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

Prediction: SD 20, KC 24

Update: Mark Clayton is questionable and will be a gametime decision this week. I am not adding him back into the projections. This game could also get rain and will have some wind. I am lowering the passing numbers a bit because of the wind.

Here's a game that only fantasy football could make interesting. The Chargers are only 1-5 on the road and barely clipped the Chiefs 20-19 in San Diego five weeks ago. The Chiefs are only 1-5 at home and specializing in looking competitive until folding the tents in the fourth quarter. This is a coin toss game to be sure and all that can be relied on is that the Chiefs will look like a tough opponent for at least the first half.

San Diego Chargers (5-8)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CAR 24-26 -9 42
2 @DEN 38-39 -1.5 45.5
3 NYJ 48-29 -9 44
4 @OAK 28-18 -7 46
5 @MIA 10-17 -6.5 45.5
6 NE 30-10 -6 44.5
7 @BUF 14-23 -1 46.5
8 @NO 32-37 -3.5 47
9 BYE - - -
10 KC 20-19 -15 48
11 @PIT 10-11 +4 43
12 IND 20-23 -3 49.5
13 ATL 16-22 -5 49
14 OAK 34-7 -10 43
15 @KC - -5 46.5
16 @TB - - -
17 DEN - - -
SD @ KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     250,2
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 80 20  
TE Antonio Gates   60,1  
WR Vincent Jackson   80,1  
WR Malcolm Floyd   40  
WR Chris Chambers   30  
PK Nate Kaeding 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: At least the Raiders have been good for two wins this year or otherwise this would be a total waste of a season. Not only are the Chargers only 5-8 and just 1-5 on the road but they have two away games left - the Chiefs and next week in Tampa Bay - before finally ending in week 17 against the Broncos who likely won't much care since they have already clinched the AFC West.

Quarterback: Philip Rivers remains a strong fantasy play each week with nine games of multiple passing scores and four games over 300 passing yards. A tougher schedule lately has seen Rivers with two scoreless game in the last month and sub-200 yards but in Pittsburgh was expected and he still posted two scores in Indianapolis unlike most other visitors. Rivers passed for 316 yards and two scores when the Chiefs came to San Diego five weeks ago.

Running Backs: The curiously rapid decline of LaDainian Tomlinson has been propped up lately with a touchdown in three of the last four games. But three straight home games has seen him only average about 65 rushing yards and last week he did not even have one catch. Tomlinson gained 78 yards on 22 carries and did not score against the Chiefs in week ten. He added 39 yards on four receptions.

Tomlinson currently has a 3.7 yard rushing average - worst in his entire career.

Wide Receivers: For as much passing there is, the wideouts offer surprisingly little consistency. Vincent Jackson comes off a season best 148 yards and a score against the Raiders but he was blanked last week. Jackson has six touchdowns so far but only two games over 83 yards to his credit.

Chris Chambers has all but disappeared this year with five scores through week five and then almost nothing for these last six weeks. He has been blanked twice and only once had more than 21 yards in that time. If there is any action by the wideouts, it goes to Jackson.

Chambers had no catches against Chiefs this year while Jackson recorded five receptions for 83 yards.

Tight Ends: For the last month, Antonio Gates has fallen off the map. He was playing well through week ten when he had 66 yards on eight caches for one score against the Chiefs but has done almost nothing in the last four games. His best effort was only 28 yards against the Colts and last week he was held without a catch for the first time. This month-long funk over the organization has been related in part to a tougher schedule but hosting the Raiders at home and having both Chambers and Gates without a catch? Not a good sign.

Match Against the Defense: This could be harder than it seems. The Charger barely squeaked past the Chiefs playing in San Diego and now have to head to Kansas City. The offense still has all the names but almost none of the offensive punch of past seasons. The Chiefs sport the worst defense against running backs which is great for Tomlinson but he only managed 78 yards against them in San Diego this year. Expecting more than a moderate showing here is unrealistic.

Rivers had a nice showing in the last meeting and should again this week. The Chiefs secondary is nothing special and is covered by an even worse ability to stop the run so teams do not throw as much against them. This should be a place to get Gates a bit more on track - expect a score and decent yardage. Look for Jackson as the most likely to catch touchdown #2.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 6 12 17 9 12 17
Preventing Fantasy Points    KC 22 32 15 20 29 20

Kansas City Chiefs (2-11)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  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 20-13 +3 41.5
14 @DEN 17-24 +9 48
15 SD - +5 46.5
16 MIA - - -
17 @CIN - - -
KC vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Tyler Thigpen     240,2
RB Larry Johnson 70,1 10  
TE Tony Gonzalez   80,1  
WR Devard Darling   30  
WR Dwayne Bowe   80,1  
PK Connor Barth 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs continue to strive for a win even though the season is long over and the Chiefs have lost six games by one touchdown or less. Remarkably they have been favored in only one game so far and yet the team has not quit. it just hasn't quite been as good as it needs to win. The offense is better but never quite good enough and the defense is not as bad but still not good. The season winds down with this week being the best remaining chance of win.

Quarterback: Not unlike Shaun Hill in San Francisco, Tyler Thigpen has looked mostly good this year but it is still debatable if the Chiefs will stick with him in 2009 or look for a hot rookie or veteran free agent. Thigpen was a a nice string of multiple score games before the last two weeks having road games that depressed his numbers. But Thigpen passed for 266 yards and three touchdowns in San Diego this season for his best effort yet.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson had a monster game hosting the Broncos back in week four but last Sunday only managed 36 yards on 11 carries in Denver. Johnson had been turning in around 80 yards in games previous and still has only four touchdowns on the season. Johnson did not play in the previous meeting with the Chargers when Jamaal Charles (3-8) and Dantrell Savage (12-44) were forced into duty.

Wide Receivers: Mark Bradley was making a big difference with a score every other week and at least 50 receiving yards but he missed last week with an injury to both calfs and is no lock to play this weekend. Sadly he is just repeating his trend - look great, get a starting job and then be plagued with injuries.

Dwayne Bowe is still having a solid year and had 96 yards on seven catches without Bradley around last week. Bowe turned in 72 yards on six catches against the Chargers last time and Bradley had a season high 81 yards and a touchdown.

Tight Ends: The unbridled affinity that Thigpen has for Tony Gonzalez has led HC Herm Edwards to telling his quarterback to stop locking onto Gonzo so much because he is making the offense one dimensional. That has not been a problem for Gonzo owners who has reaped major reward in the last five weeks. Gonzalez had three games over 100 yards and scored four times. His season best game was the 10 catches for 113 yards and two scores against the Chargers in week ten.

Match Against the Defense: This is a replay game that the Chiefs almost won in San Diego. The rushing attack of Larry Johnson has been much decreased in recent weeks and he'll do well enough to have a moderate showing here but with a shot at one touchdown.

Thigpen already had his best game against these Chargers but will not have Bradley this time. I still like him to throw for two scores in this game and decent enough yardage. There are really only two receivers in this offense now so look for Gonzo and Bowe as likely to score.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 11 30 27 2 31 23
Preventing Fantasy Points    SD 28 11 19 32 17 11

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