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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
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Emmanuel Sanders 5-60
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-90,1

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 Paxton Lynch, DEN @JAC 0000021011 ***
Update: Trevor Siemian won't play, so the rookie starts his second game. Jacksonville is the third toughest opponent since Week 7 when it comes to allowing fantasy points to QBs. While the Jags have not picked off a pass in this time, quarterbacks have accounted for only six touchdown passes in five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devontae Booker, DEN @JAC 6012100000 ***
Denver just has not been able to establish a running game since C.J. Anderson went down. Booker is talented, but the script hasn't played out as planned. The Jags present a reasonable shot at success. Running backs have averaged 104.8 rushing yards, 41.4 receiving yards, 4.6 catches and 24 PPR points since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN @JAC 005701000 ***
Bay Bay has an overall weak matchup but could find success in the way of touchdowns, as the Jags have surrendered one every 10.8 grabs since Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN @JAC 005600000 ***
Sanders did his part last week in an explosive performance while the Chiefs blanketed Demaryius Thomas all night. This week, Jacksonville represents a difficult matchup on paper. The Jags have allowed the fewest catches and yards per game, as well as the least fantasy points on average, since Week 7. The upside is one of every 10.8 receptions have gone for scores, rating 12th.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE AJ Derby, DEN @JAC 004301000 **
Derby is up to speed after a crash course in the offense. Jacksonville has allowed only 4.6 catches per game to tight ends over the past five weeks, but the Jags have given up 58 yards and a TD per every 11.5 catches.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN @JAC 1122 ***
McManus faces an evenly favorable matchup -- the third best, in fact -- in Week 13. There isn't enough resistance on Jacksonville's side, though, to suggest we'll see many stalled drives resulting in three-point kicks.

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
KC vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Nick Foles 250,1
RB Jamaal Charles 70 2-10
WR Jeremy Maclin 5-70,1

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 @ATL 10000028020 ***
This is the eighth most exploitable fantasy defense for quarterbacks when using data from the past five weeks. Signal callers have scored 2.5 passing TDs per game, while the Falcons have one pick in the last four games and lost its best defensive back in Desmond Trufant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Spencer Ware, KC @ATL 6003200000 ***
Ware hasn't scored a rushing TD since Week 6, and he has seen a remarkably consistent workload since returning from a concussion. Unfortunately, it has not translated to fantasy points. The Falcons present one of the best matchups over the last five weeks' data usage, but can you trust Ware?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyreek Hill, KC @ATL 005601000 ***
This should be a good outing for the explosive Hill, who faces fantasy's seventh best opportunity for points. The Falcons have allowed receivers to score every 10.8 catches, which is the fourth softest defense of the position.

Update: Hill could see fewer looks if Jeremy Maclin indeed starts (GTD).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, KC @ATL 004500000 **
Update: Maclin is a game-time decision after being limited all three days in practice. The matchup is good, but starting him is awfully risky.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Conley, KC @ATL 003300000 ***
Conley has a fine matchup, so maybe he is playable for brazen DFS gamers ... otherwise, no chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @ATL 0071001000 ***
Atlanta has not allowed many catches or yards in the last five weeks, but giving up two scores in the past four games helps suggest Kelce could be in for a strong showing.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @ATL 3322 ***
Data from the past five weeks says this is a neutral matchup that leans negative, but game flow will matter oh so much with a capable defense traveling to a high-flying offense.

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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