe injured his neck in the Bengals game and is not certain to play this week. He does not have a concussion but the Chiefs declined to be very specific what he has. He has not scored since week four anyway and rarely topped 60 yards in recent games. He is the only wideout of note for the team and when Brady plays, even that is no longer true. The only development in the passing game this year has been Tony Moeaki suddenly producing 50 + yards in the last three games.

The only real play here is Charles and even that is for moderate yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 31 1 32 29 20 26
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 14 14 6 30 3 16

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Alex Smith, KC NYJ 0000024021 ****
It's been a month since Smith was fantasy-relevant, but a date with a Jets' team that's given up multiple TDs to every QB it has faced could turn the tables.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC NYJ 7004301000 ****
No doubting Charles, who has six TDs in the past four games and is averaging 104 combo yards per game during that span.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knile Davis, KC NYJ 401000000 ****
The Jets haven't allowed multiple RBs to score in the same game all year, and the most yardage a second back has turned in is 32. Knowing that, there's no reason to trot out KC's RB2, at least for now.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC NYJ 006800000 ****
Bowe is what passes for a WR1 in KC, and it's a favorable matchup with a secondary that's allowed five 100-yard receivers already this year. That's about the bounds of our enthusiasm for any element of the Chiefs passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC NYJ 005501000 ***
Kelce continues to share looks with Anthony Fasano, but for the most part he comes out ahead. And that's enough to toss his hat into the fantasy ring against a Jets D that's allowed nine TE TDs in the past six games alone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC NYJ 1144 ***
Took the Brazilian a little while to settle in, but he's posted double-digit points in three of his last four and looks to be a solid fantasy option at home this week.

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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