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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA * DET at MIN * KC at SD NYJ at OAK
* ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE * PIT at IND
* BAL at STL * HOU at NO NE at BUF * SF at CIN
* UPDATED DEN at TEN JAC at CAR * NYG at PHI * WAS at DAL (mon)

Prediction: KC 6, SD 34

Players to Watch: Dexter McCluster, Ryan Mathews

Update: Malcom Floyd has not been able to practice this week and is not expected to play because of an unspecified groin injury. Antonio Gates has not practiced either and is considered questionable on the injury report. I am lowering his projections since he is not certain to play and the Chargers do not really need him to win anyway.

It wasn't enough for the Chiefs to be the worst team in the league but losing Jamaal Charles pretty much means get the war room for April ready for the first pick. The Chargers stumbled in New England but put up a decent fight. Back at home this one is a no-brainer and no doubt the #1 pick in every suicide league. The Chargers are only favored by a mere 14.5 points.

The Chiefs opened last season with a surprise 21-14 win over the Chargers but later lost 31-0 in San Diego. Think more of the second game than the first one.

Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 7-41 10 DEN -
2 @DET 3-48 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 SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel - - 130
RB Dexter McCluster 40 30 -
RB Thomas Jones 30 - -
WR Jerheme Urban - 30 -
WR Steve Breaston - 20 -
WR Dwayne Bowe - 40 -
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG XP -
Pregame Notes: This is going to be a very long season for HC Todd Haley provided he hangs onto his job all year. The offense was already a mess and now has lost the only working part in Jamaal Charles. Losing OC Charlie Weis has been felt deeply since Bill Muir has done little with the offense. This is already the #31 passing attack and now is going to just get worse. On the plus side, your players are in for a treat when they face the Chiefs.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Cassel has only one touchdown and no more than 133 passing yards in any game. He is untouchable as a fantasy starter and not worth keeping on your roster. It just doesn't look like improvement is near.

The Chiefs literally passed for 48 yards in San Diego last year. It could happen again.

RUNNING BACKS: The loss of Jamaal Charles will be filled in by Dexter McCluster who was a receiver initially and only weighs 170 pounds at 5-8 height. Thomas Jones will also be used though at 33 years of age his best games are well behind him and he only averaged 3.7 yards per carry last year when the offense was still doing well. It is not like there will be a ton of short yardage goal line runs either.

McCluster is the one to grab in reception point leagues on the hope he could be used enough to produce some catches and yards. The next two games will be easier for the Chiefs and should see more use of McCluster. He should be acquired in all leagues this week - worth a shot anyway.

Charles gained 40 yards on ten carries in San Diego last year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Dwayne Bowe ended with 101 yards and a score in Detroit and is now the only Chiefs player with upside. But even that may never be realized with no ground game to balance out the offense. Bowe only managed two receptions for 17 yards in the opener. His best aspect is that he will be the #1 focus of the passing game. The only question is what the defense will let him do. Last week all other receivers had less than ten yards in the game and that will not happen again. The secondary will key on Bowe and forget about the rest.

No wideout had more than two catches for 15 yards in San Diego last season.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 31 18 31 28 32 31
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 19 9 10 31 15 28


San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN 24-17 10 OAK -
2 @NE 21-35 11 @CHI -
3 KC - 12 DEN -
4 MIA - 13 @JAC -
5 @DEN - 14 BUF -
6 Bye - 15 BAL -
7 @NYJ - 16 @DET -
8 @KC - 17 @OAK -
9 GB -      
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 250,2
RB Ryan Mathews 80 50 -
RB Mike Tolbert 30,1 40 -
TE Antonio Gates - 40 -
WR Malcolm Floyd - 50 -
WR Vincent Jackson - 110,2 -
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: This is sort of like getting the week off plus getting a win in the division for a double bonus. The Chargers still cannot hang with the Patriots but back at home with no one else of note up next week (MIA), the Chargers can take this win and probably not sweat a lot in the process. This is a divisional game so it does carry some importance.

QUARTERBACK: As if it was not enough that Philip Rivers has thrown two games of 335+ yards and two touchdowns, now he faces the Chiefs who have allowed four passing scores to both the Bills and Lions.

Rivers passed for 226 yards and two scores on the visiting Chiefs last year. Figure on at least three this week and could be the standard four.

RUNNING BACKS: There could be a shift coming on in San Diego. Mike Tolbert was clearly the primary back in the opener when he scored three times and and had nine receptions. But he was outpaced in yardage that week by Ryan Mathews who gained 118 total yards to his 93 yards. And last week it was Mathews scoring and gaining 64 yards on 12 carries to only ten yards on nine runs by Tolbert. Mathews also turned in seven catches for 62 yards.

This remains a split backfield but the better Mathews does, the more work he will get and the less you can expect from that Tolbert draft pick you made in the ninth round. Plus Tolbert had a fumbling problem last year and just lost another on Sunday.

Tolbert (16-66) and Mathews (16-65) both scored in their mirror image game on the visiting Chiefs last season.

Both players are worth a start this week with upside for a score or more.

WIDE RECEIVERS: So far this crew is only using Vincent Jackson while all others really do not matter. Jackson had 172 yards on ten catches last week for two scores in New England. No doubt the Chargers will light up the Chiefs using him again.

Floyd had two scores on his four catches for 51 yards when the Chiefs visited last year. Jackson only managed 29 yards on two catches in that game. Expect big stats from Jackson this week.

TIGHT ENDS: To the horror of every owner, Antonio Gates was held with no catches last week in New England when they constantly used double and triple teams to take him out of the offense even though it meant Jackson had a monster game. Expect a bounce back week to make Gates feel better with a score and decent yardage if only because they can.

Gates did not play in this matchup last year but did have 76 yards and one score in Kansas City.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 9 1 17 19 27 30
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 28 29 24 30 32 27

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA DET at MIN KC at SD NYJ at OAK
ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE PIT at IND
BAL at STL HOU at NO NE at BUF SF at CIN
  DEN at TEN JAC at CAR NYG at PHI WAS at DAL (mon)

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