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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN * SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB * IND at NO * SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA * KC at OAK * STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
*UPDATED GB at MIN * PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

Prediction: KC 17, OAK 23

Players to Watch: Jonathan Baldwin, Carson Palmer in black on the sidelines

Update: Sebastian Janikowski has suffered a hamstring strain and will not play this week. They are even considering shutting him down for a while so I am removing him from the projections. The Raiders will sign a quick fill-in for this week and decide what they want to do longer term.

The 2-3 Chiefs bring their 1-2 road record to Oakland where the Raiders are only a half game out of the lead for the AFC West and 2-1 in home games. The Raiders swept the Chiefs last year, winning 23-20 at home and 31-10 in Kansas City in the season finale. A different slant this week is a change in quarterback for Oakland but at home they'll run more anyway.

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 17-20 12 PIT -
4 MIN 22-17 13 @CHI -
5 @IND 28-24 14 @NYJ -
6 Bye - 15 GB -
7 @OAK - 16 OAK -
8 SD - 17 @DEN -
9 MIA -      
Chiefs Report | Statistics | Roster
KANSAS CITY at OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel - - 240,2
RB Dexter McCluster 20 20 -
RB Thomas Jones 40 - -
RB Jackie Battle 50 20 -
TE Leonard Pope - 10 -
WR Jonathan Baldwin - 20 -
WR Steve Breaston - 60,1 -
WR Dwayne Bowe - 100,1 -
PK Ryan Succop 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Chiefs come off their bye having won their last two games against teams that combine for 1-9 records. Going against the weak teams of the Vikes and Colts made everything look better than it was and we'll find out this week if Jackie Battle really is more than a #3 back with good timing to take a start. The Chiefs have been improving on offense each week though - this game will indicate if that is real of just a schedule benefit.

QUARTERBACK: Just how good Matt Cassel is remains hard to say. He started the season out on a horrible pace with just one touchdown and less than 140 passing yards over the first two weeks. But he's had two touchdowns in San Diego and then passed for four touchdowns in Indy before the bye week. At least he has been better and could be going through the adjustment of losing Jamaal Charles finally.

Cassel passed for 216 yards and two scores in Oakland for 2010.

The Raiders have allowed two passing scores to each of the last five opponents along with mostly big yardage. Whatever happens in Oakland will likely go through Cassel so expect a decent to good game here. This week should be the highest yardage for Cassel and at least two scores.

RUNNING BACKS: Still searching for a way to replace Jamaal Charles and at least Jackie Battle is the new name after gaining 119 yards on 19 carries in Indianapolis like most runners. Even Thomas Jones rushed for 55 yards on ten carries in that game. This is still a muddled mess with Dexter McCluster still around but fading in use in the last two games. Battle is the new name du jour but he was suspected of getting a concussion in the Colts game. For now, Battle and Jones will continue to share with McCluster chipping away at what little value the others have.

Even Jamaal Charles only gained 53 yards on ten carries in Oakland last time. Thomas Jones added 32 yards on 19 runs.

The Raiders at home have been much tougher against the run than when on the road. With the Chiefs splitting up carries anyway, figure on only Battle having any fantasy value and even that won't be more than just some moderate yardage. The Chiefs have no rushed in a score this season. Not one. None.

WIDE RECEIVERS: At least Dwayne Bowe has been rock solid. After a bad showing in the opener, he has turned in 100+ yards in three of four games and scored four times in that period. He's been one of the most consistent and productive wideouts so far this year. Steve Breaston has been a factor as well with at least 50 yards in each of the last three games and he scored twice in Indy. The duo have been better than expected but have been helped by the increased need to pass with Charles gone. We are still waiting on the first sighting of the rookie Jonathan Baldwin who has been healing his broken hand. This may be the week since HC Todd Haley mentioned that Baldwin was close to playing before the bye week.

Bowe turned in 63 yards on five receptions in Oakland last year.

The Raiders are much weaker against wideouts this year with Nnamdi Asomugha gone. With seven scores allowed to the position and likely a tough time rushing, expect some fantasy value from this unit.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 27 23 13 30 27 31
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 30 31 15 25 14 4


Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 23-20 10 @SD -
2 @BUF 35-38 11 @MIN -
3 NYJ 34-24 12 CHI -
4 NE 19-31 13 @MIA -
5 @HOU 25-20 14 @GB -
6 CLE 24-17 15 DET -
7 KC - 16 @KC -
8 Bye - 17 SD -
9 DEN -      
Raiders Report | Statistics | Roster
OAKLAND vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller - - 180,1
RB Darren McFadden 90,1 10 -
TE Kevin Boss - 20 -
WR Louis Murphy - 20 -
WR Jacoby Ford - 40 -
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey - 70,1 -
PK Sebastian Janikowski 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Raiders are 4-2 with a shaky quarterback situation and now have traded to get Carson Palmer who immediately upgrades the team. Palmer is arguably the best quarterback in Oakland at least since Kerry Collins if not Rich Gannon. We may now actually discover that there is talent in the receivers. The Raiders are paying a fortune for Palmer - a first rounder this year and potentially another in 2013 - but they usually just screw up the first round pick anyway. This could be very interesting indeed.

QUARTERBACK: This week may be all Kyle Boller, it may be Carson Palmer or it may be both. It draws major risk of course to relying on either quarterback though for the week and risk to predict reliability in what could be a changing situation in the game. I will assume Boller takes the full start and that Palmer waits to debut after the bye next week. This is an important game that must be won though since it is a divisional matchup.

Campbell threw for 229 yards and one score against the visiting Chiefs last year.

RUNNING BACKS: Darren McFadden remains good for at least 90 total yards when at home this year though he has not been a factor as a receiver in recent games. How that changes this week with Boller or Palmer under center is just a guess. McFadden only gained 89 yards on 17 runs against the visiting Chiefs last season.

The Chiefs have given up six touchdowns to running backs in their three road games and the Raiders will want to rely on McFadden as much as they can this week. Expect at least one score and healthy yardage with the chance for a big game. Michael Bush has a good shot at one score in this game as well though his yardage is always marginal at best.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This is an exciting time for the receivers though not this week so much. The addition of Palmer opens up the passing game like it has not been for about six years or more. Louis Murphy is back though without a catch last week. Darrius Heyward-Bey has strung together three straight nice games - unheard of in recent years. He has scored once and remained above 80 yards in those matchups and may actually be stepping up finally. More than any wideout, Heyward-Bey should benefit from Palmer though it remains to be seen how much since his main strength is the deep ball which is the biggest weakness of Carson Palmer and his elbow. Jacoby Ford also becomes very interesting now as a speedster but with ability to catch all sorts of passes equally well.

Ford gained 148 yards on six catches versus the Chiefs last time.

With Boller probably throwing you have to downgrade this unit this week though the Chiefs are very weak against the position. Consider Heyward-Bey as the only wideout with fantasy prospects and even those are risky with Boller around.

TIGHT ENDS: Kevin Boss had his first touchdown of the year when the Browns visited last week but he also has a game with no passes. He's too risky for fantasy consideration.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 24 2 19 28 9 17
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 21 25 29 23 26 11

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB IND at NO SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA KC at OAK STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
  GB at MIN PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

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