Happy Thanksgiving Chiefs Fans.
Predictions from Week Eleven can be found here. The predicted numbers and the actual numbers for last week can be found at the end of this article.
It's amazing what a win can do for a fan's outlook on the world. Last week it was doom and gloom. This week there is a sense of hope. "What if the Chiefs go 3-0?" Bring on the Kool Aid, I'm ready for a glass.
But that's on the football field. In the world of statistics the, Chiefs vs Pittsburgh game showed KC to be the fantasy disappointment fantasy players have come to expect. The Steelers limited the KC offense all day. The KC Defense and Special Teams stepped up, but over 500 yards total offense and 24 points from Pittsburgh offset any positive points that were gained from a return TD and 3 turnovers.
The Chiefs did do better on 1st down against the Steelers. Contrary to popular prognostication, this did not vastly improve KC's 3rd down conversion percentage. The Chiefs were 6-15 on 3rd down, or 40% for those of you without a calculator handy.
Fantasy value, or lack thereof, is directly proportional to an offense's ability to maintain possession of the ball. Long grinding drives are what you want to see for your fantasy players. Big plays will give you flashy numbers, but any owner of an Indianapolis WR over the last few years will tell you just how frustrating a player can be whose points are tied to that one play per game.
Big plays happen when their is a defensive break down. There's no way to predict, especially in the passing game, which offensive player will be the beneficiary. How many of you started Leonard Pope last week?
An offense needs to sustain drives to increase the chances of your fantasy player racking up the points. The increase in touches in turn increases the chance your player will be in a position to take advantage of a defensive breakdown. It's why running backs have such value. They simply touch the ball more.
KC's offense has shown that it has players who can turn in big weeks. But, the offense has not shown itself to be effiicent enough to create a solid fantasy atmosphere week in and week out for any Chief you feel can contribute to your team. Live by the fantasy big play, die by the fantasy big play.
Now KC travels to San Diego. The first matchup KC had with the Chargers was arguably the worst game the Chiefs played all season. Cassel threw 3 picks, the RB trio of Larry Johnson, Jamaal Charles and Dantrell Savage were held to under 100 yards and the WR corp had a total of 100 yards receiving.
The Chief fan in me believes that this time it will be different. KC is going to rise up and be the team that no contender wants to play down the stretch. KC is going to give San Diego all they can handle and more.
The fantasy owner in me is a bit more cautious.
Three Chiefs and a Sleeper after the break
In two short weeks, Jamaal Charles went from fantasy gamble to a #3 running back for any fantasy team. Haley is giving him more touches, 17 last week. You should still be cautious. Charles is not a RB that will consistently carry your team, primarily because of the KC offenses inablitiy to sustain drives. Jamaal was held to 58 yards of rushing last week. The shuttle pass for a touchdown padded his stats. Granted, not every defense is going to be as stifling to the KC run game as Pittsburgh. San Diego has shown itself to be one of those defenses though. Since the week 6 meeting between KC and San Diego, the Bolts have not allowed a 100 yard rusher. They have actually only allowed one rusher over 70 yards in that span. (Knowshon Moreno, 80 yards). Buyer beware.
Jamaal Charles prediction: 68 yards rushing, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 32 yards
Matt Cassel (redemption pick)
There were a lot of QB injuries last week in the NFL. Big Ben, Warner and Romo all sustained injuries. Romo looks like he'll play today, but Rothlisberger and Warner are still questionable. Which brings us to Matt Cassel. The fantasy strength of Cassel all year has been his lack of interceptions. That has been true in every game except week 6 against San Diego where he had 3. This time around Matt has a few things going for him. A running game that requires at least a momentary consideration from the San Diego defense. A split second more time from his improving offensive line. Chris Chamber's intimate knowledge of the San Diego secondary. Watch for Matt to have a much better day than the last outing. That's not to say he'll light it up, but he should be a solid play as a stop gap option if your star QB is riding the trainer's table this week.
Matt Cassel Prediction: 278 yards, 2 TD
Love those revenge games. Chambers has had an instant impact on the KC offense. This week he gets to stick it to his old team. It makes him an interesting option. Chambers has proved to be exactly what KC was looking for when they signed Amani Toomer and Bobby Engram. Savy vet. Chain mover. Leader. Best friend of the young KC QB. Love him as a Chief. He still can't be relied upon to be much more than an #3 fantasy WR, in my opinion. He has never been known as a big play reciever and yet that is exactly what he looks to be in the KC offense. Something has got to give here. Either the Dolhins and the Bolts misused him for the whole of his career, or he has found the fountain of youth. More likely he is finding soft spots in defenses and is making the most of his opportunities. You have to believe he will come back to earth, don't you? Enough nay-saying. The Chambers play this week has the possiblity of making you look like a fantasy football genius. Revenge game. No other consitent receiving threats for KC. Faith of his QB.
Chris Chambers Prediction: 5 catches, 80 yards, 0 TD
KC Fantasy Sleeper
This was a tough decision. Kicker or a WR. To break the dead lock I went with an unsung hero for KC. Pope has never been known as an offensive weapon in his career. His most productive season as a pass catcher came in 2004. He only had 23 recpetions on the year. BUT, 5 of those catches went for TD's. In 7 games with KC Pope has caught 8 passes. 5 of those eight have been in the last two weeks. With Bowe suspended, the Chief's tallest WR is Mark Bradle listed at 6-1". The rest of the WR corp is: Chambers-5'11", Long-5'11" (yeah right), Wade- 5,10". Compare that to Leonard Pope who is listed at 6'8" The increase in passes thrown his way matched with his size (and lack of size for the rest of KC) makes Pope a TD target waiting to happen. Leonard is never going to light up your fantasy scoreboard like Vernon Davis, but he might start snagging enough TD's to make him fantasy relevant.
Leonard Pope Prediction: 4 catches, 15 yards, 1 TD
Mushin's Week 11 Predictions:
Jamaal Charles Prediction: 54 yards rushing, 5 receptions, 20 yards receiving, 0 TD
actual numbers: 58 yards rushing, 2 receptions, 8 yards receiving, 1 TD
-Chris Chambers (Mr Overtime)
Chris Chambers Prediction: 5 catches 72 yards, 0 TD
actual numbers: : 4 catches 119 yards, 0 TD
Lance Long prediction: 5 catches, 45 yards, 0 TD
actual numbers: 2 catches, 37 yards
-Bobby Wade (3 dropped passes, DOH!!!!)
Bobby Wade Prediction: 5 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD
actual numbers: 3 receptions, 17 yards, 0 TD