FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5 BUF at CLE (THU) DET at GB NE at CIN SEA at IND
DEN at DAL KC at TEN SD at OAK NYJ at ATL (MON)
BAL at MIA HOU at SF NO at CHI On Bye:
*UPDATED CAR at ARI JAC at STL PHI at NYG MIN, PIT, TB, WAS

Prediction: KC 24, TEN 16 (Line: KC by 2.5)

Players of Interest: Sean McGrath

The 4-0 Chiefs are just getting better it seems as the Andy Reid system takes over. The 3-1 Titans were a touchdown short in Houston from a 4-0 mark and remain home for the third straight week. The Titans picked a bad week to be without their starting quarterback.

1 @JAC 28-2 10 BYE WEEK
2 DAL 17-16 11 @DEN -
3 @PHI 26-16 12 SD -
4 NYG 31-7 13 DEN -
5 @TEN - 14 @WAS -
6 OAK - 15 @OAK -
7 HOU - 16 IND -
8 CLE - 17 @SD -
9 @BUF - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
KC @ TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 30 230,2
RB Jamaal Charles 80,1 7-60
WR Jason Avant 2-40
WR Donnie Avery 4-40,1
WR Dwayne Bowe 4-50
TE Sean McGrath 5-60,1

Pregame Notes: Starting out 4-0 is impressive though the schedule turned out to be rather kind since the NFC East has taken a nosedive and Andy Reid already is very familiar with how to beat them. But if they can get past the Titans this week, there are three straight home games that could end up with a 8-0 record at the mid-point. That may not last any longer than week 11 in Denver but no one is complaining about Andy Reid in Kansas City.

QUARTERBACKS: Alex Smith may be a dink-n-dunk game manager, but give him the weak Giants defense he threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns. He's been a good fit for the offense even if it has killed the deep pass and ruined Dwayne Bowe. Smith is running between 30 and 60 yards per week as well for a nice boost to the offense and his fantasy value. Last week may be the ceiling for Smith but he's been consistently good even if he is never great. Last week was the first time this year he threw an interception.

RUNNING BACKS: The beauty about Jamaal Charles is that he's such an integral component of the offense that he's the leading rusher and receiver on occasion. Charles still hasn't rushed for more than 92 yards but he's scored in each game and been right at 100 total yards of more. He's been money this year and has never had a bad game thanks to his role as a receiver. His two scores via receptions ties him with Dwayne Bowe as the lead scorer among receivers. Knile Davis is the backup but rarely sees the field.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Most Dwayne Bowe owners are screaming "SELL! SELL!" after he ended the Giants game with four catches for 58 yards and one touchdown. That is a season high for Bowe who scored in the other home game but only posted a total of five receptions for 34 yards over the two away games. Even the score last week was late in the game while Andy Reid was just running up the score on the bumbling Giants. Alex Smith is more than happy to dump off to Charles and that does nothing for Bowe who is averaging just 11 yards per catch. Donnie Avery produced only one good afternoon in the Philly matchup but has otherwise remained below 40 yards each week. Smith doesn't throw for a lot of yardage and spreads the love all around. The Chiefs are almost devoid of fantasy value among the receivers other than a persistent hope that Bowe and Smith somehow start clicking more.

TIGHT ENDS: Sean McGrath scored for the first time in his career when he ended with five receptions for 64 yards versus the Giants, He was originally a Seahawk rookie last year but landed with the Chiefs after they ran through a few other tight ends. McGrath caught four passes for 31 yards the previous week. The 6-5 second-year player isn't setting the world on fire but he is slowly heading towards fantasy relevance.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Titans defense has only allowed one quarterback to throw for over one score though everyone does get that one touchdown. The rushing defense is also average and that is after facing PIT, SD and NYJ and their poor rushing offenses. When the Texans played them, Ben Tate and Arian foster combined for 172 rushing yards and one touchdown so Charles is a safe start. One intriguing start here is McGrath given his expanding role and the fact that the Titans have already allowed four different tight ends to score against them. Charles is the main starter here and both Smith and Bowe remain moderate with a chance of low stats. McGrath could be a sneaky play if you suddenly have a bye week problem.

WHAT TO WATCH: The offense could use a good receiving tight end since the deeper routes by wide receivers appear to be nothing more than to open the middle for a shorter throw. It would be nice to see McGrath get at least four catches again this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 13 2 30 22 19 1
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 10 16 7 28 2 2

 

1 @PIT 16-9 10 JAC -
2 @HOU 24-30 11 IND -
3 SD 20-17 12 @OAK -
4 NYJ 38-13 13 @IND -
5 KC - 14 @DEN -
6 @SEA - 15 ARI -
7 SF - 16 @JAC -
8 BYE WEEK 17 HOU -
9 @STL - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Justin Hunter 3-40
WR Nate Washington 5-70,1
WR Kendall Wright 6-50
TE Delanie Walker 2-20
PK Ryan Succop 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Titans move on to Ryan Fitzpatrick for now with the loss of Jake Locker for a month or more. This was starting to be the best year yet for Locker who still has not committed any turnovers while scoring seven times over the last two weeks. That could put a road block up for the Titans who were starting to roll. The team could not have chosen worse time to lose their starting quarterback with the next three opponents of KC, SEA and SF. Fortunately, Locker should be back in time for the AFC South matchups later in the year.

QUARTERBACKS: Ryan Fitzpatrick throws a new variable into the equation and his admittedly small sample of this year had him only completing three of eight passes though one went for a 77-yard touchdown to Nate Washington late in the fourth quarter of the already decided game. Jake Locker has a sprained hip and won't be back for four to six weeks so Fitzpatrick has to learn the ropes with a very brutal stretch of the schedule starting now.

RUNNING BACKS: Chris Johnson is not having a banner year so far and missing Locker is not likely to help. Johnson still hasn't scored and while he ran for 90 yards twice, he doesn't play as a receiver more than one or twice per week for a very short catch. Johnson just ran for 21 yards on 15 carries against the Jets and had an impromptu twitter war with his fantasy owners berating him for not doing more. This offense has only scored once via the run and that was Jackie Battle back in week one. Johnson's fantasy value is taking a major hit from a lack of touchdowns and receptions.

WIDE RECEIVERS: With Fitzpatrick under center there is much more uncertainty with a group of wideouts who already were inconsistent and marginally productive. Justin Hunter scored in each of the last two games during his one and only catch. Kendall Wright offers moderate yardage while Nate Washington has been the best with two big games in the last two weeks. Kenny Britt remains likely out with a rib injury but might not play much even if he is healthy. Washington and Wright contribute the most though Wright hasn't scored since week two. Just when Washington is getting hot, the quarterbacks change.

TIGHT ENDS: Delanie Walker bruised his ribs last Sunday but is expected to play. He scored once on the Jets but only gained 14 yards on this three catches. He remains below fantasy relevance.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Make no mistake - this Kansas City defense is for real. They have allowed only three passing touchdowns and never more than one per opponent. They gave up only one rushing touchdown all year and only LeSean McCoy gained more than 55 yards as a runner. The best any tight end produced was 31 yards and that includes Jason Witten. Brandon Flowers is out and that's allowed opponents to have more success with their primary receiver but changing quarterbacks when the Chiefs show up mean no one on the Titans is more than a moderate start with risk of a bad game.

WHAT TO WATCH: Ryan Fitzpatrick has to guide the Titans through a very rough part of the schedule. By the time Locker gets back, a fine start may have been squandered if Fitzpatrick cannot keep the offense moving.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 16 27 8 24 13 6
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 7 2 14 1 4 6

WEEK 5 BUF at CLE (THU) DET at GB NE at CIN SEA at IND
DEN at DAL KC at TEN SD at OAK NYJ at ATL (MON)
BAL at MIA HOU at SF NO at CHI On Bye:
*UPDATED CAR at ARI JAC at STL PHI at NYG MIN, PIT, TB, WAS


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