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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2010
IND at TEN *NE at CHI *TB at WAS *KC at SD
*CIN at PIT *CLE at BUF *SEA at SF DEN at ARI
ATL at CAR *NYG at MIN STL at NO PHI at DAL
*Updated GB at DET OAK at JAC MIA at NYJ *BAL at HOU

Prediction: KC 20, SD 23

Update: Matt Cassel had his appendix removed and although the Chiefs still have hope that he can play, most people cannot withstand an NFL-quality pass rush only five says after having an organ removed. I will assume that Brodie Croyle fills in but check game actives to make sure.

Vincent Jackson hopes to play on Sunday but I am not adding him into the projections since he has to make it past pregame warmups. Legedu Naanee has been held out as well and will also be a game time decision you should avoid.

This is a rematch of the season opener when the Chiefs beat the visiting Chargers 21-14. The Chiefs are on a three game winning streak but are only 2-4 on the road. The Chargers are two games back and 4-2 in home games. They were looking like the new team to beat until the Raiders ruined that perception last week.

Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD W 21-14 10 @DEN L 29-49
2 @CLE W 16-14 11 ARI W 31-13
3 SF W 31-10 12 @SEA W 42-24
4 Bye - 13 DEN W 10-6
5 @IND L 9-19 14 @SD --
6 @HOU L 31-35 15 @STL --
7 JAC W 42-20 16 TEN --
8 BUF W 13-10 17 OAK --
9 @OAK L 20-23 - - -
Chiefs Report | Statistics | Roster
KANSAS CITY at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel - - 200,1
QB Brodie Croyle - - 180,1
RB Jamaal Charles 70,1 40 -
RB Thomas Jones 40 - -
TE Tony Moeaki - 50,1 -
WR Terrance Cooper - 20 -
WR Dexter McCluster - 30 -
WR Dwayne Bowe - 40 -
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: It wasn't a big win but the Chiefs took down the visiting Broncos last week and remain two games up in the division thanks to the Chargers loss to the Raiders. But the problem is that the Chiefs are 2-2 in the division which falls out neatly as two wins at home and two losses on the road. The main culprit has been a defense that gives away twice as many points in road games than when at home.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Cassel only passed for 68 yards and one score in the season opener with the Chefs but he only had 22 passes total anyway and the Chiefs won thanks to a special teams score and the running game. Cassel has since been far better with a score in each of the last eight games and 23 touchdowns on the season. The last two road games resulted in four touchdown passes in each.

The Chargers have been much tougher than that though with only six passing touchdowns allowed to visitors over the six games played in San Diego. No team has exceeded 253 pass yards there and most are well below 200 yards. Count on one score and moderate yardage at best.

RUNNING BACKS: In the season opener against the Bolts, Jamaal Charles ran for 92 yards and one score on just 11 carries while Thomas Jones set the stage for the rest of the year with 11 carries for only 39 yards. Thomas has been worse in road games so far and Charles has remained much more consistent regardless of where the game is played. The Chargers have been softer against the run than the pass and allowed five rushing scores in San Diego though no runner has exceeded 95 yards there yet.

Charles is an certain start every week and he has a chance for good yardage here factoring in receptions which Jones gets fewer and he gains less yardage. The two-headed rushing attack of the Raiders posted an uncharacteristically high 197 rushing yards there last week but expect the Chiefs to struggle more than that.

WIDE RECEIVERS: After all the surprisingly good play by Dwayne Bowe for the last seven weeks, he was blanked against the Broncos who actually cared enough to cover him this time unlike three weeks before when Bowe had a season high 186 yards and two scores in Denver. Bowe was held to only one catch for 13 yards against the Chargers in the opener and did not come to life until a month later. Dexter McCluster is back but only had two catches for 25 yards last week and he lost a fumble.This passing attack has really been limited to Bowe in fantasy terms and he was beating all comers until last week. He is likely to struggle again this week with the Chargers #2 ranked defense against wide receivers.

If Bowe does do well here it will be because the Chargers got a big lead and allowed trash time yardage like what happened in Denver earlier in the year.

TIGHT ENDS: The Chiefs are much weaker against tight ends than they are wide receivers and Tony Moeaki opened his rookie season with a touchdown on three catches for 21 yards on the Chargers. He has been a consistent part of the passing equation. The only caveat here is that Leonard Pope just caught a score last week for the first time this year. That's likely a one game happening but with only three touchdowns on the year, Moeaki doesn't need to share his scores.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 16 2 17 20 24 18
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 2 15 2 24 9 28
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) KC -14 13 -15 4 -15 10


San Diego Chargers (6-6)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC L 14-21 10 Bye -
2 JAC W 38-13 11 DEN W 35-14
3 @SEA L 20-27 12 @IND W 36-14
4 ARI W 41-10 13 OAK L 13-28
5 @OAK L 27-35 14 KC --
6 @STL L 17-20 15 SF --
7 NE L 20-23 16 @CIN --
8 TEN W 33-25 17 @DEN --
9 @HOU W 29-23 - - -
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 240,1
RB Mike Tolbert 80,1 20 -
TE Antonio Gates - 70,1 -
WR Malcolm Floyd - 70 -
WR Seyi Ajirotutu - 50 -
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chargers were on a four game winning streak with an offense that was spitting out around 30 points per game and all looked right with the world for a team decimated by injuries early on and still trying to adjust to their ever-changing reality. But the Raiders squashed that dream and now the Chargers are 6-6 and cannot afford to lose anything else since they trail the Chiefs by two games and can only hope to tie them with the first head-to-head tiebreaker. Even them they have to hope the Chiefs lose here and then again later on while the Chargers win out. The next four games could all be wins - but so should have the Raiders last week.

QUARTERBACK: After an impressive stretch of games that defied all odds by continuing to score in the face of constant and deep injuries to the receivers, Philip Rivers has been oddly less effective in the last two games when he had only one touchdown between both games and lower yardage. He still has 24 scores on the year and seven games at or over 300 yards.

The Chiefs on the road have been much less formidable with every opponent throwing for well over 200 yards and usually a couple of scores. Rivers passed for 298 yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting with the Chiefs and he should end up near that again. With main receivers either out or banged up, expect one score for sure and anything else as gravy.

RUNNING BACKS: Darren Sproles suffered a concussion in the loss to the Raiders so I will not project for him this week unless he is cleared, practices and looks likely to have an appreciable game. Ryan Mathews is healthy again but they are not using him because Mike Tolbert has been better. In the season opener, Tolbert gained 26 yards on only two carries in Kansas City while Ryan Mathews had a season high 20 runs for only 78 yards.

The Chiefs have been only average against the run away from Arrowhead Stadium and Tolbert already has nine touchdowns. Look for the tenth to come in this game along with good yardage. If Sproles is limited or does not play, then Tolbert gets more receptions.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Vincent Jackson did not last long thanks to his calf injury and may miss this week. I will assume he will and update if needed but he is obviously not a safe play until and unless he suits up and does something positive first. Legedu Naanee only had one catch against the Raiders and aggravated his previous hamstring injury so I will hold both players out of the projections this week. That leaves Seyi Ajirotutu and Malcolm Floyd as the main starters.

Naanee was the lead receiver in the first meeting with the Chiefs and turned in a season best 110 yards and a score on five catches. The Chiefs secondary is almost always good for one score to a wideout but the crew here remains banged up or out. Moderate yardage is likely but the score is unreliable.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates is playing with a torn plantar fascia said he was in severe pain following the loss to the Raiders. But he gutted it out and ended with six catches for 73 yards and one score. He started his year out with 76 yards on five receptions for one score against these Chiefs. With ten scores already, you can never bench him if he is active but that determination may not be made until time to play the game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 4 4 21 1 12 14
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 17 13 21 3 10 2
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SD 13 9 0 2 -2 -12

WEEK 14
2010
IND at TEN NE at CHI TB at WAS KC at SD
CIN at PIT CLE at BUF SEA at SF DEN at ARI
ATL at CAR NYG at MIN STL at NO PHI at DAL
  GB at DET OAK at JAC MIA at NYJ BAL at HOU
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