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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN* CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR* PHI at DET* SEA at DEN* JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL* STL at OAK* NYG at IND*
*Updated MIA at MIN* KC at CLE* NE at NYJ NO at SF*

Prediction: KC 24, CLE 17

The Chiefs are flying high after an opening game on Monday night saw them take down their long-time nemesis of the Chargers. The Browns return home after a close loss to the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. This is a coin toss game but the Chiefs legitimately looked much improved on defense if nothing else and the Chiefs will want to avenge that loss in 2009.

The Chiefs lost to the visiting Browns 34-41 in week 15 of last season.

Update: Jake Delhomme is doubtful to play this week after his ankle did not respond to treatment. Seneca Wallace will take the start.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD W 21-14 10 @DEN --
2 @CLE -- 11 ARI --
3 SF -- 12 @SEA --
4 Bye - 13 DEN --
5 @IND -- 14 @SD --
6 @HOU -- 15 @STL --
7 JAC -- 16 TEN --
8 BUF -- 17 OAK --
9 @OAK -- - - -
Chiefs Report | Statistics | Roster
KANSAS CITY at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel - - 210,2
RB Jamaal Charles 80,1 20 -
RB Thomas Jones 40 - -
TE Tony Moeaki - 20 -
WR Dexter McCluster 20 20 -
WR Chris Chambers - 70,1 -
WR Dwayne Bowe - 60,1 -
PK Ryan Succop 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The game was played in the driving rain but that didn't stop the Chiefs from scoring via the pass, a rush and on special teams. More than that was the Chiefs defense coming to life against the run. It's still far too early to assess fully, but the addition of Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator appears to be a success and if the special teams and defense can keep it up, the Chiefs might just become a contender again.

QUARTERBACK: Last week was no measuring stick when Matt Cassel ended with just 68 passing yards and one score in the driving rain on a night his team held the lead the entire way. Cassel passed for 331 yards and two scores against the visiting Browns last year. Even Josh Freeman with a bad thumb passed for 182 yards and two scores last week on the Browns.

Expect a decent showing here since the Chiefs cannot just rely on the run to win this one.

RUNNING BACKS: In the fantasy world, you start your best players, the ones that can get you the most points. But that notion apparently does not apply to the Kansas City Chiefs because they opened the game with two straight series of just Thomas Jones. Then when they finally gave Jamaal Charles a chance, he ripped off a 56 yard scoring run. By the end of the game, both he and Jones had been given 11 carries. Charles gained 92 yards for an 8.4 YPC and Jones gained 39 yards for a 3.5 YPC. What incriminating photos does Jones have of HC Todd Haley? Hard to say but it has to be something otherwise it means the Chiefs don't want to win and they really should. Ask any fan.

Charles gained 154 yards on 25 carries and scored once on the Browns last year.

This time you have to expect a split backfield and the Browns at home could be tougher against the run than expected. The Browns were weak against the run in 2009 but held the Bucs to only 85 yards on 28 carries. Oh wait. That was the Buccaneers. Charles is a safe start and should post decent numbers but apparently fewer than he could since Jones will ruin the team YPC by getting the same number of carries.

WIDE RECEIVERS: We are still waiting to see what Dwayne Bowe is going to be like this year since the non-existent passing game last week did no favors for the receivers. Bowe only managed 56 yards on four catches against the Browns last year but Chris Chambers scored once on his five receptions for 114 yards. Favorable here as well is that the Browns allowed the Buccaneers to pass for two scores to their wide receivers. While this won't be a repeat of last year, Bowe and Chambers make moderately decent fantasy starts this week in what should be a higher scoring venue.

The coaches want to integrate Dexter McCluster more but he only had two catches for nine yards and a run that was tackled at the line of scrimmage. So far McCluster is a special teams star and yet another tiny super talent that cannot fit into a regular offense.

TIGHT ENDS: The Chiefs third round pick came up big in the Chargers game with a team high three catches for 21 yards and the lone passing touchdown. There was no tight end of any note last season so this development is promising.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 31 9 32 10 26 9
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 23 12 22 13 12 15


Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB L 14-17 10 NYJ --
2 KC -- 11 @JAC --
3 @BAL -- 12 CAR --
4 CIN -- 13 @MIA --
5 ATL -- 14 @BUF --
6 @PIT -- 15 @CIN --
7 @NO -- 16 BAL --
8 Bye - 17 PIT --
9 NE -- - - -
Browns Report | Statistics | Roster
CLEVELAND vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Seneca Wallace - - 210,1
QB Jake Delhomme - - 220,1
RB Peyton Hillis 70,1 20 -
RB Jerome Harrison 60 10 -
TE Ben Watson - 10 -
WR Mohamed Massaquoi - 70,1 -
WR Josh Cribs 20 20 -
WR Chansi Stuckey - 50 -
PK Phil Dawson 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Browns were clipped by the Bucs in Tampa Bay but at least they caught a glimpse of what a real quarterback could do. The Browns did nothing to upgrade the offense outside of bringing in Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace but at least Delhomme had some success.This week may literally be as easy as it gets this year but even that is no guarantee of victory. The schedule is about to become very unkind so a win here would really help but the Browns remain talent-starved in too many places.

QUARTERBACK: Jake Delhomme debuted for the Browns and passed for 227 yards and one score with two interceptions in Tampa Bay. Of course most of that came on a 41-yard passing score to Mohamed Massaquoi and a 49-yard strike to the tight end Evan Moore. And Delhomme twisted his ankle in that game and now is wearing a walking boot as of Tuesday. He had an MRI on the ankle but the results were not released as of this writing.

I will assume that Delhomme can play with no real limitation and update later if needed. Seneca Wallace will be working out with the first team in anticipation of starting if needed.

The Chiefs did give up 298 yards and two scores to Philip Rives in the rain on Monday night but Delhomme and company are hardly the Chargers. Expect one passing score and moderate yardage here.

RUNNING BACKS: The Browns used Peyton Hillis as the starter last week though by the end of the game both he and Jerome Harrison had been given nine carries each. Hillis gained 41 yards and a score while Harrison ended with 52 yards. Hillis was the receiving back with four catches for 24 yards. Hillis also lost a fumble in the second quarter on a run.

The committee will continue and ensure the ruination of the potential fantasy value of either back.

In a game of historic measure in the Harrison household, Jerome ran 34 times for 286 yards and three scores in Kansas City last year. But the Chiefs are stopping the run far better this year and held Ryan Mathews to just 75 yards on 19 carries. Throw in the backfield split here and neither runner has that much fantasy value.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Jake Delhomme could be as good as he has ever been and it may not matter much. He will throw to Chansi Stuckey, Mohamed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs. His options are limited and just below average in most every measure. Massaquoi has the only decent fantasy value and that is slim. He scored last week but only had two catches for 46 yards - which was still better than any other wide receiver.

The Chiefs remain weaker against wideouts so that should benefit Massaquoi the most since he has far more talent than the others on his team.

TIGHT ENDS: Ben Watson is the starter but his three catches for 16 yards last week was upstaged by Evan Moore who had three receptions for a team high 46 yards and one touchdown. No safe plays with this unit.

WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR PHI at DET SEA at DEN JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL STL at OAK NYG at IND
  MIA at MIN KC at CLE NE at NYJ NO at SF
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