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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: OAK 13, KC 20

An old rivalry that gives each team a chance to win a home game each year. The Raiders come off a major thumping by the Broncos while the Chiefs surprisingly played the Pats almost even in New England while ruining the first pick of some team in every fantasy draft. These are always low scoring and fairly boring from a fantasy perspective.

These teams traded road wins last year. The Chiefs won 12-10 in Oakland and the Raiders won 20-17 in Kansas City.

Oakland Raiders (0-1)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DEN 14-41 +3 41.5
2 @KC - +4 34.5
3 @BUF - - -
4 SD - - -
5 BYE - - -
6 @NO - - -
7 NYJ - - -
8 @BAL - - -
9 ATL - - -
10 CAR - - -
11 @MIA - - -
12 @DEN - - -
13 KC - - -
14 @SD - - -
15 NE - - -
16 HOU - - -
17 @TB - - -
OAK at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB JaMarcus Russell 10   170
RB Darren McFadden 70 20  
RB Justin Fargas 90,1 10  
TE Zach Miller   40  
WR Ashley Lelie   30  
WR Ronald Curry   40  
WR Johnnie Lee Higgins   20  
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Raiders started their season with a major thud when the Broncos absolutely had their way with them in Oakland no less. Now the Raiders hit the road still wondering if they have an offense that can do anything while their opponent still has first teamers on the field. The Raiders had a decent rushing effort but little else until late in the game when Denver finally stopped caring. Two road trips and a home stand against the Chargers is not shaping up to be a happy bye in week five.

Quarterback: Jamarcus Russell ended with 180 yards and two scores against the Broncos but by halftime only had thrown 5 of 8 for 47 yards and lost 13 yards on two sacks. He also lost a fumble and looked like a rookie quarterback more than a player who has sat on the bench seasoning for a year. Russell showed his cannon arm and had the occasional accurate pass but still has a long ways to go to become worthy of being a top draft pick.

Daunte Culpepper was the starter last year in both games against the Chiefs. He passed for 228 yards and one score at home and later only 170 yards at Arrowhead Stadium.

Running Backs: Give Darren McFadden an incomplete grade on his first NFL game since he gained 46 yards on just nine carries but left with a shoulder stinger. The Raiders were more interested in running Justin Fargas 18 times to gain 97 yards. But much of that came in the second half and the entire offense benefited from ample trash time last week. The rushing game looked good but the passing could not sustain drives. Michael Bush only came on the field for one play and never carried the ball.

Justin Fargas rushed for 139 yards on 22 carries and scored once in Kansas City last year.

Wide Receivers: Russell connected with Ronald Curry and Ashley Lelie for scores but no receiver had more than three catches or 37 yards and almost all of that came in the fourth quarter. Until Russell improves, there will be no reliable fantasy value here even when Javon Walker returns.

Last year in Kansas City, Jerry Porter had 3 receptions for 75 yards while Ronald Curry caught six passes and gained 39 yards.

Tight Ends: Zach Miller ended with 34 yards on four catches and had as many passes thrown to him (6) as any other receiver on the team. Miller has marginal value as a fantasy tight end but should improve as Russell does.

Miller caught four passes for 38 yards at Kansas City last season.

Match Against the Defense: The Raiders have no reliable components in the passing game even though the Chiefs secondary had trouble stopping Matt Cassell. The Chiefs allowed a big rushing game last year to Fargas and last week the Pats had 104 yards on 20 carries out of Morris and Maroney. Look for a decent game here by Fargas and for McFadden to throw in enough production for minor fantasy relevance. The Raiders will eventually pass but outside of Miller it is still too early to expect reliable numbers.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 12 13 14 19 31 32
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 19 22 25 8 15 20

Kansas City Chiefs (0-1)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 10-17 +16.5 45
2 OAK - -4 34.5
3 @ATL - - -
4 DEN - - -
5 @CAR - - -
6 BYE - - -
7 TEN - - -
8 @NYJ - - -
9 TB - - -
10 @SD - - -
11 NO - - -
12 BUF - - -
13 @OAK - - -
14 @DEN - - -
15 SD - - -
16 MIA - - -
17 @CIN - - -
KC vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Damon Huard     190,1
RB Larry Johnson 100,1 30  
TE Tony Gonzalez   40  
WR Jeff Webb   10  
WR Devard Darling   30  
WR Dwayne Bowe   60,1  
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs lost Brodie Croyle for at least this week but in a short term view - that is not a bad thing. Damon Huard stepped in last week and looked better than Croyle did against the Pats - which happens every time Huard steps in for Croyle. Back at home against a familiar opponent, this is a good shot at a win that may not come around again for a while.

Quarterback: Croyle has already been ruled out this week and with that Damon Huard resumes as starter. Huard has consistently been more productive throwing to both Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe than Croyle. He also has a more positive effect on the rushing game. Add in the Chiefs being back in Arrowhead this week and this game is looking better all the time.

Croyle passed for 145 yards and no scores when the Raiders visited last year.

Running Backs: This is the best chance that Larry Johnson has of turning in a big game this year, at least until week 11 when the Saints show up. Kolby Smith was the starter when the Chiefs hosted the Raiders last year and he gained 150 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. Johnson only gained 74 yards on 22 carries in New England last week and that 3.4 yard average equates to what he was doing last year before his injury. This may not be a great game for Johnson, but it could be as good as it will get.

Jamaal Charles gained 28 yards on five carries last week but remains nothing more than relief for Johnson.

Wide Receivers: The swap to Huard should have a positive effect here and did last week when he connected with Devard Darling for a 68-yard strike. He threw the touchdown to Dwayne Bowe as well. But Bowe surprisingly struggled last week even with Huard throwing and dropped three passes and could have caught a touchdown in the final two minutes that barely missed. Bowe owners should rejoice seeing Huard as the starter since his numbers dipped significantly last year when Croyle took over.

Bowe had four receptions for 63 yards against the visiting Raiders last season.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez comes off a decent showing with six catches for 55 yards against the Patriots but only one catch came with Huard under center. No matter - like Bowe, Gonzo has always done better with Huard on board.

Gonzalez only had three receptions for 48 yards against the Raiders last year.

Match Against the Defense: This is the best chance that Johnson will have of turning in a big game so expect him to top 100 yards and score once if only because he should get a lot of carries this week. Huard is likely to score once in the air with a strike to Bowe but won't have more than moderate numbers as both teams prefer to run.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 22 24 15 14 22 12
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 30 28 31 21 31 16

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