When the Dallas Cowboys mosey on in to Arrowhead Stadium this week for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, there will be no shortage of fantasy stars on the field for both teams on both the offensive and defensive units.
Last week, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chiefs offensive starters had some players perform OK (Jamaal Charles) and not-so-good (Dwayne Bowe). The fantasy star of the game was the Chiefs defense, which played one of its best fantasy games in years, holding the Jags to fewer than 200 yards of offense, 6 sacks, 2 turnovers and one defensive touchdown by LB Tamba Hali. Depending on your league rules for defense, you might have gotten point for the Chiefs D giving up (technically) zero points, but even if they were charged the 2 points the Jags got from a safety, you should have gotten some kind of bonus for opponents points scored.
This week is a whole new ball game as the Chiefs take on a very talented Cowboys offense with five legitimate fantasy #1 starters and a defense that gave up a ton of yards and points last week in their win against the NY Giants, but also took away six turnovers and had a defensive touchdown.
Here is how I think the Chiefs fantasy players will perform this week:
QB – Alex Smith played an efficient and effective game in real life last week, but less than 200 yards passing – even with 2 TD passes and 0 turnovers – won’t win you a fantasy game. The Cowboys have a better pass rush and two excellent cornerbacks, so to expect Smith to go deep very much in the passing game is insane. Not a good start this week for your fantasy team, even if you are in a two-QB league.
- Prediction: 210 yards, 1 passing touchdown, 0 interceptions, 35 rushing yards.
RB – Jamaal Charles was heading for a big day last week, gaining 100 yards of total offense and a touchdown in just three quarters before leaving the game for good at the beginning of the fourth. Head Coach Andy Reid told reporters that removing Charles from the game was just precautionary because the game was over at that point. Charles missed Wednesday’s practice, but was seen doing light workouts on the sidelines and is expected to be a full participant later in the week. Play Charles for sure and skip back-ups Cyrus Gray and Knile Davis for now.
- Prediction: Charles – 120 yards rushing, 4 receptions for 50 yds, 1 touchdown
WR – Dwayne Bowe owners were screaming at their televisions, computer screens or fantasy football apps when he totaled just 30 yards on 4 catches against the Jags. You know you had a bad day when your #1 WR is outplayed by the fullback, who gained 44 yards on 4 catches. Interestingly, newcomer Donnie Avery caught one touchdown pass early, but then disappeared for the rest of the game. Junior Hemingway caught the other TD pass, but it was his only catch of the day.
Bowe and Charles led the team in targets from Smith (6 each), while Avery, Dexter McCluster, and tight end Anthony Fasano each had five targets. With the Cowboys tough corners playing Bowe and Avery tough, look for McCluster to have a sleeper game in the slot with Hemingway getting a shot at another goal line TD due to his physical superiority to the other Dallas
- Prediction: Bowe – 5 catches, 65 yards, 0 TD; Avery – 4 catches 50 yards; McCluster – 6 catches, 55 yds.
TE – For all the wailing and gnashing of teeth by some members of the local media and fans about how backwards the Chiefs passing game is right now, had Anthony Fasano been able to hang on to Alex Smith’s long pass on the first play of the game, Fasano probably would have easily had one 70-yard catch and possibly a touchdown as well. And no one would be bringing up Smith’s 5.0 yards per pass attempt average. But Fasano didn’t catch it and finished the day with two catches for 8 yards – hardly the stuff of fantasy dreams. Fasano might have a better day against the Cowboys, but if rookie Travis Kelce is healthy, he’ll be a bigger match-up problem for the Cowboy defense. Don’t start either tight end until they produce at least once on the field.
Kicker – Don’t play Ryan Succop either.
Defense/Special Teams – The Cowboys will put up some yards – big yards – but they have always had more trouble scoring when they have the chance. Last week, the Giants had three turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the game and yet the Cowboys could only convert it to one field goal. They went into halftime of the game in Dallas with just a 13-10 lead. The Chiefs will NOT turn the ball over as much as the Giants did and might get Jamaal Charles untracked before the home crowd. It’s probably best to find an alternative defense than the Chiefs this week, but if Dallas is not focused and careful with the ball, the Chiefs could do some damage. Play the Chiefs D only if you absolutely must.
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