The Kansas City Chiefs are now 6-0 after beating the Oakland Raiders last week, but in fantasy, this is a two-horse team right now with Jamaal Charles and the D/ST being the only fantasy factors in the race to a championship.
But for someone like me that has been writing about the Chiefs and fantasy football for the last 17 years, having two horses is a 100% improvement over the 2012 season when I could write my report every week by saying one sentence, “Play Jamaal Charles. Skip everyone else.”
That’s why last week was so troubling. The Raiders are better defensively but they aren’t THAT much better. Moreover, this year’s Chiefs are light-years better than last year – or the last six years when Oakland beat them inside Arrowhead. The Chiefs should have been more productive in fantasy.
This week, the Houston Texans, a team that a lot of experts picked to be in the AFC Championship Game this year, will be coming into Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Last week, they played possibly their worst, most humiliating defeat in franchise history, a 38-13 beatdown at home against the St. Louis Rams that dropped the Texans’ to 2-4 and left their fans cheering when troubled QB Matt Schaub limped off the field after a vicious hit. (Sound familiar, Chiefs fans?)
As a Chiefs fan, this game scares me because Houston is a very talented team that is on a bit of a bad run. As a fantasy owner of Chiefs players, I could probably write this outlook in one sentence: “Play Jamaal Charles, Ryan Succop, and the Chiefs D/ST. Bench everyone else.”
However, you expect more insight from your KC fantasy football dude, so here is how I project this week going for the Chiefs in fantasy:
Quarterback: Alex Smith has a huge fan in me as the real-life field general, but lordy he was bad, bad, bad last week for fantasy. He needs some of his offensive teammates (the ones not named Charles) to step up big time for him this week. That goes for real-life as well as fantasy. Smith has the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt, staring back at him from across the line of scrimmage and unless Smith’s O-line starts playing better, it could be a long day of dinking and dunking and check-downs for Smith. Only start him if you are completely out of options and your team can use the handful of points that Smith will probably give you.
Projection: 190 yards passing, 1 touchdown, 30 yards rushing.
Running Back: Jamaal Charles has become coach Andy Reid’s latest fantasy superstar in the backfield. He is on pace to touch the ball nearly 400 times and so far has scored at least one TD in every game. The Texans don’t have many weaknesses on defense, but opposing RBs have fared well. Expect another monster game for Charles. Knile Davis got one carry against Oakland and, you guessed it, fumbled. Cut from your roster because even if Charles goes down with an injury, Reid can’t afford to play Gray for a team that generally is playing one-possession games late in the fourth quarter. Cyrus Gray needs to start getting more touches if the Chiefs want Charles to be around for any playoff games. Hey, don’t you think a fourth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Maurice Jones-Drew would be a sweet pick-up for KC right now? Yeah, me too ….
Projection: Charles – 115yards rushing, 2 touchdowns, 65 receiving yards.
Wide Receiver: Donnie Avery is the player you love to hate for fantasy this year. When he is good, he gives your fantasy team a big lift from an unexpected source – your third WR or flex. Then when you start him week after week, you get the games like last Sunday when he is practically shut out and you’re left with 2 points from your flex. And you know the one time Avery got past his defender, Smith overthrew him badly on what could have been a 70-yard TD catch? Arrrrrrgh! Dwayne Bowe, on the other hand, has absolutely NOT connected with Alex Smith and has basically struggled for any points in five of six games. If nothing else, the Texans have a wonderful pass defense and won’t have many problems taking Bowe out of the game. If you can, this is the game to sit Bowe and Avery on your bench. If you can’t, just start praying to the fantasy football gods now. Dexter McCluster might have sleeper value in the fact that Reid seems reluctant to put Gray or Davis in the backfield to spell Charles, so McCluster might be someone that can get extra snaps back there.
Projection: Bowe – 4 catches, 45 yards; Avery – 4 catches, 55 yards; McCluster – 4 catches, 25 yards.
Tight End: Sean McGrath seemingly was left out of the game plan last week and then had to deal with rumors that the Chiefs might make a last-minute deal to bring former Chief and future Hall of Famer, Tony Gonzalez, back to KC. Anthony Fasano probably won’t play (again) this Sunday, so it looks like all the TE points will be McGrath’s to get. Even so, he probably isn’t worth starting this week. Houston linebackers are very good.
Projection: McGrath – 3 catches, 35 yards.
Kicker: Ryan Succop has quietly become a top-10 fantasy kicker and the feeling here is that this game could turn into a field goal-fest for both teams, so Succop is definitely worth a start.
Projection: 2-3 FG attempts, 2 extra points.
Defense: Yeah … your Chiefs Examiner learned his lesson last week when for the second time this year, he benched the Chiefs D/ST and played the 49ers D/ST and left double-digit fantasy points on his bench. He lost both games by single-digit points. Here’s some simple fantasy football math that everyone can understand: Houston bleeds turnovers and pick-sixes + Chiefs cause turnovers and scores by the bushel = Start the Chiefs D/ST, you goof.
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