fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    


Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 6, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Nite
BAL at KC NYG at CAR   SEA at ARZ *updated

Prediction: BAL 10, KC 17

The Ravens offense stalled last week and the loss drops them to 9-3 which is still second best in the league. The Ravens are 4-2 on the road but have struggled much more away from Baltimore. The Chiefs come off a surprising loss in Cleveland and at 7-5 are fighting for their wild card hopes. The Chiefs are 5-1 at home this year and have won their last four at Arrowhead.

Update: Tony Gonzalez has been held out of practices on Wednesday and Thursday because of his shoulder but he had the same pattern last week when he practiced on Friday and played. He is still nursing the shoulder injury but it did not interfere with his playing last week.

Baltimore Ravens (9-3)
1 27-0 @TB 10 27-26 @TEN
2 28-6 OAK 11 24-10 ATL
3 15-14 @CLE 12 27-0 PIT
4 16-13 SD 13 7-13 @CIN
5 3-13 @DEN 14 --- @KC
6 21-23 CAR 15 --- CLE
7 Open Bye 16 --- @PIT
8 35-22 @NO 17 --- BUF
9 26-20 CIN - THU MON
BAL at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Steve McNair 10 0 210,1
RB Jamal Lewis 40 10 0
TE Todd Heap 0 60,1 0
WR Derrick Mason 0 50 0
WR Mark Clayton 0 60 0
WR Demetrius Williams 0 20 0
PK Matt Stover 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Ravens are #2 in points allowed this year with only 13.3 allowed per opponent but the defense has been softer on the road. All the apparent gains of the Ravens offense against softer opponents disappeared against the Bengals last week. Impacting this week is that the Chiefs feature one of the very best ground games in the league and their passing offense has taken off again with Trent Green. That'll make this week the toughest game left on the schedule but one that they do not have to win in order to take the division.

Quarterback: After spending the last six games bouncing between good and bad games, Steve McNair finally had just an average game last week in Cincinnati when he threw for 227 yards and one touchdown. McNair remains as a near error-free quarterback but he's really only had two games with significant fantasy numbers this year and both came in road games which had the opponent scoring more than 21 points. But as McNair showed last week, going against even an average pass defense on the road won't lead to more than average numbers.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis ran for 61 yards on 17 carries last week but that was 15 yards on his first carry and then just 46 yards on the next 16 runs. Lewis is nothing more than a plodder who needs a high number of carries to rack up any notable yardage because in every game he settles well below four yards per carry. Lewis scored in three of the last five games but all three were at home. On the road he normally is even less productive than when he is at home.

Wide Receivers: Derrick Mason comes off his best fantasy game of the year when he caught seven passes for 90 yards and scored once - only his second touchdown on the year. But a nice chunk of that came on the 36-yard touchdown pass in Cincinnati when the cornerback fell down. Until last week, Mason had not turned in more than 67 yards in a game since week three. Mark Clayton was playing much better this season but now has gone two straight games with about 30 yards in each. He needs to return to his form in weeks six through 11 or the Ravens passing attack will remain stalled.

Tight Ends: Just when the Ravens needed him most, Todd Heap turned in one of his worst games of the year with just 29 yards on four catches last Sunday. Heap has been good for around 50 yards or more in almost every game this year.

Match Against the Defense: Jamal Lewis goes against a team that has not allowed a visiting runner to score since week one and none have run for more than 100 yards if even 50 yards. Even Tomlinson only gained 66 rushing yards there. Expect a minimal game from Lewis.

McNair faces a secondary that has been solid at home and that has given up only seven touchdowns in six home stands. McNair will have to succeed for the Ravens to win here (barring scores from the Ravens defense) and he could end up with two - but just one is more likely. Look for average passing numbers and a score for Heap. No receiver has gained more than 85 yards against the Chiefs this year and that won't happen here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 18 23 27 4 10 2
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 12 15 16 19 16 12


Kansas City Chiefs (7-5)
1 10-23 CIN 10 10-13 @MIA
2 6-9 @DEN 11 17-13 OAK
3 Open Bye 12 19-10 DEN
4 41-0 SF 13 28-31 @CLE
5 23-20 @ARZ 14 --- BAL
6 7-45 @PIT 15 --- @SD
7 30-27 SD 16 --- @OAK
8 35-28 SEA 17 --- JAX
9 31-17 @STL - THU SAT
KCC vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 180,1
RB Larry Johnson 100,1 40 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 50 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 40,1 0
WR Samie Parker 0 20 0
WR Dante Hall 0 10 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The good news was that the Chiefs passing game has never looked better this year - but the bad news was that somehow the Chiefs allowed the Browns to mount a comeback and take the game. That hurts the Chiefs chances to make the playoffs with remaining games of Baltimore, San Diego and Jacksonville. The Chiefs went to a pass heavy attack last week and it ended up getting them beaten even if it was the highest scoring game in the last month. When they let Larry Johnson handle the load, they control the clock and game even if the scores remain low.

Quarterback: While Trent Green easily had the best passing game of the year last week, the Chiefs lost the game and left too much time of the board that they could not defend. Green threw for 297 yards and four touchdowns which was almost exactly the opposite from his 161 yard, no scoring game against the Broncos. At least now the defenses are learning that they cannot load up entirely on Johnson which was likely the point - just not a winning one.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson currently has 1,312 rushing yards and falls 12 yards behind Tomlinson for the NFL lead. His 13 rushing scores also rank second only to Tomlinson. The visiting Ravens will be a big test on Sunday since at home, Johnson has been running for over 150 yards in the last three games and has not fallen below 100 yards there since week one.

Wide Receivers: The lofty numbers last week by Green finally made the wideouts have actual fantasy value - at least Eddie Kennison did with seven catches for 117 yards and one score. Samie Parker still only managed one catch for ten yards. Now Kennison has three scores on the year and two games over 100 yards while Samie Parker has scored only once and never had more than around 70 yards in a game with several under 20 yards.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez has been wildly varying each week and comes off his best game of the year when he caught nine passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. The previous week with Green? Just four receptions for 35 yards. But week one when Green was still playing was the second best showing by Gonzalez even though the touchdown in that game was thrown by Huard.

Match Against the Defense: Johnson faces the best defense against running backs but on the road the Ravens have already allowed two games over 90 yards this year though only one touchdown. But the Ravens have also not faced many top runners this year either and Johnson is easily one of the best. Expect around 100 yards here and one score. Anything more will mean the game is going better than expected.

Green faces a secondary that is obviously good but that has allowed at least one score in most road games this year. Look for one passing score that will likely favor Kennison the most though it could end up with a surprise player like Kris Wilson since the corners play well for the Ravens and every one else will be chasing Gonzalez.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 24 4 29 2 12 30
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 10 1 15 3 1 2