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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 

Prediction: DEN 31, KC 27 (Line: DEN by 3.5)

Update: Knowshon Moreno is expected to start this week according to HC Jack Del Rio and is listed as probable to play. I have adjusted the projections to reflect the change. Julius Thomas is listed as questionable to play and was limited in all practices but is still expected to play.

And here we go. This is the replay of just two weeks ago when the Broncos won 27-17 in Denver. But then they lost to the Patriots while the Chiefs lost to the visiting Chargers and now both teams are looking more mortal than ever. Apparently perfection is hard to extend beyond week 10. This game gets no easier to call since the Chiefs defense and the Broncos offense both stepped back from their dominating ways.

1 BAL 49-27 10 @SD 28-20
2 @NYG 41-23 11 KC 27-17
3 OAK 37-21 12 @NE 31-34
4 PHI 52-20 13 @KC -
5 @DAL 51-48 14 TEN -
6 JAC 35-19 15 SD -
7 @IND 33-39 16 @HOU -
8 WAS 45-21 17 @OAK -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DEN @ KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 320,2
RB Montee Ball 30,1 1-10
WR Emmanuel Sanders 4-40
WR Demaryius Thomas 6-100,1
WR Wes Welker 6-80
TE Julius Thomas 3-40,1
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: Hard to argue that the Broncos have fallen that far when they posted 31 points in New England but one of those scores was by the defense. It was troubling to see the passing game being impacted by the weather and more so because it did not seem to be as big of an issue with Tom Brady. Perhaps the problem is when the stars return to their old teams. Manning lost in Indy and now Welker pulled several gaffs in New England including dropping passes and not calling off the return early enough that resulted in the final muffed punt recovery that lost the game. This is a week that once again probably determines which team is the #1 seed in the AFC and which one has to play in a wild card game.

QUARTERBACKS: Peyton Manning passed for 323 yards and one score versus the Chiefs in week 11 and that ended his streak of multiple touchdown games. He comes off a two-score effort in New England that only posted 150 yards for his first game below 295 yards. The weather appears to be good this week so the old Manning has a chance to return. But playing in Kansas City against a very motivated Chiefs team is not going to be any easier than playing them in Denver.

RUNNING BACKS: Knowshon Moreno ran for 79 yards on 27 carries in the first meeting with the Chiefs but needed crutches and a walking boot after the loss in New England. He ran for a career best 224 yards but suffered a significant bone bruise on his right leg and appears likely to miss at least this week. That would shift Montee Ball into the primary role - for however long before he fumbles - and C.J. Anderson. Ronnie Hillman is likely to be active as well.

Ball already ran for 25 yards on eight carries and scored twice on the Chiefs this year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Demaryius Thomas ended with 121 yards on five catches in that first meeting while Wes Welker caught eight passes for 72 yards. Eric Decker reeled in five passes for 71 yards. Decker hasn't scored or amounted to much since back in week seven. Welker scored only once over the last five games but Thomas has been great in each of the last five weeks with at least one score and/or 100 yards.

TIGHT ENDS: Julius Thomas scored once and gained 43 yards in the first meeting with the Chiefs. He is ranked second among tight ends in the NFL with ten touchdowns. No tight end made a catch in week 12 while Thomas was out but he is expected to return this week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The most favorable difference this time is that the Chiefs should be without LB Justin Houston and LB Tamba Hall who were injured last week and are the two edge rushers on passing plays. That helps Manning stay upright and the rushing game to meet a little less resistance. The Chiefs were tough against the run at home until last week giving up two rushing scores to the Chargers and 392 yards and three scores to Philip Rivers. Manning, Ball, Welker, Demaryius and Julius Thomas are all worthy of starting again. Even C.J. Anderson could end up with fantasy points depending on what Ball does.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 1 4 1 3 4 8
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 14 13 16 2 3 3

 

1 @JAC 28-2 10 BYE WEEK
2 DAL 17-16 11 @DEN 17-27
3 @PHI 26--16 12 SD 38-41
4 NYG 31-7 13 DEN -
5 @TEN 26-17 14 @WAS -
6 OAK 24-7 15 @OAK -
7 HOU 17-16 16 IND -
8 CLE 23-17 17 @SD -
9 @BUF 23-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
KC vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 260,2
RB Jamaal Charles 80,1 5-40,1
WR Donnie Avery 4-50
WR Dwayne Bowe 6-60,1
TE Anthony Fasano 4-40
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs suddenly are on a two game skid though the loss to the Chargers was only by three points. A loss this week is followed by three of the last four games being played on the road but the Chiefs may be favored in all, including at San Diego. The offense has finally been forced to play catchup and twice now failed. But the passing stats are way up and the fantasy value finally extending to more than merely Jamaal Charles.

QUARTERBACKS: Alex Smith passed for 230 yards and two scores in Denver and then last week had a season best 294 yards and three touchdowns versus the visiting Chargers. But Smith only threw two scores over the five previous games and five times never threw any scores in a game this year. Now teams at least know what it looks like when the Chiefs must pass.

RUNNING BACKS: Jamaal Charles only gained 78 yards on 16 runs in Denver because the Chiefs had to abandon the run. He added only two catches for a net six yard loss as well for his worst game of the year. Charles has never gained fewer than 100 total yards in Kansas City and scored in all but one game there.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Chiefs are limited to only two wideouts that matter and Donnie Avery only caught one pass for 20 yards in the Denver meeting. Dwayne Bowe caught four passes for 57 yards and a touchdown there and even followed that up with five receptions for 51 yards and a score in the Chargers loss. Bowe still has yet to gain more than 67 yards in any game this year but at least he turned in back-to-back touchdown when the Chiefs finally had to throw the ball. Avery managed 91 yards and a score last week as well.

TIGHT ENDS: The Chiefs tight ends had no real fantasy value all year but Anthony Fasano scored in both of the most recent games and gained 37 yards on four catches in Denver. He's no risk to turn in more than 40 yards in any game this year but he is a red zone target for SMith.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: There's no real difference to the Broncos defense from two weeks ago though they are on the road where opponents tend to score more points and gain more yardage. Smith should be a safe bet to at least repeat week 11 if not increase his yardage as well. Charles also runs better at home and the Broncos are more likely to give up a running back score in an away game. There is no difference now from two weeks ago - Charles is always a must start but Smith and Bowe have moderate fantasy value unlike most weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 17 2 31 27 10 1
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 27 24 20 30 20 13

WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 



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