Ohhhhhh … one week later and that Denver game still hurts. The Kansas City Chiefs go from the frying pan of losing a heartbreaker to Peyton Manning and the Broncos last week to the fire of playing league MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football. Luckily, you only care about the Chiefs from a fantasy football perspective and not about whether or not they win the game.
The Chiefs have had full participation all week long from everyone that will be on your fantasy roster, so there are no injury concerns for you as of Friday. Here is your look at my predictions of how the Men in Red will do in their Super Bowl I rematch Monday night:
QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith was a hero after the Houston game and one week later, ADHD Chiefs fans want to run him out of town on a rail after blaming him for the 31-24 loss to Denver. Last week, I said to skip Smith because, at best, he’d have pedestrian numbers. If he had put up even pedestrian numbers and only one interception, the Chiefs probably would have won.
This week, however, I predict a bounce-back game for Smith. Not enough to start for your fantasy team as a #1 QB, but if you play in a league that starts two QBs, he might surprise. The Chiefs will face an average defense (sorry Packer fans) instead of a red-hot Denver defense and with Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball around, Smith will have to throw it around too. And, this is the week the Chiefs throw a TD pass to a wide receiver. Book it.
Projection: 240 yds passing, 2 touchdowns (but don’t be shocked if he has three), 1 interception, 35 yds rushing.
RUNNING BACK: Jamaal Charles had a terrific game against a very good defense last week unless your scoring penalizes running backs for fumbles. Charles had two critical fumbles with the last one going back for the winning touchdown for Denver with 22 seconds left in regulation. Other than that, Charles was vintage Charles and this week, he is just ticked off. Green Bay is giving up almost five yards per carry to running backs this year and Charles is the career leader in yards per carry. Play Charles as he will probably be the #1 fantasy back this week. Skip Knile Davis or Charcandrick West for now.
Projection: Charles – 90 rushing yds, 1 touchdown, 6 catches 50 yds, 1 touchdown.
WIDE RECEIVER: Jeremy Maclin has disappointed this year, but that has more to do with the Chiefs first two opponents and not anything Maclin is doing – or not doing. In addition, he’s had two long near-misses on catches that would have added another 80 yards to his yardage totals. I truly believe he will break the wide receiver touchdown drought that goes back to 2013 for KC this week. Maclin will be a solid start as a low-end #2 fantasy receiver. Albert Wilson will only get a few looks and probably won’t have more than three catches, so don’t play him. I still think Chris Conley will eventually break out, but that might come later this season. Don’t play any Chiefs receivers other than Maclin.
Projection: Maclin – 7 catches, 85 yds, 1 TOUCHDOWN (yep, I’m calling it); Wilson – 2 catches, 15 yds; Conley – 3 catches, 25 yds, De’Anthony Thomas – 1 catch, 12 yards.
TIGHT END: Travis Kelce will have a game much closer to the Houston game minus the two touchdowns. A big part of me wants to say Alex Smith will throw three touchdowns like he did in Week One, but that might be the homer in me. Start Kelce. James O’Shaughnessy is showing some flash on the field but he is someone to flag on your “Watch List” in case Kelce should go down with an injury. O’Shaughnessy is someone to stash on your roster if you have space, but he’s not worth starting yet.
Projection: Kelce – 6 catches, 75 yds receiving, 1 touchdown; O’Shaughnessy – 2 catches, 30 yds.
KICKER: The Chiefs just don’t kick enough field goals to make Cairo Santos a top-10 kicker. He’ll put up about 7-9 fantasy points which is about what 20 kickers will do this week. Nothing special, but if he’s on your team, he won’t get shut out so you can play him if you need a kicker.
Projection: 2-3 FG attempts, 3 extra points.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS: Best not to play them this week, although I don’t think they’ll be the train wreck that some fantasy experts think they will be. Marcus Peters did get a pick-six last week and the defense dropped three other potential interceptions that might have changed the outcome against Denver. However, Rodgers is at his peak playing form while Peyton Manning is not. I still think De’Anthony Thomas will be getting a punt return touchdown soon, but this isn’t the game to hope that it happens with all the other factors going against the defense. Skip the Chiefs D/ST this week.
Projection: 27 points given up, 3 sacks, 2 turnovers, and no touchdowns scored.