FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)

Prediction: KC 27, PHI 23 (Line: PHI by 3)

Players of Interest: Zach Ertz

Suddenly this is a very tough game to call. The Chiefs are 2-0 with a vastly improved defense. The Eagles are 1-1 with an offense that has looked both unstoppable and then not good enough to keep up with the visiting Chargers (with a tip of the hat to the Eagles defense). This game will help to define both teams but going in you could make the case for almost anything to happen. Bottom line here is that this is the homecoming of Andy Reid who knows all the Eagle's players pretty well. That elevates this Thursday night game with added angles of interest. And trust me, the announcers will constantly remind us of the many facets of the Philly/Reid connection.

1 @JAC 28-2 10 BYE WEEK
2 DAL 17-16 11 @DEN -
3 @PHI - 12 SD -
4 NYG - 13 DEN -
5 @TEN - 14 @WAS -
6 OAK - 15 @OAK -
7 HOU - 16 IND -
8 CLE - 17 @SD -
9 @BUF - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
KC @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 30 250,2
RB Jamaal Charles 90,1 6-50
WR Donnie Avery 3-40
WR Dwayne Bowe 8-100,1
WR Junior Hemingway 2-20,1
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Bringing in Andy Reid raised expectations for the offense but little did we know that it would make the defense second only to the Seahawks in points allowed. With four home games over the next six weeks, the Chiefs could definitely surprise at mid-season in a suddenly very competitive AFC West. This is a big test this week since the previous road game went well in Jacksonville but they are not being touted as the hot new offense in the NFL. The Eagles will present new problems. But Reid does know what his opponent is capable of and exactly which one will do it. You know he would love to have this game in front of the Philly crowd.

QUARTERBACKS: Alex Smith is not terrible, not bad, and maybe good. Game Manager good. He has not only thrown for two scores in both games but he's starting to run more. Against the Cowboys, Smith took off eight times and gained 57 yards for a career high. It adds a nice element to the offense and a new wrinkle to consider. So far Smith looks like he will never have a huge game, but he may never have a bad one either.

RUNNING BACKS: Jamaal Charles still has not rung up a big rushing game yet and has 132 yards on 32 carries for a 4.1 YPC average - a little low for his standard. But he still matters as a receiver and has a touchdown in both games. Charles has ended up around 100 total yards in games so far but should improve that mark in the coming weeks. He shared with no one and has been the most heavily targeted receiver. What's not to like?

WIDE RECEIVERS: The very moderate passing yardage has prevented anyone from being a very productive receiver though with time that should improve. Dwayne Bowe scored last week but has been limited to only four catches per game and never more than 56 yards. The passing scheme has been notably shorter than in the past and the average catch for the team is only 9.4 yards per catch. Less than most tight ends. No where near the 15.0 that is standard for wide receivers.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value. Anthony Fasano is primarily just a blocker and he has an injured ankle.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is where the passing effort should pick up against a defense that has allowed over 320 yards to both opponents and at least two scores. No team has allowed more fantasy points to their opposing wideouts than the Eagles. This is a game that could make Alex Smith worthy of a start., along with strong efforts from both Bowe and Charles. No other player here has reliable fantasy value yet. And may not this year.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Alex Smith could end up with more handoff's to Charles but the opportunity is there for him to have a better game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 14 2 30 26 27 6
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 27 15 32 22 25 19

 

1 @WAS 33-27 10 @GB -
2 SD 30-33 11 WAS -
3 KC - 12 BYE WEEK
4 @DEN - 13 ARI -
5 @NYG - 14 DET -
6 @TB - 15 @MIN -
7 DAL - 16 CHI -
8 NYG - 17 @DAL -
9 @OAK - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB LeSean McCoy 70,1 6-60
RB Darren Sproles 20 7-50
WR Riley Cooper 2-30
TE Brent Celek 2-30
TE Zach Ertz 3-30
PK Alex Henery 3 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: Two weeks in and it t's the defense that is making the games more interesting. With over 30 points per game so far, the offense has already greatly improved from last year but the defense has been unable to slow down opponents and losing at home to the Chargers is not the way you want Chip Kelly's first home opener to go. This will also be one of the softest games of the year at least on paper. The Andy Reid element casts a new light on it though. He's the one carrying a chip on his shoulder.

QUARTERBACKS: Michael Vick has been banged up already but two games in and he is still standing. Success! He has thrown for two scores in each game and ran in a touchdown as well. With 428 pass yards last week, Vick again shows he can air it out when needed. While he is running again, it is still limited to under ten carries and Vick has been better about using the sidelines or taking a slide. No doubt he wants this week to go well playing against the guy who revived his career.

RUNNING BACKS: LeSean McCoy cooled down from his 184 yard rushing day against the Redskins to only running for 53 yards on 11 carries last week. But he went from one catch for five yards to five catches for 114 yards. Two games in a row and McCoy is a gem in this new offense. He'll last a lot longer with 16 touches in a game than having 32. Bryce Brown is standing on the sideline ready to replace McCoy but that rarely happens. Until McCoy is injured, there is no other back in Philly with any fantasy value.

WIDE RECEIVERS: While Riley Cooper caught a touchdown on his two reception game against the Skins, DeSean Jackson was at his finest. He caught nine passes and gained 193 yards with one touchdown. No other wideout amassed more than 39 yards last week.

TIGHT ENDS: After catching two passes for 56 yards and a score in Washington, Brent Celek was held to no catches last week and only was given one target. The rookie Zach Ertz recorded two catches for 58 yards instead, Neither tight end is good enough to merit a fantasy start but Ertz could emerge later in the season.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Chiefs have been top ten against the main positions so far and allowed just one touchdown pass by Romo last week. They have also shut down the running games of Dallas and Jacksonville which may not seem that big a challenge but the Chiefs have only allowed 92 rushing yards on the season for a 2.9 YPC by opponents. McCoy has succeeded as a receiver and a runner, he remains a safe play this week. Playing at home Vick, McCoy and Jackson should always be used but their outlook is less rosy than it might seem. The Chiefs are only allowing nine points per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Zach Ertz would do well to show up again this week but outside of Vick, McCoy and Jackson there are no safe starts anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 3 8 11 19 6 12
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 4 6 7 14 7 10

WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)


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