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David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: KC 10, DEN 24 (Line: DEN by 16)

Players to Watch: Jamaal Charles, Knowshon Moreno, Ronnie Hillman

The Broncos can clinch a first round bye with a win here and if the Texans were to lose as well, the Broncos become the #1 seed. The 2-13 Chiefs once again narrowly miss the playoffs and seek to improve their 1-6 road record this year. This game is hard to call because you cannot be sure when the Broncos feel comfortable enough to pull back the reins a bit but with a 16 point spread, common sense says this game should be a blowout of some measure. The Chiefs last two road games combined for a total of just seven points. The Broncos last two home games total 65 points.

This is a replay of week 12 when the Broncos won 17-9 in Kansas City.

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 7-30
6 @TB 10-38 15 @OAK 0-15
7 BYE ----- 16 IND 13-20
8 OAK 16-26 17 @DEN -----
9 @SD 13-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Jamaal Charles 60 3-20
WR Donnie Avery 4-60
TE Anthony Fasano 2-20

Pregame Notes: The season concludes in Denver and chances are excellent that a new coaching staff will be in place next season along with some unknown number of players. Most notable will be a new quarterback since the duo of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn have run their course and end the year with a total of only eight passing touchdowns and only one effort that topped 300 yards - 301 in Buffalo in week two.

The eight passing scores have been accompanied by 20 interceptions thrown and seven lost fumbles. The switch to Brady Quinn in week 11 has resulted in only two touchdowns and both of those came in the same game. Quinn topped out at 201 yards so far and threw for only 126 yards and one interception in the previous meeting with the Broncos.

With Dwayne Bowe out, there is no one to throw it to anyway and even Tony Moeaki remains out with a concussion. Johnathan Baldwin has two catches total over the last three weeks.

The only success all year has been the running of Jamaal Charles who topped 100 yards seven times this year and went over 200 yards twice. As a prime example of the Chiefs sort of year, he ran for 165 yards and one score in Cleveland in week 15 and gained 226 yards just last week. And sandwiched between those was when he gained only ten yards on nine runs in Oakland. Charles has been a great comeback story after tearing up his knee last year and he even ran for 107 yards on 23 carries in the last meeting with the Broncos.

That's going to be hard to count on this week with the Broncos defense hitting a new level in the last month or so. But Charles is the only fantasy play on this team since Dwayne Bowe left. Even on the road, he is always worth a start and has been golden in nearly every game that does not involve the Raiders. With the passing game in shambles now, the Chiefs will rely on the run as much as they can and probably more than they should.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 32 4 32 29 25 32
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 11 5 8 32 4 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Alex Smith, KC @MIA 40000019012 ***
The Dolphins haven't allowed a fantasy helper at quarterback; Smith has yet to provide one this season. No reason to change those expectations here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knile Davis, KC @MIA 7016300000 **
Davis will get the call--and the bulk of the touches--against a defense that's allowed 250 combo yards to running backs this season. He's proven more than capable in the past, and this matchup tilts towards the favorable as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jamaal Charles, KC @MIA 00000000 *
High ankle sprains never hear as quickly as the original estimate, which likely means Charles sits this one out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donnie Avery, KC @MIA 005400000 ***
Avery flashed slightly with Dwayne Bowe out, then returned to his usual supporting role last week. Not much upside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC @MIA 003400000 ***
If there's a go-to wideout on this roster--and that's a relatively big "if"--it's Bowe, though targets in his first game back from suspension barely support the theory. Miami has allowed one wide receiver per opponent to have success against them; if KC is to follow that plan, odds are the wideout is Bowe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Travis Kelce, KC @MIA 005601000 **
Kelce still has to share with Anthony Fasano, but he's working his way into a more prominent role in the KC passing game. The Dolphins allowed Gronk to score on limited snaps; no reason Kelce can't do the same.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cairo Santos, KC @MIA 0022 ***
The Brazilian has made half of his NFL field goal attempts and remains mired near the bottom of the league in kicker scoring. Maybe he gets an uptick against a Miami D that allowed six field goal attempts last week, but best he do it on fantasy benches.

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 17-9
4 OAK 37-6 13 TB 31-23
5 @NE 21-31 14 @OAK 26-13
6 @SD 35-24 15 @BAL 34-17
7 BYE ----- 16 CLE 34-12
8 NO 34-14 17 KC -----
9 @CIN 31-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DEN vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 290,2
WR Emmanuel Sanders 5-70,1
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-80,1
WR Wes Welker 8-100,1
TE Jacob Tamme 2-20
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Broncos official word is that they are not going to rest any players and that Peyton Manning will put in a full game. And the reality is that the only thing that matters here is a win which won't be hard to obtain. And the Texans will have already played so that Denver will know if they even have a chance to win more than a first round bye. They are playing the Chiefs at home. This game smacks of players sitting out late in the contest if only Knowshon Moreno and maybe Peyton.

Manning already threw for 285 yards and two scores in Kansas City and has scored in every game this year. Over half of his games contain three passing scores. How much will be needed to beat the Chiefs? The first touchdown alone may do the trick. Manning is always a gamer and wants to play. And if he was hurt in the fourth quarter of a 24-3 game, just how bad would that be?

Moreno had his first start of the year against the Chiefs and ran for 85 yards on 20 carries and caught four passes for 26 yards. He's been a true surprise and his success only illustrates how great it is to play running back for a team with Peyton Manning under center. he is averaging 94 rushing yards per start and 29 more yards as a receiver. Not bad for a guy we thought was so far down the depth chart that he had to share one helmet with two other players.

Ronnie Hillman will likely get at least a few more reps this week and may end up taking over at some point.

Jacob Tamme scored on his four catches for 48 yards in Kansas City and that was his only score all year since the season opener. Demaryius Thomas also scored and ended with 82 yards while Eric Decker caught four passes for 64 yards.

The Broncos want to win this game but that should not be a big problem. The real issue is how reliable can these guys be once they have that two score lead? Against a team that can only has seven points total over their last two road games? More risk here than it may seem.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 9 13 2 8 8 3
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 17 20 16 8 29 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Peyton Manning, DEN @SEA 0000027021 ****
Wash the taste of the Super Bowl out of your mouth, take a deep breath, and tell yourself Peyton has three TD tosses in every game so far. Sure, he's entering the place where fantasy quarterbacks go to be erased--see Aaron Rodgers, Week 1--but you didn't draft Peyton to ride pine behind... well, anybody.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Montee Ball, DEN @SEA 5004200000 ***
No opposing back has topped 40 yards against the Seahawks and only John Kuhn has found the end zone. Temper expectations mightily for Montee this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN @SEA 004801000 ***
Sanders cedes his slot position to the returning Wes Welker, which likely means he'll find himself draped by Richard Sherman at some point during the afternoon. He's a fringe fantasy start based on the matchup, and the return of Welker creates some wait-and-see regarding his role going forward as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN @SEA 006600000 ***
You can bet the Broncos will move Demaryius around so as to avoid an entire afternoon of Richard Sherman. However, at some point the two are bound to tangle, and with Peyton's overall numbers subdued the same pall needs to be cast over the receiving corps as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, DEN @SEA 004501000 ***
Antonio Gates took the Seahawks for a hat trick last week, which certainly bodes well for the fantasy prospects of Thomas here; after all, he turned in a hat trick of his own in Week 1 and followed that up by finding the end zone last week as well.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN @SEA 2222 ****
Can the Broncos emulate their AFC West brethren and drop 30 on the Seahawks? Possible. But if you've been riding McManus while waiting for Matt Prater to return in a couple weeks, and with Denver's bye coming up, this wouldn't be a bad time to bail on Brandon and find a more favorable kicker matchup.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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