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: SD 23, TEN 24 (Line: TEN by 3)

Players of Interest: Eddie Royal

Here is a game that is really hard to call. The Chargers are 1-1 and coming off a nice road win in Philly where they apparently killed the greatest offense that ever lived for just one week. The Titans are also 1-1 after losing to a comeback by the Texans though this week is the Titans home opener for 2013. They've played well above expectations for their two road games to start the season.

1 HOU 28-31 10 DEN -
2 @PHI 33-30 11 @MIA -
3 @TEN - 12 @KC -
4 DAL - 13 CIN -
5 @OAK - 14 NYG -
6 IND - 15 @DEN -
7 @JAC - 16 OAK -
8 BYE WEEK 17 KC -
9 @WAS - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD @ TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 260,2
RB Ryan Mathews 50 1-10
RB Danny Woodhead 20 7-50
WR Keenan Allen 3-30
WR Eddie Royal 6-80,1
TE Antonio Gates 5-40,1
PK Nick Novak 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Every year there has to be at least a couple of "go figure" players and 2013 has already welcomed Eddie Royal to the club after a league leading five touchdown catches. The Chargers offense still has no semblance of a run game but the passing of Philip Rivers has been eerily good so far. Losing Malcom Floyd is bound to make a difference but at least his scans have all been negative and his scary neck injury appears to be not as serious as was feared.

QUARTERBACKS: Hard to accept that Philip Rivers has already thrown seven touchdowns and that includes facing the Texans who gave up four scores to him. In Philly, Rivers peeled off 419 yards and three touchdowns and only has one interception on the year. looming schedule is not that bad and his success may just continue.

RUNNING BACKS: This backfield is still evolving though the results have been less than stellar through two games. Ryan Matthews ran for 73 yards on 16 carries in Philly but had no role as a receiver and was pulled on third downs. While Ronnie Brown was constantly in the passing package in week one, Danny Woodhead became the third down back against the Eagles and responded with eight receptions for 37yards. This remains a below average crew and the team is dedicated to a committee so no one player will likely every offer a big game. Woodhead added a nice element to the offense and should see more work in the future.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Malcom Floyd is out at least this week if not more after jamming his neck when he ran into a defender and required hospitalization. He already had five catches for 102 yards in that game before leaving so his presence will be missed. Vincent Brown is stuck in the mud with never more than 26 yards in either game. The story here has been Eddie Royal who scored twice in the season opener and no one believed it meant anything. Then he scored three more times last Sunday while finishing with 90 yards on seven catches. Hell be yanked off every waiver wire this week as people hope to catch the newest James Jones type who excels catching touchdowns. One little caveat here, one reason this is still a bit hard to buy ito is that Royal only scored five times over the last four years. Big jump to start the season to be sure, but sustainable? Hard to buy into until next week when he scores three more times.

TIGHT ENDS: At least Antonio Gates will have one game over 100 yards this year. In Philadelphia, Gates hauled in eight catches for 124 yards though he was stripped at the one-yard line and lost the ball. It was his highest yardage total since 2010 and his first 100 yard game in two years. And it came on the heels of week one when he only managed two catches for 49 yards.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Titans have yet to play at home so how good they can be this week is not certain. They have allowed a big passing effort to the Texans but losing Floyd puts a big dent in the passing effort with no one else really showing up as a possession receiver. The Titans have been solid against the run so far allowing just one score but again - at home they should be better and the Chargers rushing attack is nothing to create high expectations. By this point both Rivers and Royal deserve to be starting for a fantasy team if only as flex plays and 2-QB leagues.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Chances are Woodhead is going to get as much playing time again this week. Eddie Royal watch is on to see if he can hit the trifecta.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 4 12 6 16 4 29
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 12 11 23 16 1 18

 

1 @PIT 16-9 10 JAC -
2 @HOU 24-30 11 IND -
3 SD - 12 @OAK -
4 NYJ - 13 @IND -
5 KC - 14 @DEN -
6 @SEA - 15 ARI -
7 SF - 16 @JAC -
8 BYE WEEK 17 HOU -
9 @STL - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
TEN vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Locker 240,2
WR Nate Washington 5-60
WR Kendall Wright 7-80,1
TE Delanie Walker 4-30,1
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Titans came close to a 2-0 record despite opening with two road games and now get a three game home stretch. So far the defense has been better than expected and at least Jake locker has not had a turnover - it is something. The offense has been very vanilla so far but then again this will be their first road game. What happens this week will better define the Titans because their offense needs to catch up with the defense.

QUARTERBACKS: Jake Locker managed to throw two scores last week in Houston but he still hasn't topped 150 passing yards so far. And with such anemic passing stats, the receivers obviously have been of almost no fantasy value thus far. Locker has no fantasy value again this year and he once again is taking down the wideouts with him.

RUNNING BACKS: Shonn Greene remains out for a few more weeks after needing his knee scoped and in his place Jackie Battle fills in as the short yardage guy who has the only rushing score this year. Chris Johnson is getting a healthy 25 carries per game but has only one catch on the year for one yard. His lack of scoring and receptions is really cutting into his value but then again - not many backs are getting 25 carries per game and those came on the road against very good defenses. Unfortunately he faces another good rush defense this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Kenny Britt was benched during the loss at Houston because the coaches were tired of him making errors and not blocking. He's sure to be leaving the Titans next year and with only five catches for 43 yards total on the season it is sort of like he already left. Britt is a brittle prima donna who has lived on his potential. Kendall Wright scored in Houston and has the Titans biggest receiving game of the year with a whooping seven catches for 54 yards. This is just anemic and devoid of any reliable fantasy value with Locker chunking the rock.

TIGHT ENDS: Delanie Walker scored last week on his only catch in the game. Once again - devoid of any reliable production.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Chargers have allowed over 340 passing yards and at least two scores to their first two opponents so Locker might approach average this week with any luck. Chris Johnson is the only Titan of any real fantasy value and he goes against a defense that has yet to allow any runner to top 57 rush yards which includes Arian Foster and LeSean McCoy. The Chargers have allowed very healthy yardage to running backs as receivers but Johnson has not been used in that capacity this year. He's still worth a fantasy start regardless from his potential to break a long one and this is his first home game. If Johnson has any game with a freakish high amount of receptions, this would likely be it.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jake Locker has to improve if the Titans are to have a chance. Here is a home game against the #31 defense against quarterbacks. This may be as good as it gets.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 32 25 26 25 13 8
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 31 22 26 26 28 17

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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