|5 Things You Have To Know About Chiefs||09.22.14 at 1:02 pm ET|
Here are five things you have to know about the Chiefs (1-2), who will host the Patriots (2-1) in the Monday Night Football debut for both teams next week in Kansas City.
Quarterback Alex Smith can run the football.
Through three games, Smith is second among all quarterbacks when it comes to rushing yards — he trails only San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, 131 rushing yards to 95 yards. He’s had at least 100 rushing yards every year the last four years, including 431 last season on 76 carries, second on the team to Jamaal Charles. Some of that can lead to problems — while the two aren’t directly related, it is interesting to see that Smith has been sacked 11 times this year, second-most in the NFL. (Some of that can also be tied to the Kansas City offensive line, which is apparently having some issues with pass prospection.) But on Sunday against Miami, Smith did a nice job spreading the ball around, as he completed at least one pass to seven different receivers, and added two carries for 17 yards. A fairly conservative passer — his completion rate hasn’t dipped below 60 percent for the season over the last three years — he’s carved out a nice niche for himself with the Chiefs.
When healthy, running back Jamaal Charles is one of the best multidimensional threats in the league.
Charles is a phenomenal offensive threat — last season, he had 1,287 rushing yards on 259 carries, and added 70 catches for 693 yards on top of that. (He finished the year with a whopping 19 combined touchdowns.) The 27-year-old Texas product suffered a high-ankle sprain in a Sept. 14 loss to Denver, and even though he practiced last week, ended up sitting out last Sunday’s win over the Dolphins. Knile Davis started in his place and had a very productive afternoon, finishing with 132 yards on 32 carries. (The Chiefs also got some good work from backup running back Joe McKnight, who moved up the depth chart when Charles went down. Used mostly as a third-down option against the Dolphins, he caught six passes for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns.) While Davis and McKnight did well filling the offensive void against Miami, there are few versatile options in the Kansas City offense like Charles, and his health status should be closely monitored this week.
Their defense doesn’t force a lot of turnovers.
Remarkably, through three games, the Chiefs are the only team in the league that has yet to force a takeaway. They come into the game minus-five in takeaway ratio, the worst total in the league. (They have three picks and two lost fumbles through three games.) Overall, Kansas City is 12th in the league in pass defense, allowing an average of 223.7 yards per game. On the ground, they’ve given up an average of 130.3 rushing yards per game, 24th in the league. As a team, they’ve allowed 21.7 points per game, tied for12th in the NFL.
They are really tough at home.
Arrowhead is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Known as one of the loudest open-air venues in the league, the Chiefs enjoy the support of a really good fan base when they’re home. Expect the Kansas City fans to bring the noise Monday night against New England.
They’re not desperate for a win, but they’re not too far removed.
The Chiefs went into Sunday’s game at 0-2, and without Charles. For a team that made the postseason last year and fully expects to return to the playoffs again in 2014, that qualifies as a bad start. (Since 1990, 196 teams started the year 0-2, and only 23 of those teams made the playoffs, a rate of 12 percent.) And with the recent renaissance enjoyed by quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers, it complicates things even more for Kansas City. While the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos all made the playoffs last season, Kansas City can ill afford to lose any more ground to either Denver or San Diego, as all three teams figure to jockey for position in the AFC West throughout the year. Considering the fact that over their next seven games, the Chiefs face New England, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle, we’ll know a lot about this Kansas City team and its playoff chances over the next month or so.
|Fantasy Football: Week 2 starts, sits||09.12.14 at 2:15 pm ET|
Welcome to the Week 2 starts and sits. I hope you all did well last week, but if bad luck befell you, we’re here to help you up off the ground. There are some good sleepers this week and I’ve tried to bring a few to the surface. However, if you need more information on players not listed, you can always hit Rotobahn and check out my full Lineup Rankings, which will be updated over the weekend as always.
Jim Hackett and I will be back again on Sunday morning on 93.7 FM with another Fantasy Football Hour. We’ll be getting into some Week 1 fallout and looking forward to Week 2 by getting into some matchups and some potential value plays in both seasonal and weekly fantasy football. Join us! Our show comes on at 6:30 a.m. for all you early risers, but you can always listen to us later on as the show will be posted right here at WEEI.com. To keep up with all of our fantasy football content, follow me on Twitter. I tweet links to all our chats, articles and rankings.
Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Falcons
Dalton has a home matchup vs. a porous defense. This is when you use him if you have a need. He’s a better option than some guys who are typically QB1 caliber, like Robert Griffin and Jay Cutler.
Jake Locker, Titans vs. Cowboys
On paper, this is definitely the week to play Locker. He’s got the Dallas defense and he’s at home. After he stood up to KC on the road, you have to like his chances here. His weapons are all healthy and ready to go.
Brian Hoyer, Browns vs. Saints
You probably don’t need him, but he looked good last week in the second half and this is a better matchup at home. Hoyer’s a solid player and his knee looks healthy enough at this point. He can help you if you’re in a jam.
He’s got injured receivers and he’s facing an imposing defense. He’s playable if you need him, because he’s a fine player. However, if you have another option like Andy Dalton or Jake Locker, this is the week to consider using them.
|Colts complete wild comeback to knock off Chiefs||01.04.14 at 8:13 pm ET|
Andrew Luck engineered one of the great comebacks in NFL history Saturday night, erasing a 28-point third-quarter deficit on the way to a 45-44 win over the Chiefs in a crazy AFC wild-card contest.
Luck and the Colts trailed 38-10 at the start of the third quarter, but Luck threw three second-half touchdowns, the last one coming with just over four minutes left in regulation, to lift Indy to the improbable win. Donald Brown added a pair of rushing scores in the second half for Indy, which will advance to the AFC divisional playoff series next weekend.
Luck ended up 29-for-45 for 443 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions, while T.Y. Hilton had 13 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Kansas City’s Alex Smith finished 30-for-46 for 378 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Dwayne Bowe led the way for the Chiefs’ offense with eight catches for 150 yards and a touchdown.
Early on, it was all Smith and the Chiefs, as Kansas City busted out to a 24-7 first-half lead, thanks to three first-half touchdown passes from Smith — one to Bowe, one to Donnie Avery and one to Anthony Sherman. Knile Davis tacked on a late second-quarter rushing touchdown to make it 31-10 heading into halftime. The early led was made all the more impressive by the fact that the Chiefs lost All-World running back Jamaal Charles in the first quarter because of a head injury.
Smith connected with Davis on a 10-yard touchdown pass to open the third to make it 38-10, but that set the stage for the comeback. The Colts were able to put up two quick scores at the start of the third to draw to within 38-24, but while the Chiefs were unable to register anything more than a pair of Ryan Succop field goals over the last quarter-plus, Luck and the Indy offense was in command.
Down the stretch, Luck connected with Brown, Coby Fleener and Hilton for second-half scoring strikes, with the pass play to Hilton coming with 4:21 remaining in regulation and going for 64 yards down the middle of the field — it gave the Colts a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. A late drive from the Chiefs came up short, as Kansas City turned the ball over on downs with just under two minutes to go.
|Fantasy Football: Week 16 starts, sits||12.20.13 at 9:09 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 16 starts and sits! I’ve tried to find some good recommendations that aren’t too obvious. I’ve thrown in a few that I just wanted to emphasize, like Chris Johnson and Shane Vereen, who I think should be locked into lineups. Obviously, there is a lot of talent that we do not address in this article, so hit Rotobahn for our full lineup rankings. And on Sunday, stop by WEEI for our Sunday chat at 11 a.m. I’ll be happy to address any last-minute decisions you may have. Good luck to all this week! Bring home the hardware!
Kirk Cousins, Redskins vs. Cowboys
Talk about tricky! There are some very compelling reasons to consider Cousins as your quarterback for Week 16. The obvious one is the matchup at home against the defenseless Cowboys. I know a lot of people are talking about risk. Sure, there always is some uncertainly with an inexperienced quarterback. Then again, there’s risk playing Tom Brady on the road vs. the Ravens. At least there is from a fantasy football perspective. With Cousins, we see a lot more reasons to play him than to sit him. Here’s the most compelling one: Washington is marketing the player. Cousins is an asset that the Redskins need to maximize, as they have holes all over their roster. A lot of football experts see Cousins as a potential NFL starter, and we agree. The Redskins wants draft pick compensation for Cousins, and they are going to throw the football. And, with their defense, they’ll need to do it for four quarters. Cousins can help you if you have a need at quarterback. He’s an obvious choice for those who’ve been using Robert Griffin III.
Andrew Luck, Colts at Chiefs
Quite simply, he is capable in any matchup. I would not hesitate to play Luck in Week 16. Yes, the matchup is tough, but Luck has stepped it up on the road against tough defenses before. Look at what he did to the Bengals a few weeks ago. Luck is a viable option in any format this week. Check out our lineup rankings if you have a strong second option to consider.
Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Vikings
As with Luck, Dalton falls outside of my top 12 for Week 16 but remains a very solid option with plenty of scoring potential. Dalton can be your starter this week if you need him. He has outstanding receiving options, and most of them are red zone guys.
Alex Smith, Chiefs vs. Colts
It’s often ugly or random, but Smith almost always ends up with good numbers at the end of the day. Another fact worthy of a mention is his success at home, where he’s had only one weak fantasy start all year long. Smith can be your quarterback this week if you need him.
|Fantasy Football: Week 15 starts, sits||12.06.13 at 12:35 pm ET|
Welcome to the Week 14 starts and sits! It’s playoff time and I’ve done my best to distill the talent pool for you. If your key player is not covered here, check out our full lineup rankings over at Rotobahn or participate in our Sunday morning chat, where I will answer all of your remaining lineup questions. Best of luck to all this week!
Josh McCown, Bears vs. Cowboys
He’s far better than most folks, including us, ever expected. He will get at least one more start, and that start comes at home vs. a struggling Dallas defense that has been giving up plenty of fantasy points. I know it’s tough starting a journeyman in the playoffs, but if you are jammed with an injury to a guy like Aaron Rodgers, McCown may be the bridge to Rodgers and an appearance in the semifinals next week. Do not be afraid to play McCown.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Dolphins
It’s not a great week for quarterbacks, but Big Ben should give you some solid production in a home matchup against a beatable opponent. The big game is a possibility, but it’s the solid floor that I find most appealing. He’s a good option in any league.
Rivers is a safe option this week. You beat the Giants by throwing the ball, so expect a few scores and solid yardage and perhaps a big game if New York can score enough points to push the San Diego offense for four quarters. Rivers has had some mediocre games but no killers. He should come in somewhere between 16-30 points this week in standard scoring.
Alex Smith, Chiefs at Redskins
He’s been better for fantasy than I ever thought he’d be. It’s pretty amazing when you consider how poor Kansas City’s downfield passing game is. Smith makes plays every week with his feet and his arm, and his receivers get yards after the catch, especially Jamaal Charles. Smith can start for you this week if you need him, and he’ll most likely fare well against a soft Redskins defense.
Curse the schedule-maker! Is there anything worse than having your QB1 playing at San Francisco during wild card week? Here’s the skinny on Wilson: You can play him, but you should also consider other options. Based on what we saw last week when St. Louis played San Francisco, he has a chance, because Kellen Clemens missed a lot of throws — throws that Wilson will not miss. So Wilson can be played, just be realistic with your expectations. If he gets you 20 points in standard leagues, you did well.
|Fantasy Football: Week 11 starts, sits||11.15.13 at 9:28 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 11 starts and sits. It’s a tough week with a lot of bad matchups, but I’ve done my best to find some appealing options for this weekend. If you need some more feedback on players not listed here, hit Rotobahn for our full lineup rankings. And don’t forget to check out our weekly podcast, too. I’ll also be back at WEEI on Sunday at 11 a.m. for our regular chat, so send in those questions.
Nick Foles, Eagles vs. Redskins
Is Michael Vick healthy yet? Will it matter when he is? Foles has been outstanding lately, and I’d be very willing to start him this week against a Washington defense that fails to inspire fear in opponents. He’s a QB1 in Rotobahn’s Week 11 rankings.
Case Keenum, Texans vs. Raiders
This kid can play, and there’s very little reason to doubt him in this plus matchup at home. Expect a few big plays and a solid performance that yields numbers worthy of a start in most formats.
Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Browns
Dalton has played well against Cleveland in the past and he has enough options to work around CB Joe Haden if he’s having a good day against A.J. Green. Dalton should give you solid production that’s good enough to be a QB1 in 12-team leagues.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals at Jaguars
The Jaguars will give him some opportunities, and he’s been solid the last few weeks against stronger opponents. If you need an option this week, Palmer can give you a serviceable start.
|Fantasy Football: Week 9 waiver wire||10.29.13 at 10:18 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 9 waiver wire. I know a lot of you are too busy enjoying the Red Sox to go digging in the fantasy weeds, so it’s probably a good thing (for you) that I’m a Mets fan. In the words of Tommy Callahan, ‘I got spare time.’
We had more injuries in Week 8, and that makes this upcoming week a challenge in terms of putting a team on the field, especially in deeper formats. I’ll do my best to give you ideas and options for all league types and sizes. For those of you playing in large formats, feel free to head over to Rotobahn.com, where I’ll be adding more targets throughout the day as I continue to work through last week’s game tape.
Andy Dalton, Bengals
He’s already taken in 76 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but that leaves enough possibility to mention him. Dalton is on a serious hot streak over the last three games and is a solid QB1 in all leagues based on his production so far. The skill talent around him is simply outstanding. Add him if you can.
Alex Smith, Chiefs
He’s still available in 41 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and you can’t argue with his consistent production. Smith is coming off of his best fantasy week so far in Week 8, and he gets the Bills in Week 9. Add him if you need short- or long-term help at the position, but be wary of his Week 10 bye.
Jake Locker, Titans
He’s past the bye and he’s healthy. Throw in the fact that the Titans have already played the worst part of their schedule and you have a player to own in 12-team formats. He’s also largely available, with a 17 percent ownership rate in Yahoo! leagues.
Terrelle Pryor, Raiders
He got it done in a tough matchup last week. Granted, he got a lot of his points on a single play. Pryor has some solid matchup value in all formats with the Eagles and Giants on the schedule the next two weeks. He is available in 64 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Josh McCown, Bears
He’ll be the man until Jay Cutler comes back. McCown can help you in deeper formats as a Cutler replacement or as bye week help. I thought he looked pretty good in relief against Washington in Week 7 — making some good throws and clean reads. The matchups the next two weeks are at Green Bay and home vs. Detroit. That’s not too bad, and you can get McCown in all but 4 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Geno Smith, Jets
Geno was a ‘sit’ in my Week 8 starts and sits column at WEEI, but he’s a reasonable play this week, at home vs. the Saints. The Jets will need to throw if they are going to compete, and hosting New Orleans is a far easier task than playing the Bengals on the road. Smith can help you in large formats if you’re in a jam, and you can still get him in 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Case Keenum, Texans
Keenum will draw the start this week at home vs. the Colts. He’s a player to add in large formats for sure, because he has a chance to take this gig for the rest of the season if he plays as well as he did in Week 7 at Kansas City. He’s available in 97 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
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