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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 12
November 24, 2004
Season Ticket
Thu 12:30 Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
IND at DET CLE at CIN* BAL at NE NYJ at ARZ* OAK at DEN*
Thu 4:05 TB at CAR JAX at MIN* NO at ATL Mon 9 PM
CHI at DAL SD at KC PHI at NYG BUF at SEA* STL at GB*
*updated TEN at HOU* WAS at PIT* MIA at SF Times ET
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 250,1
RB L. Tomlinson 120,2 10 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 80,1 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 80 0
WR Kassim Osgood 0 20 0
WR Eric Parker 0 40 0
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 3 XP -
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 310,3
RB Derrick Blaylock 70 20 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 70,1 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 100,1 0
WR Dante Hall 0 30 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 80,1 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 3 XP -

SD (7-3) vs KC (3-7)

Game Prediction: SD 30, KC 27

This is the first of two matchups these teams will have this season and the Chiefs have won five of the last six meetings including the last three. But these are two entirely different teams this time around.

The Chiefs are not 3-7 NFL bad by any means. But they are definitely 3-7 snake-bitten, broken mirror, bad mojo bad.

Pre-Game Notes - SD

The Chargers, AKA the highest scoring team in the NFL that does not have a horseshoe on their helmet, are currently on a four game winning streak and tied for the lead in the AFC West. But not with Kansas City.

Quarterback: The waiver wire goldmine of Drew Brees only threw for one touchdown last week against the Raiders though he had five scores only three weeks prior against them. The game was played in Oakland last week but one other factor also had to do with Brees lack of production - a healthy Tomlinson that was back to his 2003 form.

Running Backs: Take a little rest for two weeks and LaDainian Tomlinson's groin has improved markedly. Last week in Oakland he had his best game of the season with 37 rushes for 164 yards and one score. He has scored in every game this year other then week three against Denver. Since KC has a top 5 worst rush defense, there is not only excellent chances for one score, he could see his first two touchdown game of the year this week.

Wide Receivers: With Tomlinson in fifth gear again, this squad had marginal use against the Raiders and only Keenan McCardell (7-91) had a fantasy impact on the game. As the year progresses and as long as Tomlinson remains healthy, it's most likely that McCardell will prove to be the lone consistent wideout for the rest of the season.

Tight Ends: The Raiders #1 goal for the defense last week was to stop Antonio Gates who had two scores against them in their prior meeting. This meant that Gates only scored once and it was on, of course, the first series of the game. Gates has six scores in the last three games.

Match Against the Defense: This should prove fascinating since the Chiefs have never played against the Chargers and had to care about the pass. Tomlinson is now healthy and he never had a truly big game against them last season - his best was "only" 100 yards and one touchdown. With the defense now worrying about Gates, Brees and McCardell, expect Tomlinson to "only" have at least 120 yards and an excellent shot at two touchdowns.

The Kansas City pass defense has been bad all year and has regularly allowed over 250 yards to opposing quarterbacks. They allow success to tight ends (bad with Gates coming) and wideouts (bad with McCardell coming) and that was when they weren't already concerned with Tomlinson in the game.

Look for a nice effort in a payback game by the Chargers who must beat this divisional foe to stay in the race for the title and make next week's game against Denver become the critical game of the year.

Pre-Game Notes - KC

The Chiefs come off a heart-breaking loss to the Patriots on Monday night and the losing streak - now up to three games - is taking a big toll on their ego and psyche. The Chiefs are so upset right now that they'll either obliterate the Chargers in a great cathartic showing or they will self-implode yet again. In either case, Vermeil will likely be moved to tears, it just depends if there is wailing involved as well.

Quarterback: After a slow start, Trent Green has thrown for over 300 yards in each of the last four games and scored nine touchdowns in that time. Last year when the Chargers came to town, he had 282 yards. Figure on Green remaining on his torrid 300 yard streak.

Running Backs: Priest Holmes missed last week with a Grade-2 MCL strain and barring information he returns, I am assuming that Derrick Blaylock takes his place again this week. Blaylock only managed 58 yards on 19 carries against the Patriots which only indicates how truly bad the Saints were when they allowed him 186 yards the previous week.

Wide Receivers: All this passing yardage has directly benefited the wideouts with Johnnie Morton gaining his second 100 yard game last week and Eddie Kennison netting 99 yards and two touchdowns, Kennison has caught 16 passes for 324 yards and three scores in the last three games. The oddity in this is that the Chiefs are finally throwing for excellent yardage and involving the wideouts and yet losing every single game that it happens.

Tight Ends: The passing bonanza had also been good to Tony Gonzalez who had caught at least six passes in each of the last four games and recorded three scores and two 120+ yard efforts.

Match Against the Defense: Forget last year. The Chargers have allowed only one 100 yard rusher all season and only three rushing scores in the last eight games. The scoring ability of San Diego has kept almost all opponents to less than 15 carries a game. With Holmes out and Blaylock in, expect only moderate production from the man who is not Holmes and likely no scores.

The Chargers pass defense has been less effective, largely due to teams trying to stay up with the scoreboard and getting trashtime benefit. The Chargers almost always yield at least one passing touchdown but never more than two this season. That includes four tight end touchdowns in the last five games - hello, Gonzo. Green has a great opportunity to be that first three touchdown opponent.

The reality as well is that the Chargers have not faced a top passing attack in many weeks and both Morton and Kennison are great plays since both corners are weak against a passer like Green.

SD KC 2004 Averages KC SD
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
216
253 Pass yards 284
245
1.9
1.6 Pass TDs 1.5
1.3
0.3
0.9 Interceptions 0.9
0.9
7
10 Rush yards 6
10
0.3
0.4 Rush TDs 0.0
0.2
---
  RB's  
---
123
99 Rush yards 137
68
1.2
1.1 Rush TDs 1.9
0.7
33
43 Receive yards 46
54
0.0
0.2 Receive TD's 0.1
0.1
---
  WR's  
---
107
159 Receive yards 159
147
0.8
0.8 Receive TD's 0.6
0.6
---
  TE's  
---
76
51 Receive yards 79
44
1.1
0.5 Receive TD's 0.8
0.6
---
  PK's  
---
1.3
1.1 Field Goals 1.1
1.2
3.4
2.8 Extra Points 3.3
2.2
---
  DEF/ST  
---
0.8
0.8 Fumbles 0.2
0.6
0.9
0.9 Interceptions 0.9
0.3
0.1
0.3 Touchdowns 0.1
0.0
1.8
2.2 Sacks 2.4
1.2
0.1
0.0 Safeties 0.0
0.0
Chargers (7-3)
Score Opp.
27-20 @HOU
28-34 NYJ
13-23 @DEN
38-17 TEN
34-21 JAX
20-21 @ATL
17-6 @CAR
42-14 OAK
43-17 NO
Week 10 bye
23-17 @OAK
Week 12 @KC
Week 13 DEN
Week 14 TB
Week 15 @CLE
Week 16 @IND
Week 17 KC
Chiefs (3-7)
Score Opp.
24-34 @DEN
17-28 CAR
21-24 HOU
27-24 @BAL
Week 5 bye
16-22 @JAX
56-10 ATL
45-35 IND
31-34 @TB
20-27 @NO
19-27 NE
Week 12 SD
Week 13 @OAK
Week 14 @TEN
Week 15 DEN
Week 16 OAK
Week 17 @SD