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Chiefs fantasy football studs and duds: Week 12 San Diego Chargers at KC

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It’s Week 12 of the NFL season and chances are you’re in the last week or two of your regular fantasy season before the playoffs start. Unfortunately, if you have many Kansas City Chiefs other than Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs D/ST, or possibly Ryan Succop, you’re probably fighting to make your playoffs. Or, you’ve already tanked this season and have started studying for fantasy baseball in four months.

Last week’s loss to the Denver Broncos was disappointing in real life, but it was downright devastating in fantasy life. Dwayne Bowe and Anthony Fasano did catch one touchdown pass apiece, but no one had a great day in fantasy for KC. The defense only caused one turnover, but at least they held the hottest QB in fantasy, Peyton Manning, to a mere mortal 319 yards and 1 TD.

This week, the Chiefs return to Arrowhead after two road games and a bye week sandwiched in between to take on the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers at one point were playing well and right there with the Chiefs and Broncos in the AFC West, but a four-game losing streak have put their playoff hopes in jeopardy.

A lot of people are worried about the Chiefs having a let-down game after the Broncos loss. I disagree. I think the fact that they are at home against a hated division rival that has punked them time after time over the last 12 match-ups means the Chiefs come out focused and wanting to hurt somebody. That bodes well for fantasy owners.

Here is how I project this week going for the Chiefs in fantasy:

Quarterback: Alex Smith should only be on your roster if you have massive injuries at the position. You definitely do not want to count on him to bring you a fantasy championship. Hopefully the Chiefs address the receiver position in the off-season and Smith becomes a bigger fantasy factor next year.

Projection: 230 yards passing, 1 touchdown, 45 yards rushing.

Running Back: Jamaal Charles only touched the ball 18 times last week on the road against the best team the Chiefs will play EVEN if the Men in Red make the Super Bowl. Andy Reid has shown that he is not shy about using and abusing Charles all year long and last week he should have touched it at least 25 times or more. Knile Davis made another brief, but effective, appearance against Denver which bodes well for the real-life Chiefs team but means nothing to your fantasy squad. Well, your 2013 fantasy squad. We’ll have to wait and see about your 2014 team.

Projection: Charles – 110 yards rushing, 1 touchdown, 5 catches, 55 receiving yards.

Wide Receiver: If Donnie Avery is not a member of the Chiefs in 2014, you can pretty much look at game film of the Broncos game last week to see why. Avery did just about everything wrong that a receiver can do on the field. Dwayne Bowe started the game like he wanted to put his marijuana arrest behind him in the first half, but then disappeared in the second half. (Insert your own reefer joke here) Dexter McCluster put up his usual #3 fantasy receiver numbers, but didn’t do anything special. One of these guys will have a huge game against the Chargers and the other two will probably disappear. My vote is for Bowe to continue to get targets and convert nearly 33% of them into actual freaking catches. (I’m sorry, did that sound cynical and full of frustration? Yes, I have the double-whammy of having Bowe on my fantasy team AND my real-life team!)

Projection: Bowe – 7 catches, 80 yards; Avery – 3 catches, 40 yards; McCluster – 6 catches, 55 yards.

Tight End: Anthony Fasano finally got into the end zone against Denver. Sean McGrath is not worth starting for your fantasy team anymore.

Projection: McGrath – 2 catches, 15 yards; Fasano – 5 catches 45 yards, 1 TD.

Kicker: Ryan Succop will have a frigid day to kick in, but it should be a dry field. Don’t expect any long field goals, but he should be able to get a couple of FGs with a couple of XPs.

Projection: 2-3 FG attempts, 2 extra points.

Defense: Other than not getting the turnovers and sacks they have been getting most of the year, the Chiefs defense actually played well against Denver. Hey, they held Manning to mortal passing totals and the Broncos to their lowest point total of the year. The guys will be back in front of the Arrowhead crowd and while San Diego can put up yards, they do tend to turn the ball over and you should always play the KC D/ST at home in Arrowhead.

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