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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Bye Week
Sunday Late

Prediction: KC 13, OAK 17

Here's a tough one to call - two divisional rivals struggling through a bad season. The Chiefs have not showed any quit yet even though most games are futile and the Raiders come off a bye week which may be a bad thing. You would be hard pressed to find any team that could would benefit less by being together without the pressing need to prepare for a game. The Chiefs dumped Larry Johnson last week and nearly won in Jacksonville. About the only certain thing here is that this will be a lower scoring game.

The Chiefs lost 10-13 when the Raiders visited in week two.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-7)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BAL 24-38 +12.5 36
2 OAK 10-13 -4 41
3 @PHI
+9.5 42.5
4 NYG 16-27 +9 42.5
5 DAL 20-26 +9 42.5
6 @WAS 14-6 +6 37
7 SD 7-37 +5.5 44
8 BYE - - -
9 @JAC 21-24 +6.5 42
10 @OAK - +2 36.5
11 PIT - - -
12 @SD - - -
13 DEN - - -
14 BUF - - -
15 CLE - - -
16 @CIN - - -
17 @DEN - - -
KC at OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel     200,1
RB Kolby Smith 40    
RB Jamaal Charles 40 20  
TE Sean Ryan   10  
WR Dwayne Bowe   60,1  
WR Chris Chambers   40  
WR Lance Long   50  
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Releasing Larry Johnson is a good "overall" thing for the Chiefs who likely won't miss his production anyway. The Chiefs have already lost three games by a touchdown or less and are once again playing "not quite good enough". It's just a rebuilding year, again, and this week they face a weak offense and sound defense as they did in Washington for their only win. But once again - not quite good enough is likely to happen.

Quarterback: Matt Cassel has thrown for at least one score in all but one game this year and has scored twice in half his matchups. His yardage is all over the map though with as much as 262 yards in Jacksonville last week and yet he has two efforts with less than 100 yards passing. Cassel passed for 241 yards and one score when the Raiders visited in week two.

That's a reasonable expectation again this week. No opponent has thrown for more than one passing touchdown in Oakland.

Running Backs: The release of Larry Johnson hardly ignited Jamaal Charles' production. He only gained 36 yards on six carries in Jacksonville which ties him for a season high. No runner for the Chiefs have scored this year. Not one. None have gained more than 78 rushing yards in a game (Johnson vs. Raiders in Kansas City). Kolby Smith was taken from the PUP list and activated with the release of Johnson but only had four carries for 17 yards. Expect to see a split between Smith and Charles from now on. Smith supplies a better inside runner and Charles is a better receiver and outside runner. And in the end it really doesn't matter much anyway.

The Chiefs rushed for 123 yards on 32 carries versus the Raiders this year.

The Raiders have been soft against the run so there could be opportunities here but the Chiefs are splitting rushing duties and have not bee successful mounting a ground attack all year anyway.

Wide Receivers: The Chiefs released Bobby Engram but entering into the ninth game and picked up Chris Chambers who immediately - like without ever seeing the playbook - he scored twice last week on his three catches for 70 yards in Jacksonville. It would be a huge boost to the offense if Chambers actually was able to assume the #2 role here and do something with it. And it would be a huge leap of faith to consider his game last week as anything more than a blip on the radar that signals nothing. Chambers has not been hiding his talent for two years, he has been watching it erode until he was cut in mid-season. It is certainly worth watching but chances are that Chambers does little more than decrease what Dwayne Bowe could do.

Lance Long has only played in two games but had eight catches for 74 yards last week. The second year undrafted player is worth keeping an eye on since the Chiefs are always playing with the depth charts. Long as taken over the slot for now.

Bowe scored once and had five catches for 56 yards against the Raiders this season.

I still like Cassel to turn to Bowe for the one touchdown catch. He won't have a big yardage game but remains the best shot for a receiving touchdown. Chambers should match up on Asomugha unless they move him over to Bowe.

Tight Ends: Minimal fantasy value.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 21 31 18 32 24 31
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 14 30 10 4 30 25

Oakland Raiders (2-6)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SD 20-24 +9.5 43
2 @KC 13-10 +4 41
3 DEN 3-23 +1.5 35.5
4 @HOU 6-29 +9.5 41
5 @NYG 7-44 +16.5 40.5
6 PHI 13-9 +14 40.5
7 NYJ 0-38 +6 34
8 @SD 16-24 +16 41.5
9 BYE - - -
10 KC - -2 36.5
11 CIN - - -
12 @DAL - - -
13 @PIT - - -
14 WAS - - -
15 @DEN - - -
16 @CLE - - -
17 BAL - - -
OAK vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB JaMarcus Russell     140
RB Darren McFadden 50,1 10  
RB Justin Fargas 70,1 20  
TE Zach Miller   20  
WR Louis Murphy   40  
WR Johnnie Lee Higgins   10  
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey   20  
PK S. Janikowski 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Raiders come off their bye week at Dysfunction Junction and the NFL is contemplating sending HC Tom Cable to anger management classes. The newest distraction is that there are now reports that Cable has allegedly physically abused women. The Raiders keep Cable around just to deflect attention to everything else. This is a rare week though since it is the only time this year that the Raiders have been favored to win a game. It will probably be the last time unless the Skins show up in week 14 with no progress.

One wonders if eventually opposing players will be hit by thrown batteries and the camera will pan back to show Cable as the guy throwing them. This is a fun team in ways that are not supposed to be.

Quarterback: JaMarcus Russell returns after spending his bye week throwing hip hop parties and making donut runs to Krispy Kreme working hard on improving his 125 yard per game average. He has only thrown for two touchdowns this year which is one more than PK Josh Brown has thrown though in fairness Russell has only had 181 more passing attempts than Brown. I'm going to miss Russell when he is gone. I may be alone in that. Apparently that is thankfully still a long way from happening.

Russell passed for 109 yards in Kansas City in week two.

Expect a big improvement from Russell this week at home that includes bumping up his average passing game. Look for at least 140 yards with more possible if someone mishandles an interception.

Running Backs: Darren McFadden is expected to be back this week since suffering from a sprained knee back in week four that required some arthroscopic surgery. To his benefit, the Raiders will be getting back two offensive line starters this week and that will help the running game greatly.

McFadden has not rushed for more than 68 yards in any game this year and has only one score on the season. He actually played in the previous matchup with the Chiefs when he scored once on his 12 runs for 35 yards and Michael Bush turned in 35 yards on nine carries back in week two. Problem for Bush is that Justin Fargas has rushed the best and will not take a back seat with McFadden returning. Consider Bush as the odd man out but how this all shakes out in distribution remains to be seen.

The Chiefs are soft against the run and no doubt that the Raiders will be featuring their runners. They have allowed six scores in four away games to opposing running backs and about 100 yards to several players. There will be some risk, but both McFadden and Fargas look decent this week.

Wide Receivers: Chaz Schilens may be ready to return and he is without pain for the first time but I will hold him out of the projections until he practices and is certain to play. For all the problems with the passing game for the Raiders, Schilens looked good in his brief time during the preseason when the opponents were figuring out which cornerbacks were to be cut the next day. Until something positive happens here - make that twice in a row - there is no reliability in any of these wideouts.

No wideout had more than 28 yards in Kansas City this season.

Tight Ends: Zach Miller had his magic game when the Raiders shocked the Eagles who figured showing up was plenty good enough to win. But his production has popped around 30 yards or so in most games and he still has just the one score on the season.

Miller was held to no catches in the previous meeting with the Chiefs.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 32 26 32 20 26 30
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 29 26 28 12 29 6

The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
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