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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 15
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Saturday
Monday
*updated

Prediction: CLE 14, KC 23

The Browns are only 2-11 but come off their win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and bring their 1-6 road record to Kansas City. The Chiefs, who incidentally also beat the Steelers in week 11, remain 3-10 on the year with a three game losing streak and a 1-6 home mark. The only reason this game exists is for fantasy football and very, very diehard fans of the Browns and Chiefs.

Cleveland Browns (2-11)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIN 20-34 +3.5 40
2 @DEN 6-27 +3 37
3 @BAL 3-34 +13 38.5
4 CIN 20-23 +5.5 38
5 @BUF 6-3 +6 40
6 @PIT 14-27 +14 38
7 GB 3-31 +9.5 41.5
8 @CHI 6-30 +11.5 39.5
9 BYE - - -
10 BAL 0-16 +11 39
11 @DET 37-38 +3.5 37.5
12 @CIN 7-16 +12 39.5
13 SD 23-30 +13.5 42.5
14 PIT 13-6 10 34
15 @KC - +2 36.5
16 OAK - - -
17 JAC - - -
CLE at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Brady Quinn     190,1
RB Chris Jennings 60,1 10  
RB Jerome Harrison 20 20  
TE Evan Moore   40  
WR M. Massaquoi   70,1  
WR Josh Cribs 70 20  
WR Chansi Stuckey   20  
PK Phil Dawson   2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Big franchise moment when they beat the Steelers last week even though they join an ever widening group of teams that took down the NFL champs this year. The problem this week is that the Browns have been horrible on the road. Aside from the freak game in Detroit, the Browns have scored only three touchdowns in six other road games. Their only two wins came in games where they held opponents to six points or less. That's hard to rely on and unlikely this week.

Quarterback: Brady Quinn helped his case with the win over the Steelers even though he only had 90 passing yards and no scores. Quinn has been rather all or nothing with seven touchdowns in two games (DET and SD) and then only one other passing touchdown in his five other starts this year. He has not passed for more than 161 yards in a road game- except for Detroit.

The Chiefs have allowed each of the last six visitors to pass for a score and all but one had at least two touchdowns. The yardage varies greatly and depends on what success there is in the rushing game - probably not much since the Browns rank #32 in the league for running backs. Quinn should have decent yardage here and at least one touchdown.

Running Backs: The quest to settle on a running back only gets worse here with Jerome Harrison as the primary in week 13 but then Chris Jennings took the heavy load in week 14. As if that is not bad enough, now HC Eric Mangini said he is considering a change to make Josh Cribbs into a full time running back which makes some sense. Cribbs rushed for 87 yards on eight carries against the Steelers and had 38 yards on four runs the previous week against the Chargers. He's clearly the only weapon they have - why not get him onto the field more? He already runs the wildcat formation.

The problem is that Cribbs is classified as a wide receiver in fantasy leagues so you can only use him as a wideout unless his official designation changes - unlikely this year in any case. So the problem this week is that I like one rushing score and yet it could go to either of the three runners. I will put it on Jennings for now but disregard that in assessing his value to your team this week.

Wide Receivers: The passing numbers have been very bleak on this team outside of the Detroit game and Mohamed Massaquoi remains the best receiver but even he rarely has more than two catches per week. Chansi Stuckey had no catches in Pittsburgh despite the win. The offense remains thinking about ways to get the ball to Josh Cribbs who has been stick around one catch in most games and he only had scored once this year on a pass in Detroit.

The Chiefs have allowed ten passing scores in Kansas City to wide receivers and decent yardage to the better in the position. That means for the Browns you can expect a decent showing from Massaquoi who should score if it doesn't end up with Evan Moore.

Tight Ends: Evan Moore has only played in two games but already has eight catches for 114 yards on the season and with six or seven passes per week, he ranks up there with anyone on this team with targets recently.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 30 32 30 28 30 26
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 27 27 19 24 31 25


Kansas City Chiefs (3-10)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BAL 24-38 +12.5 36
2 OAK 10-13 -4 41
3 @PHI
14-34
+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 16-10 +1 48
11 PIT 27-24 +10.5 39.5
12 @SD 14-43 +13 44.5
13 DEN 13-44 +6 39
14 BUF 10-16 +1 38
15 CLE - -2 36.5
16 @CIN - - -
17 @DEN - - -
KC vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel     210,1
RB Jamaal Charles 100,1 40  
TE Leonard Pope   10  
WR Dwayne Bowe   50,1  
WR Chris Chambers   50  
WR Mark Bradley   30  
PK Ryan Succop 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Three game losing streak is wearing on the team and losing to the Bills last week was especially hard. The problem is largely that the defense is lacking against any potent offense and that the passing game has really taken a downturn. This week is the last chance for win and the final home game. The last two weeks are in Cincinnati and Denver facing playoff bound teams.

Quarterback: While the Chiefs have faced better defenses in the last three weeks, that still does not explain why Matt Cassel would take a nosedive with only one touchdown thrown against seven interceptions. Cassel has ben spotty at best this year and recently has opted to just remain bad each week. There is reason to be optimistic though since the Browns are easily the softest defense to show up all year one that has been overmatched in almost every game.

Look for Cassel to get back to scoring this week with one touchdown and decent to good yardage.

Running Backs: The lone bright spot is still Jamaal Charles with a score in each of the last five games and he comes off a career best 143 yards on 20 carries with one score and 38 yards on seven receptions. Starting in week ten, Charles has been one of the rare fantasy gems that popped up after mid-season after most had eyed him on the waiver wire and walked past.

The Browns have one of the worst rushing defenses and that gets even better for the Chiefs because it is on the road where the Browns have allowed ten scores to running backs and 100 yard games to almost every team. Look for another nice week from Charles - maybe his final one of the year actually - that should deliver one score and healthy total yardage.

Wide Receivers: HC Todd Haley would not say yet if Dwayne Bowe will return to the starting lineup this week. Bowe comes off suspension for performance enhancers and the passing game needs him since the shine is off Chris Chambers now. Bowe has not been injured and there is no reason why he should not be able to jump back in after only four weeks. Bowe was knocking out 70+ yard games every week before being suspended. His four scores still leads all receivers.

The Browns are actually good against wideouts and over seven road games there has only been three touchdowns allowed to a wide receiver. Some of that stems from teams opting to run on the Browns but it makes it risky to rely on any receiver for a big game or even a score. I am giving the score to Bowe but it could go anywhere. Generally the #1 wideout is the scorer against the Browns. This could be changed by later updates depending on how Bowe looks.

Tight Ends: Leonard Pope went from one catch per game to having up to 45 yards per week when Bowe was out but that should reverse this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 25 29 18 29 25 28
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 24 30 7 26 29 22

The Huddle
WEEK 15
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Saturday
Monday
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