FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4 SF at STL (THU) CIN at CLE NYG at KC SEA at HOU
PIT at MIN (London) IND at JAC PHI at DEN WAS at OAK
CHI at DET NE at ATL BAL at BUF MIA at NO (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at TB DAL at SD NYJ at TEN On Bye: CAR, GB

Prediction: NYG 20, KC 27 (Line: KC by 4)

Players of Interest: Dwayne Bowe, Hakeem Nicks

Here is a bit of a surprise. The Giants are 0-3 and come off a 0-38 loss in Carolina where they never looked worse. The Chiefs are 3-0 and sport a defense that has only allowed three touchdowns all season. The Giants will get better and the Chiefs will get worse. But that's less likely this week. Remember - Andy Reid already knows everything about these Giants.

1 @DAL 31-36 10 OAK -
2 DEN 23-41 11 GB -
3 @CAR 0-38 12 DAL -
4 @KC - 13 @WAS -
5 PHI - 14 @SD -
6 @CHI - 15 SEA -
7 MIN - 16 @DET -
8 @PHI - 17 WAS -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 300,2
WR Victor Cruz 7-110,1
WR Kevin Ogletree 2-20
WR Rueben Randle 3-50
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The assumption is that the Giants will get it back together and resume being a good team but so all the same pieces do not fit together anymore. Eli Manning already threw eight interceptions and never looked worse than last week when the turnaround was supposed to being. The Giants look shell-shocked and players are openly complaining about their roles. The Giants have started the year out poorly before and even ended up in the Super Bowl but nothing so far says this team looks like it will improve soon. It's like trying to start a car and all you hear is the battery getting weaker and weaker.

QUARTERBACKS: Troublesome. Eli Manning went from 450 yards and four scores in Dallas, down to 362 yards and one touchdown against the Broncos and now come off a 119 yard effort in Carolina that produced one interception. Manning looks out of sorts and out of synch. Last week could partially be about a flat performance after a much hyped meeting of Manning brothers. This week will tell.

RUNNING BACKS: This is an unimaginable mess. David Wilson started the year with a great opportunity since Andre Brown was gone. But all he has done is lose two fumbles, run for only 75 yards on 25 carries, never score and have zero receptions. Brandon Jacobs returned as if that was what they were missing and while he scored once against Denver, he's totaled six yards on ten carries. Da'Rel Scott has six runs for seven yards in the last two games and his one receiving touchdown in week two became only two receptions for 17 yards in Carolina. The rushing effort here has never been worse and now lead blocker Henry Hynoski is possibly out for the season. Future games against the Eagles Redskins might make it look like the Giants have a rushing game but they don't and won't on the road against a defense as good as the Chiefs.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Last week was so bad that no receiver gained more than 40 yards and Hakeem Nicks was only thrown one pass and he did not catch it. Nicks publicly groused about his lack of involvement which on most teams would result in getting more love the next week. No guarantee here. Victor Cruz went from back-to-back 118 yard games to only 25 yards last week. Cruz caught three touchdowns against Dallas in the opener. No wideout has scored since. The hope for the team turning this mess around lies here. The wide receivers have to be the ones that get the offense back on track and back on the scoreboard.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Myers had a down game like everyone else in Carolina but his first two weeks were solid efforts with at least six catches for 65 yards or more. He scored in week one as well. Myers is no savior but he is a solid part of the game plan.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Giants are bad at the run and the Chiefs at home have been great. No reason to expect a change there. This game turns on the performance of Manning and the receivers against a defense that has only given up two passing scores this year. CB Brandon Flowers has been struggling with a knee issue and that will help out Nicks who wants to be involved more. This is the defense that held Witten to just three catches for 12 yards. Expect Manning, Nicks, Cruz and Rueben Randle to be the start and end of the offensive effort.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Simply Eli Manning. The run game is never going to amount to much. The receivers can only post points with passes thrown to them. Manning has to turn it around this week. Even if he doesn't win the game, he must have a better showing and stop turning the ball over.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 16 29 8 8 25 30
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 8 7 11 10 8 7

 

1 @JAC 28-2 10 BYE WEEK
2 DAL 17-16 11 @DEN -
3 @PHI 26-16 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 vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 30 210,2
RB Jamaal Charles 110,1 6-30
WR Donnie Avery 4-60
WR Dwayne Bowe 5-70,1

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs remain unbeaten and the game manager Alex Smith coupled with Jamaal Charles has been enough to win games. That and the fact the defense has only allowed three touchdowns all year. The quick of scheduling is that Reid finally left the NFC East after 14 years and by week four he will have played the Cowboys, Giants and his old Eagle team. He's still three weeks out from playing anyone in his new division. The Chiefs have surprised largely because of the defense and now they are facing only one road game in the next five weeks.

QUARTERBACKS: Alex Smith is a game manager but he has added rushing to his arsenal. He's averaging over 30 yards per game as a runner and while he has yet to throw a big game, he also hasn't turned the ball over once. No mistakes goes a long way. So does throwing a couple of scores in most weeks. Smith's passing remains very short in the dink-n-dunk style of the west coast offense only he never takes a chance on that deep strike. At 3-0, he hasn't needed it.

RUNNING BACKS: Jamaal Charles hurt his quadriceps in week two but it never bothered him and he played in week three without any signs of limitation. All he did was paste the Eagles with 172 total yards and a score. Charles has a touchdown in every game so far and over 100 total yards as well. He's the perfect fit for the offense and is good for 20 touches or more every week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The lone complaint about this offense is that Smith never throws deep and he doesn't take a chance on throwing into coverage. That has left the always covered Dwayne Bowe high and dry. Bowe only managed one catch for four yards last week. Three games in and he still has yet to top 56 yards in any game. Donnie Avery blew up on the Eagles with 141 yards last Sunday but Bowe is getting no love. He draws enough of the secondary that allow others to succeed.

Bowe is far too talented to continue this snail's pace but 3-0 doesn't exactly demand quick changes. The Chiefs paid $56 million for their start receiver so you can expect him to become more of the game plan. As the season gets tougher, he will have to be more involved even if it means Smith has to disregard double coverage and trust in his wideout to get the ball.

In other news, after making millions of dollars the last two years, A.J. Jenkins now has a career catch. A catch. One. Six yards.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Giants have been so bad with turnovers that opponents have enjoyed spectacular field position and time of possession. No one has been able to throw fewer than two touchdowns on the Giants and every opponent has featured a runner with at least 107 total yards. Expect a nice game here from Charles but likely only moderate games from the receivers or Smith. Bowe is over due for a good game and it could happen here but until he does, he is a risk to burn owners again.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Simply Dwayne Bowe, currently the most well-paid decoy in the NFL. A home game against the Giants is a good spot for him to show up again.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 15 1 31 28 15 2
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 25 23 23 27 30 32

WEEK 4 SF at STL (THU) CIN at CLE NYG at KC SEA at HOU
PIT at MIN (London) IND at JAC PHI at DEN WAS at OAK
CHI at DET NE at ATL BAL at BUF MIA at NO (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at TB DAL at SD NYJ at TEN On Bye: CAR, GB


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