FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

Prediction: KC 10, CLE Line: 23 (CLE by 6.5)

Players to Watch: Dwayne Bowe, Trent Richardson

The 2-10 Chiefs come off their second win of the year and probably the least likely game to have a victory given the events surrounding Javon Belcher on Saturday. The Browns are 4-8 and on a two game winning streak. Basically this is as good as it gets for the Browns this year.

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 9-17
4 SD 20-37 13 CAR 27-21
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 80,1 3-20
WR Dwayne Bowe 4-60

Pregame Notes: It could not have been more surreal last week with the murder/suicide before the game and then watching the Chiefs put up their most complete and solid showing perhaps all year. Brady Quinn completed 19 of 23 for 201 yards and two touchdowns. The previous week he went 13-25 for 126 against the Broncos. He had not scored all year prior to last Sunday. He had ruined the fantasy fortunes of pretty much everyone other than Jamaal Charles.

Admittedly speculation, but I would expect a return to the bad Chiefs on the road and now with some time to soak in what happened and let it affect them if it does at all. The Panthers were clearly not expecting the effort last week nor was anyone. I would expect it catches up this week and that any gains of week 13 will be mostly gone.

Jamaal Charles ran for 127 yards on 27 carries last week which gives him 3 games over 100 yards in the last four weeks. Charles continues to run hard and even in the worst of games for the Chiefs, he usually ends up with a decent start line. The season was over long ago but Charles is still a gamer and not letting it slow him down. This will be his first road game since week ten when he gained 100 yards and a score in Pittsburgh.

The Chiefs still trot out Peyton Hillis to take handoffs and then fall down though he did manage his first touchdown of the season just last week, making it all that much more surreal.

The only other player here with any fantasy value all year was Dwayne Bowe who really fell off as soon as Quinn took over. He has not gained more than 65 yards in any of the last four games and has not scored since week four. Chances are he'll be spending at least some time with an out-of-position Joe Haden this week.

Last week may have suggested that there was fantasy value to be had here but ring that one up to just a strange situation and a response that was surprising. That should catch up to them this week on the road and put them back to their seven week string of games that never had more than one touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 32 3 32 30 21 27
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 20 19 25 1 9 13

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Chase Daniel, KC SD 0000018011 *
Update: Daniel will get the start in a must-win game due to Alex Smith's lacerated spleen. There's very little to like here from a fantasy perspective.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC SD 11023200000 ***
Charles has triple-digit combo yardage and at least one touchdown in five of his last seven meetings with the Chargers, including the one earlier this season. However, Charles hasn't carried the ball more than a dozen times since Week 12 so you run the risk of Andy Reid criminally underusing Charles yet again. However, Charles' high ceiling makes the risk worthwhile.
Update: Charles practiced on a limited basis all week and is listed as questionable, but with the Chiefs down to their second-string quarterback they'll need to lean even more heavily on Charles... assuming he can hold up to the workload.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC SD 004600000 **
Bowe scored each of the last two times the Chargers came to town, but it's been more than a year since a Chiefs' wideout found the end zone and there's little evidence Bowe will suddenly stumble upon it this week.
Update: Bowe missed a couple practices due to injury, plus he'll now be catching balls from Chase Daniels. As if his fantasy prospects could get any dimmer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Albert Wilson, KC SD 004500000 ***
Wilson has emerged to take his spin as the Chiefs' WR2, which is the fantasy equivalent of being the vice-president of Hair Club for Men. Only it probably has more benefits.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC SD 004501000 **
The Chargers have given up just three TE TDs on the year, so they're far from an easy mark. Kelce racked up 33 yards in the earlier meeting with San Diego, which isn't all that impressive. And he's still sharing looks with Anthony Fasano, completing the hat trick of frustration that conspire to leave Kelce out of your fantasy lineup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC SD 1133 ***
Santos' two most productive games were a dozen last week and 11 the last time he faced the Chargers. With the Chiefs still playing for something, he's as good a bet as any for a solid kicker outing.

Cleveland Browns
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 16-17 10 BYE -----
2 @CIN 27-34 11 @DAL 20-23
3 BUF 14-24 12 PIT 20-14
4 @BAL 16-23 13 @OAK 20-17
5 @NYG 27-41 14 KC -----
6 CIN 34-24 15 WAS -----
7 @IND 13-17 16 @DEN -----
8 SD 7-6 17 @PIT -----
9 BAL 15-25 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Miles Austin 4-50
WR Josh Gordon 5-70,1
PK Garrett Hartley 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: This week is definitely as good as it gets for the Browns with remaining games against the surprising Redskins and then trips to Denver and Pittsburgh where it is not likely to be pretty. The defense has been playing well this year and only once allowed more than 25 points in any game. The offense is also coming together better with 20 points scored in each of the last three weeks against quality opponents and the Raiders.

Brandon Weeden threw for a career best 364 yards in Oakland last Sunday but only scored once. He has four remaining weeks to prove to the Browns that they already have their franchise quarterback and can focus on one of their many other needs in the draft and free agency this spring. Weeden only scored 13 times this year but his yardage has been healthy at least most of the time. Don't forget either that this team only passed for 12 touchdowns in all of last year and never passed for more than 280 yards in any game. Weeden's topped that in four different matchups so far.

Weeden is also balanced out by Trent Richardson who has become one of the better runners in the league and rushed in seven touchdowns on the year. He;s been good for more than 100 total yards each of the last three home games and those went against the Chargers, Ravens and Steelers. He's scored in over half of his games so far and has been a tremendous draft selection.

Ben Watson just turned in a season-best 80 yards on six catches but spends most weeks remaining under 30 yards as a receiver and mostly blocks for Richardson.

Weeden has also been saddled with a fairly motley crew of receivers though Josh Gordon is getting better and is the only Browns receiver with any real fantasy merit. He comes off a season best 116 yards and a score in Oakland and posted five touchdowns in all. There is little fantasy consideration in any other receivers here though on a rare occasion one will turn in a decent game and then disappear. Gordon is not worth a start other than against the weakest of opponents and even them only as a WR3 play.

The Panthers were surprised by the Chiefs last week. We'll see how long that lasts now in a road game with plenty of time to digest what happened and return to being the team they were all along.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 29 19 29 25 19 10
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 21 23 15 12 27 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Connor Shaw, CLE @BAL 10000016002 ***
The undrafted rookie is taking all the first-team snaps in practice and will likely make the start in Baltimore in place of the injured Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer. An undrafted rookie, activated off the practice squad, starting in Baltimore against a Ravens team that needs to win. Yeah, that's going to end well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE @BAL 500000000 **
With the Browns starting a third-string quarterback in Week 17 for the fifth straight season--talk about a cursed franchise--the onus will be on the ground game to carry the offensive load. The problem there is that feature backs average 45 yards per game in Baltimore, and the Ravens have allowed only one RB rushing score in Baltimore this season--and a total of six RB TDs altogether. Crowell saw the bulk of the carries last week with Terrence West pinned to the bench due to lack of practice effort, but if the upside is less than 50 yards you'll want to look elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, CLE @BAL 004600000 *
It's been tough finding fantasy wideouts in Cleveland all year, let alone when they're scraping the bottom of the quarterbacks barrel in Week 17 on the road facing a Baltimore squad in a do-or-die situation. So... nah.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andrew Hawkins, CLE @BAL 003200000 *
It's tough to be a PPR threat when there are few "R"s to go around, and with Cleveland's quarterback issues this week that's likely to be the case.
Update: Making matters worse is that Hawkins is listed as questionable with a thumb injury. He practiced only on a limited basis this week and doesn't have the upside to offset the risk of little or no game action here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Gordon, CLE @BAL 00000000 *
No matter how good Gordon is, he can't throw the ball to himself. And between a banged-up Brian Hoyer, journeyman Tyler Thigpen and undrafted rookie Connor Shaw the Browns have all kinds of issues at quarterback. So much for that big late-season push after stashing Gordon, eh?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Cameron, CLE @BAL 003300000 *
It took until Week 16 but Cameron finally delivered on expectations last week with 88 yards and a touchdown. Now he'll face a tough matchup--the Ravens have allowed just five TE TDs on the year--while saddled with quarterback issues. Tough to bank on him for fantasy help this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Garrett Hartley, CLE @BAL 1100 **
Hartley has been a solid addition since replacing Billy Cundiff, though the Johnny Manziel-led offense hasn't provided a ton of opportunities. Cundiff had three points in the earlier meeting with Baltimore; tough to bank on Hartley providing a dramatic upgrade, especially if it's undrafted rookie Connor Shaw at quarterback for the Brownies.

WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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