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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections |  Projections by Team | Game Predictions Summary

WEEK 1
2011
NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE * MIN at SD * SEA at SF
* ATL at CHI * DAL at NYJ * NYG at WAS TEN at JAC
* BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL * NE at MIA (mon)
*updated CAR at ARI * IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

Prediction: BUF 17 , KC 27

Players to Watch: Donald Jones, C.J. Spiller

Update: Matt Cassel has underwent full practices and will play despite the cracked rib. The rookie Jonathan Baldwin remains out because of his cracked thumb and inability to correctly pick his battles.

This is the sort of game that fantasy football loves. The respective strengths and weaknesses of each offense and defense match so that at least a few players should have a decent fantasy game. The Bills lost 10-13 in Kansas City last year but both squads should post more points with all summer to prepare and minimal turnover from each team.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC - 10 @DAL -
2 OAK - 11 @MIA -
3 NE - 12 @NYJ -
4 @CIN - 13 TEN -
5 PHI - 14 @SD -
6 @NYG - 15 MIA -
7 Bye - 16 DEN -
8 WAS - 17 @NE -
9 NYJ -      
Bills Report | Statistics | Roster
BUFFALO at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - - 220,2
RB Fred Jackson 50 10 -
RB C.J. Spiller 30 -  
WR Roscoe Parrish - 40 -
WR Steve Johnson - 80,1 -
WR Donald Jones - 50,1 -
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bills are no great road team and face a Chiefs defense that is always better at home than away. The Bills chose to stand pat on all positions other than allowing Lee Evans to bolt for the Ravens. This is the second season for Chan Gailey's offense and it has already had surprisingly good results for both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Steve Johnson.

QUARTERBACK: One-time journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has found a home in Buffalo where he started in week three last year and then scored in each of the next 12 games. He ended with 23 touchdowns and 3000 passing yards. If Fitzpatrick can take this offense to the next level, they will again be a contender in the AFC East. Problem is the rushing game still looks anemic.

Fitzpatrick passed for 223 yards and one score in Kansas City last year.

RUNNING BACKS: The coaching staff still wants C.J. Spiller to become a valued contributor but the first round pick of 2010 never had more than nine carries and never gained more than 35 yards in any game. He ended the year with 283 rushing yards on 74 carries for a 3.8 average. He is still waiting for his first rushing touchdown in the NFL. But - he gets playing time to make good again this year.

Fred Jackson is merely the back with no pedigree and yet the only one capable of making a difference as a runner. What this week should show is if the Bills will try to use Spiller more and thereby reduce the already limited fantasy value of Jackson.

Jackson ran for 64 yards on 20 carries against the Chiefs last season while Spiller settled for only 17 yards on six runs.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Johnson had a breakout year in the new offense of 2010 when he caught 82 passes for 1073 yards and ten touchdowns. He returns as the #1 but Lee Evans is gone and replaced by Donald Jones . Evans was a nonfactor in most games and only scored in two of them. Jones moves up the depth chart and becomes worthy of watching since the Bills will need to pass in most games and only Johnson has been a factor so far. Jones looked sharp in the preseason until he was concussed in a game but is better and ready to go. Jones will not challenge Johnson for the lead but could improve to the point where he would have fantasy relevance in larger leagues. The Chiefs biggest weakness has been wideouts and the Bills are healthy and have been preparing for this game. Roscoe Parrish should end up in the slot at least for now.

No receiver gained more than 66 total yards against the Chiefs last year though Johnson scored once on his five catches for 37 yards.

TIGHT ENDS: There were no tight end passes thrown last year in Kansas City and the Bills rarely use the position.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 19 29 8 30 32 27
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 12 17 20 2 10 4


Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF - 10 DEN -
2 @DET - 11 @NE -
3 @SD - 12 PIT -
4 MIN - 13 @CHI -
5 @IND - 14 @NYJ -
6 Bye - 15 GB -
7 @OAK - 16 OAK -
8 SD - 17 @DEN -
9 MIA -      
Chiefs Report | Statistics | Roster
KANSAS CITY vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel - - 170,1
RB Jamaal Charles 130,2 20 -
WR Jerheme Urban - 30 -
WR Steve Breaston - 30 -
WR Dwayne Bowe - 60,1 -
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs are looking to make more use of Jamaal Charles since apparently someone finally watched tape from 2010 and noticed he was two or three times the runner that Thomas Jones was. The schedule this year is tough but at least it begins with this easier game - perhaps the softest matchup of the year. That should allow Charles to have a big opener and even the passing game to look improved.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Cassel has a cracked rib but still intends on starting this week. He passed for 152 yards and one touchdown against the visiting Bills last year. He also was sacked three times. That cannot happen with cracked ribs but the rushing game should be enough to make this game a win anyway. This is a chance to resume connecting with Dwayne Bowe.

RUNNING BACKS: Jamaal Charles rumbled for 177 yards and added 61 yards as a receiver against the Bills last year. Even Thomas Jones gained 77 rushing yards. This game should allow Charles to open the year with a big bang. No reason to over think it.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Dwayne Bowe had a breakout season in 2010 when he caught 72 passes for 1162 yards and 15 touchdowns. His season was phenomenal and yet he also turned in six games with less than 50 yards and no scores. It was either feast or famine. He scored in nine different games and five held multiple touchdowns. Steve Breaston shows up from the Cardinals to replace Chris Chambers but Breaston has never been much more than a slot receiver with occasional value.

The Chiefs drafted Jonathan Baldwin with their 1.26 pick but he has fallen behind picking up the offense after cracking his thumb and requiring surgery and pins inserted after a fight with Thomas Jones. It also casts a bad light on the rookie's decision making skills because Jones is an NFL equivalent of a Sherman tank.

No receiver had more than Dwayne Bowe's 16 yards on three catches when the Bills visited last year though Bowe did score once.

TIGHT ENDS: Tony Moeaki was lost for the season with a torn ACL which ends a very promising second season while using him in a meaningless week four preseason game. Leonard Pope is the default starter now but has no fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 23 2 28 21 24 16
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 14 30 10 31 27 22

WEEK 1
2011
NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE MIN at SD SEA at SF
ATL at CHI DAL at NYJ NYG at WAS TEN at JAC
BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL NE at MIA (mon)
  CAR at ARI IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t