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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 SD 0000030030 *****
Manning has never not thrown for multiple touchdowns or 300-plus yards against the Chargers. Never. And in five of 11 lifetime meetings he's done both. Same could be said for this season, as he's averaging 300-plus and three TDs. Even with no NFL record dangling in front of him, Manning should put up his usual big numbers this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ronnie Hillman, DEN SD 6003200000 ****
Hillman has been more than okay filling in for the injured Montee Ball. This week's edge comes in the passing game, as the Chargers have already given up five RB receiving scores and Hillman has nine targets in his two starts. No reason to bail on him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN SD 0071201000 ****
The Chargers have given up just one big game to wideouts... but the Broncos are a different animal, and Thomas is at the head of that pack. He's scored in three of four career meetings with the Bolts, including a 108 and 3 outing last November. No Brandon Flowers certainly doesn't help San Diego's hopes of slowing the Denver passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN SD 005800000 ***
The trickle-down effect of San Diego losing a starting corner helps Sanders' prospects as well. With a whole bunch of Peyton Manning productivity to spread around, Sanders should see his share of the fantasy love.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Wes Welker, DEN SD 005600000 ****
Signs of life from Welker last week, and as long as Peyton Manning is throwing him the ball there's no reason to shy away from him as a fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, DEN SD 003401000 ***
Thomas failed to score for the first time last week, and the Bolts aren't an easy matchup for the position. That said, he's far too involved in the Denver offense to be benched simply for a bump in the road difficult matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN SD 3333 ****
The risk with McManus is that he counts by ones instead of threes. Consider the Chargers enablers, as they've allowed only one multiple field goal game since Week 1.

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 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.

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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