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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 17
January 2, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
MIA at BAL * CLE at HOU * DET at TEN TB at ARZ DAL at NYG *
PIT at BUF SF at NE * MIN at WAS IND at DEN Happy
GB at CHI CIN at PHI * Sun 4 PM JAX at OAK * New Year!
NO at CAR NYJ at STL ATL at SEA * KC at SD * *updated
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 230,2
RB Larry Johnson 110,2 20 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 100,1 0
WR Samie Parker 0 30 0
WR Dante Hall 0 30 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 80,1 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 4 XP -
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Doug Flutie 0 0 240,2
RB Jesse Chatman 40 20 0
RB Michael Turner 50 10 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 50 0
WR Kassim Osgood 0 50,1 0
WR Eric Parker 0 90,1 0
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 2 XP -

KC (7-8) vs SD (11-4)

Game Prediction: KC 31, SD 17

This is a replay of week 12 when the Chargers squeaked out a 34-31 win in Kansas City.

Update: The Chargers are finally leaking out that they will be starting primarily, if not exclusively, backup players this week. I am changing up the projections and you may see both Doug Flutie and Philip Rivers get some playing time. Tomlinson may not play at all this week and I am removing him and he would be replaced by Jesse Chatman (who is still banged up) and the rookie Michael Turner.

Pre-Game Notes - KC

The Chiefs held on to a 31-30 win last week against the Raiders and while the offense has been prolific lately, every game ends up as a track meet on the score board. The best news for the Chiefs is that the Chargers are locked as the #4 seed in the AFC and cannot win anything here.

Quarterback: Trent Green has been red-hot during the last nine weeks except for one game - when he faced the Chargers and only managed 208 yards and no scores. He'll have plenty of reasons to play since every big game merely says "hey - if we only had a defense we might win something".

Running Backs: Larry Johnson only gained 79 yards on 25 carries against the Raiders but he scored twice and had 43 yards on four receptions. He's now scored twice in each of the last four games and is making the aging Priest Holmes look less like a "must have" than previously thought. Blaylock and Johnson split duties in the last meeting with the Chargers. Blaylock scored two touchdowns on eight carries for 57 yards while Johnson ran 10 times for 43 yards and one score. Since Blaylock has been out the last two weeks, Johnson has carried the full load.

Wide Receivers: After scoring five times in the three previous weeks, Eddie Kennison failed to score but still gained 79 yards on six catches against the Raiders. Kennison has been on fire for the last six weeks except for one game - he only had one catch for 9 yards the Chargers in week 12 while Johnnie Morton only had four catches for 39 yards in that game.

Morton has been out with a sprained knee and I will assume he is out until word comes from practice about him.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez had not scored since week nine when he went off for two touchdowns last week and his 124 yards was second best for the season. As the season concludes, Gonzo remains a very big target and had had 105 yards on eight catches in the last game against San Diego.

Match Against the Defense: This would be a great game if the Chargers play hard the entire way but at some point they'll likely sit down Tomlinson just to keep him healthy. That greatly changes the dynamic for San Diego and would prevent the Chargers from controlling the game as well - more plays for the Chiefs offense.

Expect a nice rushing game here from Johnson and for Green to step up and improve from his previous effort against San Diego. That spells good things for Gonzo who has been great lately and against the Chargers already this season. Kennison had a down week of sorts against Denver and doesn't matchup as well against the Chargers but he's always getting the volume anyway and in a game that the Chargers likely won't stick around in, his value rises.

Pre-Game Notes - SD

The Chargers have locked down the #4 seed but claim that they want to win this week. Since there is no recent precedent for the Chargers being in this situation, they just might play all the starters all game though at some point, it would be unreasonable to expose Tomlinson to unnecessary risk for injury.

Quarterback: Drew Brees threw for 378 yards and two touchdowns in the last meeting with the Chiefs - his last truly big fantasy game. But he does come off a 290 yard effort against the Colts with three scores and if Tomlinson ever is sat in this game, Brees will become a bigger factor in the game.

Running Backs: Ladainian Tomlinson was held to only 46 yards on 21 carries in the last game against Kansas City but he did score two touchdowns and had 57 yards on 10 receptions. Tomlinson has rushed in scores in 13 straight games for an NFL record and he'll stay in at least long enough to accomplish it this week.

Wide Receivers: Keenan McCardell has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain and has been replaced by Kassim Osgood who has really only maintained the 40 or so yards a game that McCardell was getting. Eric Parker has come up big in two of the last three weeks though that sandwiched an 18 yard effort against the Giants two weeks ago. Even when Brees has big yardage games, they've been going more to Gates or Tomlinson more than the wideouts. Parker has the only two 100 yard games from a wideout in the last eleven weeks and those were just recently.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates now has the record for 13 touchdowns by a tight end in a single season. Gates had two scores and 92 yards in the last meeting with the Chiefs.

Match Against the Defense: The effort here all depends on how much the Chargers will try to win this game. They say they will but you can be sure that the Chiefs will make them keep scoring to stay ahead. I am going to assume that this team is so new to the playoffs that they will play out the entire game with starters but realize the risk is there that some - particularly Tomlinson - will sit out part of the game.

Brees should be able to light up the secondary as he already has and with Parker playing well lately, he won't have to rely solely on Gates or Tomlinson. Look for some wonderful fantasy points here because the Chiefs defense has always allowed that.

KC SD 2004 Averages SD KC
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
284
255
Pass yards
216
279
1.7
1.2
Pass TDs
1.8
1.9
0.9
1.3
Interceptions
0.5
0.8
5
8
Rush yards
7
11
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.2
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
135
75
Rush yards
120
94
2.0
0.8
Rush TDs
1.3
1.1
47
48
Receive yards
35
52
0.2
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
155
160
Receive yards
112
174
0.9
0.7
Receive TD's
0.7
1.2
---
---
TE's
---
---
82
47
Receive yards
69
53
0.7
0.4
Receive TD's
1.0
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.1
1.3
Field Goals
1.3
1.3
3.7
2.1
Extra Points
3.4
3.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.6
Fumbles
0.9
0.8
0.8
0.5
Interceptions
1.0
0.8
0.3
0.1
Touchdowns
0.1
0.2
2.7
1.3
Sacks
1.9
2.1
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.1
0.0
Chiefs (7-8)
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
31-34 SD
34-27 @OAK
49-38 @TEN
45-17 DEN
31-30 OAK
Week 17 @SD
Chargers (11-4)
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
34-31 @KC
20-17 DEN
31-24 TB
21-0 @CLE
31-34 @IND
Week 17 KC