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Chiefs fantasy football studs and duds: Week 14 KC at Washington

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Just in time for your fantasy playoff push, the Kansas City Chiefs offense has suddenly sprung to life and this week gets to play one of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Washington Redskins.

As such, guys like quarterback Alex Smith and receiver Dwayne Bowe have good value, and Jamaal Charles potentially is the king of fantasy this week. Plus, fantasy owners will see a return to prominence of the Chiefs D/ST, which has been missing in action for the past month.

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

Quarterback: Alex Smith may have lost three games in a row as a starting QB in real life, but his performance over the last three weeks should make fantasy owners smile. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid says that he (Reid) has finally gotten comfortable with his offense and knowing when to be aggressive. Smith has definitely rediscovered the forward pass in KC and has come up just a couple yards short of 300 yards in the last two games. Credit one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL for dropping passes for Smith’s lack of a 300-yard game. The Chiefs O-line is still too young and too susceptible to elite pass rushers (like the ‘Skins Brian Orakpo), but they seem to be giving Smith that extra second or two in the pocket he needs to throw 20 yards downfield. Smith is a top-12 fantasy QB this week with upside if his receiving corps hangs on to this throws.

Projection: 330 yards passing, 2-3 touchdowns, 30 yards rushing.

Running Back: Jamaal Charles will tear up the Redskins and should be the #1 fantasy RB in any league scoring system. Start him obviously. Knile Davis is getting more and more chances these days and his 108-yard kickoff return against Denver showcased why the Chiefs drafted him: strength to bounce off tacklers and surprisingly awesome straight-line speed in open space. During his touchdown return, Davis bounced off two tacklers at the 35-yard line, recovered his balance, and then outran two Denver defensive backs that had angles on him to the end zone. Not some flabby lineman or the kicker – defensive backs! If this were a regular season fantasy game, I would tell you to start Davis as a sleeper RB, but he could just as easily get one carry for 5 yards as he could 10 carries for 80. The playoffs are not the time to experiment so keep Davis on your bench.

Projection: Charles – 125 yards rushing, 1 touchdown, 7 catches, 65 receiving yards; Davis – 35 yards rushing.

Wide Receiver: Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster are all potentially fantasy starters this week. Bowe has the best chance of scoring … Avery has the best chance of catching one or two 30+ yard passes … and McCluster should be OK in PPR leagues because he seems to get the most targets in the WR corps. Second-year man, Junior Hemingway, caught a touchdown last week and should be someone to make a mental note about for your 2014 draft, but there’s no way of knowing how many chances he’ll get in the game, so bench him for now.

Projection: Bowe – 6 catches, 75 yards, 1 touchdown; Avery – 5 catches, 65 yards; McCluster – 6 catches, 55 yards.

Tight End: Anthony Fasano has scored in three straight games and would normally be a top-12 fantasy TE, but he’s hurt again and it doesn’t look like he’ll play this week. Check the injury report on Sunday morning and if he plays, he’ll have a good game against Washington. If he doesn’t, Sean McGrath is a low-end #2 fantasy TE, maybe lower. Best to avoid McGrath if possible whether Fasano plays or not.

Projection: McGrath – 3 catches, 15 yards; Fasano (if he plays) – 4 catches 55 yards, 1 TD.

Kicker: I never thought I would write these words this season, but the Chiefs offense has been effective enough to make Ryan Succop a terrible fantasy kicker because all he’s getting are extra point attempts. There are probably 15 other guys that will get you more points, but somehow the Chiefs may get PLENTY of scoring chances and Succop could reward you handsomely. Or, you could just have 5 XPs. It’s your call because I’m seeing high risk/reward. Be cautious with Succop.

Projection: 1-2 FG attempts, 4 extra points.

Defense: The Chiefs D/ST come out of the Witness Protection program they’ve been in for a month and become a top-10 fantasy defense again. After facing Manning twice and Rivers, the Washington passing game will look like child’s play. Start the Chiefs this week.

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