Two big shockers came out of last week’s 23-17 win against the Cleveland Browns for the Kansas City Chiefs. First, QB Alex Smith remembered how to throw a TD pass. He hadn’t had one since a Week 3 win against the New York Giants. Second, Dexter McCluster may have finally found his role on the team as a receiver with a fantasy owner-pleasing 7 catches for 67 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown catch.
Oh, and just to give the middle finger to fantasy owners everywhere, Dwayne Bowe had one catch for 7 yards on ONLY TWO TARGETS!
Furthermore, one defense playing in the game had six sacks and a boatload of quarterback pressures … and it wasn’t Kansas City’s #1-ranked fantasy defense.
Hopefully, things get back to normal in fantasy this week, but the Chiefs are traveling on the road for the first time in a month. Worse, they head to the one place that has been a personal House of Horrors for them since the 1970’s – Buffalo.
With a bye coming next Sunday and then a game against the Denver Broncos on the road the week after, this game has all the marks of a trap game for KC. Buffalo is having some problems of their own on the offensive side of the ball, so there is a chance the strong fantasy output in this game might come from the defenses playing.
Here is how I project this week going for the Chiefs in fantasy:
Quarterback: You say your #1 fantasy starter is on a bye week or nursing an injury and you need a spot starter for one week? May I introduce Alex Smith as your potential savior for Week 9? WTF?????
Yeah, you may think I’m crazy, but facts are facts and the main fact of this game is that Buffalo is giving up the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in the league (25.71 ppg) and the Chiefs are averaging 35+ passes per game. Smith might just be a top-10 fantasy QB this week even though he’ll probably be sacked a few times. If your #1 guy has issues, feel OK about starting Smith this week.
Projection: 240 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, 50 yards rushing.
Running Back: Jamaal Charles still the only Chiefs RB worth starting, but it was interesting to see the forgotten Knile Davis get some carries while Charles was on the bench with a bruised knee. Even though Davis didn’t break off an 80-yard run, he passed the eye test and looked like an actual NFL running back. Don’t rush out and grab Davis off the waiver wire – he’s probably stashed deep on someone’s roster as a handcuff to Charles anyway – but keep him in mind as a deep sleeper for 2014. Yeah … that’s where we are with Davis at this point.
Projection: Charles – 90 yards rushing, 1 touchdowns, 6 catches, 50 receiving yards.
Wide Receiver: The Chiefs will probably spend the 2014 off-season trying to upgrade the wide receiver position and maybe get some players that can get separation from defenders. Right now, neither Bowe nor Donnie Avery can get space between them and the opposing corners and one thing Chiefs fans now know about Alex Smith is that he will NOT throw into coverage. That may be why Avery (5 targets) and Bowe (2 targets) didn’t have as many targets last week as Dexter McCluster (10 targets) combined.
However, this week we have a situation where the movable object meets the resistible force as the Chiefs weakness at receiver goes against the Bills secondary which is giving up the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers in the league. As far as match-ups go, Bowe SHOULD have a great game so if you have guys on bye weeks or are injured, take a chance. One of these days, Avery is going to have another 100-yard day catching crossing patterns across the middle, but I’m not sure it’s this week. McCluster looks like a guy that you’ll be able to start as a flex for the rest of the year, so play him.
Projection: Bowe – 5 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD; Avery – 3 catches, 25 yards (or 10 catches for 120 yards, so pick your poison); McCluster – 6 catches, 55 yards.
Tight End: Anthony Fasano has been within an eyelash of three touchdowns in the last two weeks and you wonder if this is the week he hooks up with Smith for fantasy gold. Sean McGrath had a nice run while Fasano was hurt, but won’t get enough looks to be worth starting.
Projection: McGrath – 2 catches, 18 yards; Fasano – 5 catches 45 yards, 1 TD.
Kicker: Ryan Succop was the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week and should be OK to start this week. The only word of caution is that there is a chance of rain and a high in the upper 30’s in Buffalo on Sunday, so if you have another kicker with a better situation, you might go with him. But even so, Succop should be a decent option.
Projection: 2-3 FG attempts, 2 extra points.
Defense: Actually had a terrible week against Cleveland with only 1 sack and turnover, but that should change this week. The Bills are completely unsettled at QB and no one is sure who will actually be starting on Sunday. It could be practice squad surprise Thad Lewis who was a turnover machine last week against the Saints, or rookie Jeff Tuel, or massive free agent bust Matt Flynn if the football gods continue to smile on Kansas City this year. Throw in the fact that starting RB C.J. Spiller is nursing a high ankle sprain and is questionable, makes it a good matchup for the Chiefs. Start them for sure this week.
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