Predictions from Week Fifteen 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 fantasy playoff time. Hopefully last week you rode Chris Chambers and Jamaal Charles into your fantasy semi-finals or finals. The KC players put up the best fantasy numbers of the year last week against a horrible Cleveland defense. Lord knows it was the only silver lining a Chiefs fan was able to take away from last Sunday's debacle.
This week the Chiefs face the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals of 06' these ain't. The high flying offense of a few years ago is gone. The Bengals have turned into a classic AFC North team. Ball control and defense is the calling card of this team now. The Chiefs will have their inconsistent hands full this week.
The Bengals defense has gone from one of the worst in the league year in and year out to a NFL powerhouse. They have only allowed one 100 yard rusher all year. It happened in week 3. Perhaps you've heard of him. Jerome Harrison from the Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati's #3 ranked rushing defense is bad news for KC fantasy value.
The Bengals pass defense has been stingy as well. Ranked 15th in the league, the Bengals secondary can hold it's own. They give up too many big plays to elite WR, but that is probably not going to be a problem for them this week.
Overall this game does not look like a good fantasy matchup for the Chiefs. If you have any KC players, you'll probably want to look elsewhere for your playoffs. Maybe a Bengal?
3 Chiefs and a sleeper after the break
Charles is playing for fantasy relevance next year. Last week's performance against the Browns catapulted Jamaal into a mid-1st round fantasy draft pick in 2010. He's not a good play this week. The Bengals are going to key on Charles and force the KC WRs to beat them downfield. Jamaal's speed always makes him a threat as a fantasy player. One long run and he's money for the week. But, Cincinnati is not allowing RB's to break off long runs. The Bengals have only allowed 3 runs of over 20 yards all year. (Ray Rice- 21 yards, week 5; Jerome Harrison- 21 yards, week 4; Willie Parker- 24 yards, week 3). It's hard to bench Charles, and no one would blame you for playing him any week. Just be aware that the Bengals appear to be built to shut him down.
Jamaal Charles Prediction: 75 yards rushing, 4 receptions, 20 yards receiving, 1 TD
Sigh. Dwayne Bowe. Means the same thing doesn't it? Bowe's potential makes him a tempting play week in and week out. But keep your pepto handy. Bowe would have had over 100 yards and a TD last week if he would have caught all the balls that hit him in the hands. Instead, he ended up with a pedestrian 56 yards and no TD's. The good news, he kept getting open and the ball was sent his way. The bad news, he kept getting open and the ball was sent his way. Cincinatti does give up big plays. If Bowe pulls his hands out of his ass he could be in for a big day. Inconsistency makes it unlikely. Bowe is a flex player at best.
Dwayne Bowe prediction: 6 catches, 80 yards, 0 TD, 3 drops
If you're looking for a Chief to play this week, Chambers might be your guy. Bowe may not be catching the ball, but he is certainly finding seams. The Bengals will not be able to ignore Dwayne, giving Chambers favorable matchups. The Bengals safties are not ball hawks in the passing game, and their starting Free Saftey Chris Crocker is listed as questionable. Chambers should get his fair share of one on one matchups on the outside. Last week he exploded. He most likely won't repeat last week's performance, but he should be a solid #3 WR or flex player this week.
Chris Chambers Prediction: 5 catches, 79 yards, 1 TD
KC Fantasy Sleeper
If you are thinking about starting Matt Cassel in your playoffs, I feel for you. Things must have gone horribly wrong. You can take a little heart. Matt looked better last week, all things considered. His passes were crisper and on time. He was finding open receivers. But Matt can't catch the ball himself. Cincinnati is going to force him to try. Cassel will have to be on his game if the Chiefs are going to have any chance this week. KC is going to have to throw often to loosen up the Bengals defense for Charles. Interceptions may become a factor. Cincinnati has 17 interceptions this season which is tied for 8th in the league. They are not exactly ball hawks, but their run defense is giving their secondary a disproportionate number of opportunities. The formula for Cassel is simple. If the KC WR figure out how to catch the ball, Matt will have a decent day. If not, Cassel loses your fantasy game for you. Good luck.
Matt Cassel prediction: 234 yards passing, 2 TD, 1 Int
Mushin's Week 15 Predictions:
Jamaal Charles prediction: 103 yards, 3 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD
actual numbers: 154 yards, 2 receptions, 16 yards, 1 TD
Dwayne Bowe prediction: 7 catches, 94 yards, 1 TD
actual numbers: 4 receptions, 56 yards, 0 TD
Chris Chambers prediction: 5 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD
actual numbers: 5 catches, 114 yards, 1 TD
Ryan Succop prediction: 2 FG's, 3 EP's
actual numbers: 2 FG's, 4 EP's