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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 13
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Monday
Update *

Prediction: KC 17, OAK 23

Update: Mark Bradley missed practice this week until Friday when he was still limited. His calf injury has him questionable at best and he is expected to be a gametime decision. I am lowering his projections and realize that not only is he not a lock to play, but if he does miss the game that Tyler Thipgpen and the entire passing game drops a notch.

Zach Miller is also listed as questionable because of his groin and he has been limited in practice this week. He may still play but is a risk to rely on this week.

This is a game that only fantasy football would like. And not that much. The Chiefs are only 1-10 and of course 0-5 on the road. They face the 3-8 Raiders who are only 1-4 at home but who are coming off a freakish win in Denver.

The Chiefs won 23-8 when the Raiders visited Kansas City in week two.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-10)
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 31-54 +3 43.5
13 @OAK - +3 41.5
14 @DEN - - -
15 SD - - -
16 MIA - - -
17 @CIN - - -
KC @ OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Tyler Thigpen     220,1
RB Larry Johnson 80,1    
TE Tony Gonzalez   60,1  
WR Mark Bradley   30  
WR Devard Darling   40  
WR Dwayne Bowe   70  
PK Connor Barth 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: It's been a nightmare season for the Chiefs and the lone positive is that Tyler Thigpen may be good enough to keep next year while so many other areas are improved such as the entire defense and offensive line. The Chiefs were hanging close in games for a time but have been blown out the last two weeks and the 54 points the Bills scored against them last week set a franchise record for points allowed. The way the Chiefs have been playing, there could be more record lows to set.

Quarterback: There is no doubt that Tyler Thigpen gets some benefit from playing for a team that everyone knows they can beat and therefore allowed trash time scores and yards. But on the other hand, Thigpen has taken one of the worst passing attacks in the league and made it almost respectable if not multi-dimensional. The scoring has been on the increase with Thigpen and the wideouts are getting involved more even if that means Dwayne Bowe no longer gets everything. This could be Gonzalez final season but at least Thigpen is helping him to end the year as the most productive tight end in the league.

Thigpen passed for 151 yards and one touchdown against the Raiders this year.

Running Backs: Two weeks back in the new spread offense and Larry Johnson hasn't scored but has offered at least some moderate yardage. He ran for 81 yards last week on just seven carries thanks to one 63-yard run. These next three weeks should be better for Johnson who faces weaker defenses and should actually get a benefit from the defense being spread out. Johnson hasn't scored since week four but should start to improve for the final month.

Johnson rushed for only 22 yards on 12 carries against the Raiders this season.

Wide Receivers: Dwayne Bowe has been a strong play every week this year and has six scores on the season including three in the last two games but his yardage that had been around 80 yards per week has dipped with the emergence of Mark Bradley and now both are most likely to end up around 50 or 60 yards each.

Mark Bradley has scored in three of his five starts this season and has opened up the passing game with up to nine catches in a week. He hasn't topped 81 yards yet but has been very consistently part of the offense. Neither Bowe or Bradley make WR1 sort of starts, but both are worthy of being a WR3 for a team.

Bowe had six receptions for 90 yards against the Raiders this year.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez has become the #1 tight end this year and has scored six times and had over 100 yards in two of the last three games. He remains Thigpen's go-to guy and the leading receiver almost every week.

Gonzalez ended with five catches for 39 yards and scored the only touchdown in the first meeting with the Raiders.

Match Against the Defense: The only difference this week really is that the game is being played in Oakland instead of Kansas City and that the Chiefs are using a new offensive scheme that should be good for getting more production from Johnson against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. Look for one score and what should be at least decent yardage.

Thigpen already had a moderate showing in the first game and he should certainly do no worse this week. Look for one passing score and decent yardage that will mostly favor Gonzalez. The Raiders do a good job on taking the two primary wideouts out of the equation and most damage has been done by slot receivers or tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 11 31 23 2 32 29
Preventing Fantasy Points    OAK 12 27 12 13 11 8


Oakland Raiders (3-8)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DEN 14-41 +3 41.5
2 @KC 23-8 +4 34.5
3 @BUF 23-24 +9.5 36.5
4 SD 18-28 +7 46
5 BYE - - -
6 @NO 3-34 +7.5 47.5
7 NYJ 16-13 +3 42.5
8 @BAL 10-29 +7 36
9 ATL 0-24 +3 41
10 CAR 6-17 +9 38
11 @MIA 15-17

+10.5

38.5
12 @DEN 31-10 +9.5 42.5
13 KC - -3 41.5
14 @SD - - -
15 NE - - -
16 HOU - - -
17 @TB - - -
OAK vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB JaMarcus Russell     110
RB Darren McFadden 90,1 10  
RB Justin Fargas 60,1    
TE Zach Miller   30  
WR Ashley Lelie  

30

 
WR Ronald Curry   20  
PK Sebastian Janikowski 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: What a huge and freakish win over the Broncos in Denver. That ended a four game losing streak and at least gives some hope to this week since the Raiders have already beaten the Chiefs this season. Darren McFadden is back on the field and scoring again and somehow JaMarcus Russell just completed 10 of 11 passes. The 31 points scored in Denver was the first time the Raiders had topped 20 points since week three.

Quarterback: Jamarcus Russell had little reason to throw against the Broncos but completed 10 of 11 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown which was about normal stats from him when he throws around 35 passes instead of just 11. Russell has been all over with his stats and has almost no reliability on what he might do from week to week other than it won't have much fantasy value.

Russell only passed for 55 yards and no scores in Kansas City this year.

Running Backs: Justin Fargas has finally topped 100 rushing yards this year when he ran 24 times for 107 yards in Denver but he still has never scored a touchdown and that is even less likely now that Darren McFadden is back. The rookie had ten carries for 38 yards against the Broncos and scored two touchdowns. McFadden had his only truly big game when he ran for 164 yards and one score on just 21 carries in Kansas City this year. Since his toe has improved, this may be the only week left that McFadden makes a strong case for a fantasy start.

Wide Receivers: Despite the five touchdowns caught by a wide receiver, there is absolutely no fantasy significance with any player here. Ashley Lelie had a season high four catches for 92 yards and a score in Denver but had zero catches in the two previous games and only had 105 yards on the entire season until last week. Stay far away from these players.

Wide receivers only accounted for one catch in the previous meeting.

Tight Ends: Zack Miller actually seems really productive in this offense because he compares well with all other Raiders receivers. But his roughly 40 yards per week makes him a marginal fantasy play at best and he has only one touchdown on the year.

Match Against the Defense: The return of McFadden means the two-headed attack goes after the only defense that it has really beaten this year when the Raiders ran for 297 yards in Kansas City. Look for two rushing scores and a chance that Michael Bush is involved. McFadden should be a lock for a score this week and Fargas stands a good chance of finally finding the endzone as well.

Russell is not going to throw much this week with a successful rushing game. Look for minimal numbers here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 32 25 32 19 24 12
Preventing Fantasy Points    KC 20 31 16 17 30 24

The Huddle
WEEK 13
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Monday
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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