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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
WEEK 7
October 18, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
CAR at CIN NE at BUF DEN at CLE   BAL, CHI
DET at NYJ PHI at TB ARZ at OAK
Monday
NO, SF
GB at MIA PIT at ATL MIN at SEA NYG at DAL STL, TEN
JAX at HOU SD at KC WAS at IND   *updated

Prediction: SD 24, KC 20

Other than the one stumble in Baltimore where the Chargers could have won, San Diego hasn't played in a close game this year with a defense that has been stellar and an offense that is getting better every week. The Chiefs come off a demoralizing thrashing in Pittsburgh. that very clearly said these are the Chiefs of last year.

The Chargers won their home game 28-20and the Chiefs won theirs 20-7 when they played in 2005.

San Diego Chargers (4-1)
1 27-0 @OAK 10 --- @CIN
2 40-7 TEN 11 --- @DEN
3 Open Bye 12 --- OAK
4 13-16 @BAL 13 --- @BUF
5 23-13 PIT 14 --- DEN
6 48-19 @SF 15 --- KC
7 --- @KC 16 --- @SEA
8 --- STL 17 --- ARZ
9 --- CLE - - MON
SDC at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 0 0 230,2
RB L. Tomlinson 70,1 50 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 50,1 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 30 0
WR Eric Parker 0 50 0
WR Jackson/Floyd 0 40,1 0
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: While the focus last week was on LaDainian Tomlinson scoring four times, the real key to this offense is fast becoming Philip Rivers. Add that to a defense that has allowed an average of 11 points per opponent and the Chargers are becoming a force in the AFC. This is only the second time they have had a divisional game, so there's no problem with focus. Catching the Chiefs after their Pittsburgh debacle is nice timing as well.

Quarterback: Philip Rivers started the season slowly but in the last two games, he has really opened up the offense with games if 242 and 334 yards with two scores in each. Rivers only has two interceptions on the season and is starting to look like he's a more than adequate replacement for Drew Brees.

Running Backs: While LaDainian Tomlinson no doubt won his fantasy owners a lot of games last week after scoring four touchdowns, the reality is that he only had 71 yards on 21 carries and has but one effort over 100 rushing yards this year - week one in Oakland. But Tomlinson has been used more in the passing scheme too and had seven catches for 64 yards last week and eight catches for 34 against the Steelers. He currently ranks as the best fantasy back in most league scoring scenarios after last week.

Michael Turner has been very effective in relief of Tomlinson but disappointed more than a few fantasy teams last week when they thought they had a decent bye week filler. Ended up that Turner only had one carry for no gain against the 49ers. Turner plays really only when Tomlinson wants some relief and last week LT was having far too much fun to spend time on the sideline.

Tomlinson ran for just 69 and 49 yards in two meetings against the Chiefs last year. He never scored thanks to the defense scheming successfully to take him out of the game plan.

Wide Receivers: The scoring almost never goes to the wideouts on this team and even when it does, they go to either Vincent Jackson (2) or Malcolm Floyd (2) during their only catches in the game. That's sort of hard to forecast or rely on for a fantasy team. Keenan McCardell has been improving each week that Rivers throws more but only has 65 yards as a season high. Eric Parker has been the better player with two games of around six catches for 87 yards during the most recent weeks. It's bad enough that they have to share with Antonio Gates, but the scores still go to Floyd or Jackson when they do happen.

Parker had 63 yards and a score in the home meeting against the Chiefs last year but was held to just 33 yards in the game at Kansas City. McCardell had 73 and 58 yards in those two games.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates comes off his best game of the year with five catches for 78 yards and one score which gives him three touchdowns on the season. He has remained above 50 yards in three of the last four games.

Gates had a monster ten catch game for 145 yards and three scores at home against the Chiefs but later was held to just 52 yards in Kansas City though he scored one touchdown.

Match Against the Defense: The Chiefs rushing defense has been pretty good this year until recent but both those games were on the road and this will only be the third home game this year. Look for moderate rushing yards from Tomlinson this week with the chance for one score but for him to continue to provide Rivers with a passing outlet.

Rivers will get a good test here against a secondary that had been stellar but which has allowed both the Cardinals and Steelers to throw for two scores with decent yardage. I like River to come in around 230 yards in this game with at two scores that will favor Gates and one of Vincent or Floyd. The Chiefs corners had played pretty well this year and Parker and McCardell haven't mattered much near the endzone anyway. With the outside covered, that should allow Floyd or Jackson some room. This won't likely be a shootout, but Rivers has the weapons if it did.

Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
1 10-23 CIN 10 --- @MIA
2 6-9 @DEN 11 --- OAK
3 Open Bye 12 --- DEN
4 41-0 SF 13 --- @CLE
5 23-20 @ARZ 14 --- BAL
6 7-45 @PIT 15 --- @SD
7 --- SD 16 --- @OAK
8 --- SEA 17 --- JAX
9 --- @STL - THU SAT
KCC vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Damon Huard 10 0 210,1
RB Larry Johnson 60,1 50 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 40,1 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 40 0
WR Samie Parker 0 60 0
WR Rod Gardner 0 10 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs performances this year have been all over the map, as good as 41-0 against the 49ers and as bad as 7-45 in Pittsburgh last week. The team has lost almost all sense of consistency on offense and now the defense turned in a horrible outing. Back at home licking their wounds, this week is a must win for the Chiefs or they can already write-off the season. Huard is no difference maker and now the rushing attack doesn't even work.

Quarterback: While Damon Huard had two nice efforts against the 49ers and Cardinals, he fell back in Pittsburgh to what he really has always been - an adequate back-up quarterback that can only rise as high as his opponents allow a mediocre quarterback. Unless the rushing game gets back to form and allows Huard to merely manage the game, the Chiefs are not finished on their downward swirl.

The Chiefs threw for two scores in each meeting last year and had 347 yards in San Diego but only 207 yards in Kansas City.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson turned in very solid numbers through the first four games though it took receiving yardage in week four to yield fantasy value. The troubling aspect to the last two games is that Johnson cannot get a lane to run through and only turned in 36 yards on 16 carries against the Cardinals and 26 yards on 15 runs against the Steelers. But he does always run better at home and this week he'll need to come up big to keep the team in contention. Johnson had been turning in around five catches each week until the Steeler game.

The Chiefs will likely be without fullback Ronnie Cruz this week since he injured his knee in Pittsburgh. That won't help the running game and Cruz is the only fullback on the roster.

Wide Receivers: This wideout cast has been largely ineffective this year and Eddie Kennison only had one decent game to his credit back against the 49ers. Kennison offers little more than around 50 yards in most games. Samie Parker comes off his season high of 72 yards last week, but that was his first trip over the 40 yard barrier. Huard's minimal success has been mostly limited to finding Johnson or spreading the ball around.

Kennison enjoyed a 115 yard game with one score in San Diego last year but was held to just 19 yards in Kansas City because the Chiefs ran so successfully.

Tight Ends: Fantasy owners were elated when Tony Gonzalez started the year with 10 catches for 81 yards and a score against the Bengals. Problem is that he's done little in the last four games and has not scored again. He only had five catches for 40 yards in the last two efforts combined. Huard is getting worse connecting with him as the season progresses.

Gonzalez came up with 97 yards and one score as a visitor in San Diego in 2005 but had just 58 yards in the home match-up.

Match Against the Defense: Johnson needs a big game here but the Chargers rush defense has never been better. No opposing runner has turned in more than 57 rushing yards against them and only Willie Parker has scored a rushing touchdown. But at Arrowhead is always better for Johnson. Look for a sub-100 yard game for sure but a chance he could score once and he should figure back into the passing scheme again.

Huard goes against a very god secondary that has only allowed around one score per game and no opponent has exceeded 220 yards against the Chargers this year. That matches up pretty well with Huard's norm. While Gonzalez has been phased out lately, he clearly has the best match-up this week of any receiver and should end up with the score.