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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND * JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN * DAL at SF * KC at DET SEA at PIT
* CHI at NO GB at CAR * OAK at BUF TB at MIN
*updated * CIN at DEN * HOU at MIA PHI at ATL * STL at NYG (mon)

Prediction: KC 13, DET 31

Players to Watch: Dwayne Bowe, Leonard Pope

Update: Calvin Johnson was listed as questionable and he did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday to let his ankle rest. He returned for limited work on Friday though and is still expected to play. Check Sunday morning to make sure there are no surprises but at this point consider Johnson as not only a safe play but a very attractive one.

Opening week brought many surprises but perhaps none as big as how bad the Chiefs played. At home no less. It was a day when nothing worked and now they hit the road to play in Detroit where the Lions not only return from winning their home opener down in Tampa Bay, but they are on a five game winning streak back to last year. This is actually a fascinating game to watch since the Chiefs are about to become the league whipping boy with one more bad loss like that.

Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 7-41 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 at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel - - 170,1
RB Jamaal Charles 50 40 -
TE Leonard Pope - 30 -
WR Jerheme Urban - 20 -
WR Steve Breaston - 40 -
WR Dwayne Bowe - 40,1 -
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: Here is the ugly truth. Aside from week ten when Denver visits, the Bills may have been the easiest game on the Chiefs schedule and they lost by 34 points. That will make the Season Ticket drive a hard sell this year. The Chiefs already have one of the toughest schedules in the league and now cannot compete in an easy game.

To make matters even worse, they just lost their star safety to a torn ACL.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Cassel played with a cracked rib which could explain partially why they were so bad. But he only had 119 passing yards despite throwing 36 passes and completing 22 of them, His one safety net Dwayne Bowe only had two catches for 17 yards. It was ugly all around and no where else to turn.

Cassel remains an unsafe play until he turns in at least one decent performance. I'll credit him with one touchdown pass but mostly as a pity TD late in the game.

RUNNING BACKS: The game was appalling but at least Jamaal Charles had nothing to do with it. He gained 56 yards on his meager ten carries and scored the lone touchdown on a reception. As a sign of how they were bottled up, consider that Charles caught five passes but only totaled nine yards.

Thomas Jones was planned to be de-emphasized this year and had just two carries for three yards last week.

The problem now is that the Lions have a great defensive line and should keep Charles in check. The Buccaneers just totaled only 12 carries for 30 yards in their meeting with the Lions and that was in Tampa Bay. Charles is worth a start but he'll need more receptions to have much fantasy value.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Cassel tried to connect with Dwayne Bowe last week and threw eight targets at him but Bowe only managed two catches for 17 yards in a replay of last year when his bad games were "kill your team" bad. No receiver had more than 26 yards or three catches against the Bills. Bowe remains a viable starter because he has always been feast or famine but none of the others have any fantasy value yet.

I'll credit Bowe as the most likely to score but the confidence level is low. Bowe is a marginal start from here on out if he tanks another game. Watch Bowe and if he falters, consider whipping up a trade because it is not going to get much better in future weeks with that schedule.

TIGHT ENDS: With Tony Moeaki gone, Leonard Pope moves in as the primary tight end and he had three catches for 24 yards against the Bills - comparatively good. Watch Pope to see if he again is making chemistry with Cassel but expect him to be a longshot to ever warrant any fantasy start.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 29 13 32 24 30 29
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 15 7 15 16 21 18


Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB 27-20 10 @CHI -
2 KC - 11 CAR -
3 @MIN - 12 GB -
4 @DAL - 13 @NO -
5 CHI - 14 MIN -
6 SF - 15 @OAK -
7 ATL - 16 SD -
8 @DEN - 17 @GB -
9 Bye -      
Lions Report | Statistics | Roster
DETROIT vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford - - 290,3
RB

Jahvid Best

80,1 10 -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 50,1 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 120,2 -
WR Titus Young - 30 -
WR Nate Burleson - 60 -
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Lions opened the season with a road win and what a great way to say this is a new year. The passing game was outstanding in Tampa Bay last weekend and the defense - that one-time bane of the franchise - is starting to be a strength with a big -time defensive front. The Lions should take this game handily and head off for two tougher road games. The Lions have started hot and crashed many times in the past, but so far the results are encouraging.

QUARTERBACK: If he can just remain healthy, this could be a big year. Matthew Stafford already has a 300 yard game where he passed for three touchdowns last week and showed a nice ability to spread the ball around. No one has questioned his talent really, just how long it remains healthy on the field.

The Chiefs gave up 208 yards and four scores to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Not a good sign for the Chiefs this week in Detroit.

RUNNING BACKS: This should be a good week for Jahvid Best who will be back at home. Best ran 21 times in Tampa Bay but only gained 72 yards. He added 42 more yards on four catches and remains the only back the Lions use much. Jerome Harrison got eight carries last week and much in the later part of the game. But he did not record a catch while Maurice Morris had two receptions and two runs.

This is Best's backfield and the others won't have any fantasy value unless Best is out. And if that happens, Harrison is the one stepping up.

Best should manage a decent showing this week against a team that allowed the visiting Bills to gain 112 yards on 20 runs by Fred Jackson. This may be as good as it gets for Bush this season with the road Chiefs coming to play.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Stafford used six different wideouts last week though only Calvin Johnson (6-88, 2 TD) really matters. On the fade pattern in the corner of the endzone for Johnson it just looked unfair the way he went up over the cornerback and caught the ball at a height that the defender couldn't affect had he been swinging a broom. The sort of jump and catch that screams " you can't touch this". Nate Burleson (5-60) had a decent showing as well but will likely never quite be good enough to merit a fantasy start. Not with Megatron the Touchdown Sponge around.

If Steve Johnson and Donald Jones can score on the Chiefs, so can Calvin. Twice.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew turned in four catches for 57 yards last week and now faces the same defense that somehow gave no-name Scott Chandler two touchdowns and 63 yards on five catches even though he had just one reception in his career. Pettigrew should turn in a good game here with a nice shot at a score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 6 17 7 7 8 21
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 25 22 21 30 29 17

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN DAL at SF KC at DET SEA at PIT
CHI at NO GB at CAR OAK at BUF TB at MIN
  CIN at DEN HOU at MIA PHI at ATL STL at NYG (mon)

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