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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 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.

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

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 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.

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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