After demolishing the St. Louis Rams last weekend and supplying fantasy football owner with plenty of nice numbers, the Kansas City Chiefs welcome the fast-sinking New York Jets to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. The Jets and their head coach, Rex “Dead Man Walking” Ryan, are turning the clock back and praying someone resembling the young Mike Vick can help turn the team around.
Unfortunately for New York, the young Mike Vick no longer exists and the Michael Vick that couldn’t beat out the extraordinarily bad Geno Smith for the #1 QB job will be getting the start against a suddenly ferocious KC defense.
QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith played great last week against the Rams, but it was great in real life, not necessarily fantasy football. Smith gets killed every week in fantasy due to his lack of wide receivers who can not only catch the ball, but then do something with it after the catch. So he is left to dink and dunk the ball to his RBs and TEs, which doesn’t exactly rack up huge fantasy numbers. Then, in the red zone, it is usually the running back corps that finish the job scoring TDs.
This week Smith should have an above average day as the Jets are woeful on defense, giving up nearly 27 fantasy points per game (fppg) to quarterbacks over the last six games. With a slew of #1 fantasy QBs on bye this week, plus others that are questionable due to injury (such as Tony Romo), Smith might be the safest alternative for you. Look for Smith to throw for 255 yards, rush for another 35 and get one TD through the air.
RUNNING BACK: Jamaal Charles is back and healthy and that is great news for the Chiefs and better news for his fantasy owners. Charles is must-start every week no matter what scoring system your league uses. This week, he should top 100 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving and score one touchdown.
Knile Davis kind of disappeared for a couple of games after being a fantasy stud while Charles was sidelined with his ankle injury, but came back with a vengeance last week. The Chiefs could not run the ball against St. Louis in the first half, but after Davis returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, it helped break the game open. He then contributed another 50 yards rushing in the second half with a rushing TD. This week, the Jets will be seeing plenty of Davis as he should be getting the rock 15-18 times. Put him down for 70 yards rushing with an excellent chance at getting a touchdown.
De’Anthony Thomas was much more involved in the offense last week, playing 14 snaps after getting fewer than five the week before against San Diego. It is still too early to confidently recommend starting Thomas for your fantasy team, but Chiefs head coach Andy Reid undoubtedly will scheme a few plays to use Thomas’ speed to take advantage of the Jets sometimes over-aggressive defense.
WIDE RECEIVERS: Donnie Avery will miss another game with his recovery from surgery and sadly, no other receiver has remotely stepped up to take his place in the fantasy world. Heck, Avery’s replacement is probably playing college football right now and won’t be wearing a Chiefs jersey until 2015. Dwayne Bowe caught all six of his targets thrown his way against St. Louis and turned in a decent performance for a flex player (6 catches, 64 yards). Bowe – and I cannot believe I’m about to type this – will break out this week and get his first 100-yard game since the Eisenhower Administration AND … wait for it … score a touchdown. Yes … this is the state of the KC Chiefs wide receiving corps that this modest statement would be eye-opening. And that is also how bad the Jets secondary is these days.
TIGHT END: Travis Kelce (4-for-45) didn’t have the game anyone thought he was going to have against the Rams, and to make matters worse, he didn’t top 50 yards receiving to give his owners a yardage bonus that most leagues have. To put it bluntly, the Jets are the worse team in the league against fantasy TEs, giving up a jaw-dropping 18 fppg and a touchdown per game over the last five weeks. Start Kelce, who should have close to 70 yards on 6-7 catches and will outrun the defense to the end zone one time. Anthony Fasano is not worth starting, but he did catch all four of his targets last week. If Bowe does what I think he’ll do this week, Fasano will be the guy that suffers production-wise.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS: I thought the Chiefs would be a good sleeper team against St. Louis, but instead turned out to be a fantasy stud. Seven sacks and a special teams score was great, but then they came within a hair of holding the Rams under 200 total yards of offense for the game. The Jets have turned the starting QB job over to Michael Vick which would have been a concern for the Chiefs four or five years ago, but the Reid Era Chiefs already brutalized Vick last year when he played for a much better Eagles team. Kansas City D/ST is a legit Top-4 fantasy defense this week.
KICKER: Cairo Santos is a legitimate fantasy option for you this week if your regular fantasy kicker is on a bye. The only thing that worries me is if the Jets just lay down and KC racks up TDs instead of field goals. It would not shock me if the Chiefs put up 35 points or more so Santos’ stat line might only have 5/5 XP, 0 FGA on it.