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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 12
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
*updated

Prediction: BUF 24, KC 20

Update: Mark Bradley was held out of practice on Wednesday to rest his calf but he returned for limited duty on Thursday and then had a full day on Friday. He is expected to play and is now listed as probable.

Bills are reeling after losing their last four games and now setting to the bottom of the AFC East. They are only 2-3 on the road this year and head to face the Chiefs who have lost their last six games and stopped reeling weeks ago. The Bills are struggling and not catching any breaks here lately but the Chiefs can only dream of being 5-5 on the season like the Bills. Look for a win here but mainly because the Chiefs throw away yet another one.

Buffalo Bills (5-5)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SEA 34-10 -1 39
2 @JAX 20-16 +6 38
3 OAK 24-23 -9.5 36.5
4 @STL 31-14 -8 41.5
5 @ARZ 17-41 +1 45
6 BYE - - -
7 SD 23-14 +1 46.5
8 @MIA 16-23 -1.5 42.5
9 NYJ 17-26 -5.5 43
10 @NE 10-20 +4 41
11 CLE 27-29

-4.5

42
12 @KC - -3 43.5
13 SF - - -
14 MIA - - -
15 @NYJ - - -
16 @DEN - - -
17 NE - - -
BUF at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     160,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 100,1 50,1  
RB Fred Jackson 60,1 10  
TE Robert Royal   20  
WR Lee Evans   50  
WR James Hardy   20  
WR Roscoe Parrish   10  
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: Brutal ending to the Monday night game when the Bills couldn't kick a 47-yard field goal after the Browns had just booted a 56-yarder to take the lead. The loss sends the Bills tumbling down even more and will test their character because they battled back twice in the game and yet still came up short. The good news here should be that the Bills have an easy stretch of their schedule but that was supposed to include the Browns' game they just lost.

Quarterback: The decline of Trent Edwards continues and he only passed for 148 yards and one score with three early interceptions against the Browns. That should have been a great chance for Edwards to turn in a big game but he had his second game in a row under 150 yards and still has only nine scores on the year - always throwing no more than one per game. This losing streak for the Bills has Edwards as a main component. He has never had the rushing support he should have but even then has done little more than be a game manager.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch finally got over the hump and ran for 119 yards on 23 carries against the Browns and added a team high ten catches for 58 yards and one score as well. Even Fred Jackson rushed for 60 yards on 12 carries last week but now the Bills are back on the road where Lynch has never had more than 61 rushing yards this year. That should change against a terrible Kansas City defense but part of Lynch's problem this year is that he is often limited on carries and has more than 19 carries in only one game this year.

Wide Receivers: The declining passing game these last few weeks has stripped Lee Evans of all fantasy value and he had no catches against the Browns which takes some effort to believe. Edwards threw his first pass at Evans last week and the Browns intercepted it. Then he had no more passes as the Bills just passed to mostly Lynch. That means that after 67 consecutive games with a catch, Evans finally had none. The same Evans who had three scores and four games over 80 yards by midseason now only gets one incompletion.

With the passing scheme growing shorter every week, there are no Bills receivers worth of fantasy consideration and that includes Lee Evans until he shows up again.

Tight Ends: Marginal value at best each week with Robert Royal usually having only a couple of catches. Royal had 11 catches for 149 yards over the three weeks that the Bills faced AFC East opponents but has done almost nothing in all other games. They usually just trot him out for divisional games.

Match Against the Defense: Lynch has a decent shot at his second 100 yard game of the season going against the #32 defense against running backs. It's not so much that every runner gets 100 yards against them - though five have so far - but that everyone loves to score rushing touchdowns against them. Like 16 rushing touchdowns allowed already. Plus two for running backs as receivers. Look for a solid rushing effort here for Lynch with a shot at one touchdown if not more.

Edwards goes against a secondary that is not all that special but the Bills have de-evolved into just passing to Lynch and made Lee Evans into a nonfactor in recent games. But almost every opponent throws for at least one score against the Chiefs so look for no more than one touchdown and marginal yardage for Edwards who is in a funk.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 21 24 20 17 15 17
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 13 32 16 12 26 19


Kansas City Chiefs (1-9)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 10-17 +16.5 45
2 OAK 8-23 -4 34.5
3 @ATL 14-38 +5 36
4 DEN 33-19 +9.5 46.5
5 @CAR 0-34 +9.5 38.5
6 BYE - - -
7 TEN 10-34 +8 35.5
8 @NYJ 24-28 +13 38
9 TB 27-30 +8.5 37.5
10 @SD 19-20 +15 48
11 NO 20-30 +5.5 51
12 BUF - +3 43.5
13 @OAK - - -
14 @DEN - - -
15 SD - - -
16 MIA - - -
17 @CIN - - -
KC vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Tyler Thigpen     250,1
RB Larry Johnson 70,1 10  
TE Tony Gonzalez   50  
WR Mark Bradley   60  
WR Devard Darling   10  
WR Dwayne Bowe   80,1  
PK Connor Barth 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs are still holding it together in the face of yet another nightmare season. A six game losing streak is wearing thin and the nice part about the loss to the Saints last Sunday was that it was by ten points. The three previous losses all came within four points and could have been wins. This could be the swan song for Tony Gonzalez and it would be a sad way to end his tenure with the Chiefs after being the premier receiving tight end of all time.

Quarterback: Tyler Thigpen hasn't won any games yet but these last four games as the starter have been very promising and in many ways the lone positive that will come out of this season. Thigpen has passed for eight touchdowns and only one interception over those four weeks and has genuinely looked like a young franchise quarterback. His abilities are changing the offense and play calling with more passing. He's been everything they could hope for with one lone exception - he's never been a winning quarterback for the Chiefs.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson returned from suspension and finally played fir the first time since week five. His first game back only posted 67 yards on 19 carries in a spread offensive scheme that is new to him. Johnson's rusty and won't be returning to 30+ carry games anymore but at least he only shared two carries with Jamaal Charles. It is still the Johnson show when it comes to rushing, it's not the only show anymore. Last week was the weakest defense that Johnson has left to face so expectations should be tempered for the rest of the season.

Wide Receivers: Mark Bradley comes off his worst showing with Thigpen as the starter but he still turned in three catches for 54 yards. Oddly enough he is holding true to his trend of always catching a touchdown in road games and never at home. Dwayne Bowe has been the opposite with Thigpen. He has not scored on the road (though his yardage has been better) and yet scored in both home games including two touchdowns against the Saints.

Bradley may have slightly decreased Bowe's action but not by much if at all. Bowe has been solid around six catches per week and that hasn't changed with Thigpen. Bradley has mostly just added to what would have already happened when Bowe and Gonzalez were the only receivers of any note.

Tight Ends: Another oddity - with Thigpen as the starter, Gonzalez has turned in two very big games that totaled three scores and almost 200 yards and both were on the road. At home, Gonzo has only had 12 catches for 101 yards in those two games. Still solid for a tight end, but strangely consistent even with the two home games being against a great defense (Tampa Bay) and also a bad defense (New Orleans).

Match Against the Defense: The Bills on the road have been far worse at stopping the run and so far every road opponent has rushed in at least one touchdown though the yardage has been mostly average. Look for Larry Johnson-Lite to have moderate yardage here and score once.

Thigpen faces a good secondary that has allowed passing scores to only two of the five previous opponents but usually 230+ passing yards and even Pennington had a 300 yard game against them. Look for decent yardage in this game but probably no more than one passing score unless Johnson doesn't rush in one touchdown. But the yardage alone will make both Bowe and Bradley have fantasy merit this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 12 31 24 3 32 24
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 8 17 17 2 23 25

The Huddle
WEEK 12
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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