Fantasy Futures: Panthers vs. Chiefs

If you got lucky and had the first selection in your fantasy draft, Priest Holmes should've rang off your lips and onto your draft board. If he didn't, and you had the first overall choice in your league, stop reading right now—there is no helping you.

In reality, only one lucky fantasy player per league is blessed with the touchdown machine and should feel confident riding him towards the playoffs. Last week's defeat to the Broncos in Denver left many Chiefs fans' reeling, but realize KC the last three Super Bowl Champions lost the first game of the season. However, the same can't be said for your fantasy league.

So who do you start this week?

Here is a breakdown of this week's match-up between Carolina and Kansas City. If you have any combatants on your squad, you may want to start'em because it should be a shoot-out.

QB
Trent Green - Green did not have a great first week statistically, but don't jump off the bandwagon yet. Kansas City played from behind for most of the game, and Green was forced to play catch-up, Denver knew it and schemed for it. The weak link in the Panther's defense is definitely the secondary. Young corners Ricky Manning Jr. and Chris Gamble will be tested by a confusing Chiefs offense and Green should find his receivers downfield. The defensive front for Carolina is an aggressive bunch. The Kansas City offensive line is good enough to force Carolina to bring extra defenders if they want to get to the quarterback. That should open up some screens for the offense. Expect around 250 yards passing and a couple of touchdowns.

Jake Delhomme - Surprisingly, Carolina became increasingly effective throwing the ball toward the latter half of the 2003 season and during their Super Bowl run. The loss of WR Steve Smith will no doubt hurt this squad's passing game, but viable starters exist with Muhsin Muhammad, Ricky Proehl and rookie Keary Colbert. Carolina will attack the Chiefs secondary with a variety of intermediate passes and play-action. The Chiefs aggressive nature defensively should allow for some successful screen passes. Delhomme will end up with around 225 yards and one or two touchdowns.

RB
Priest Holmes - Well here's a no-brainer. If you got him, start him—regardless of the match-up. On Monday, the Packers pounded the football down the field all night on the Panthers. The Chiefs will do the same. Did you see the drive against Denver when Kansas City gave Holmes the ball nine straight times down the field? It should be a similar situation at Arrowhead on Sunday. Kansas City's offensive line is a punishing group that will stand up to the challenge of such a potent defensive line. Also, Holmes may see a few more passes his way on Sunday through a variety of screens and dump-offs. Holmes should rip 150 yards and two touchdowns.

Stephen Davis and Deshaun Foster - Both of these players are primed to have a decent game. After watching Quinton Griffin carve up the Chiefs run defense last week, Foster may be set to have a career day. His speed and quickness could cause fits to Gunther's attacking style. But Davis will start and should he be successful early running between the tackles, Foster may only get around 8-14 touches. Start Davis and only start Foster as a third running back or flex player. Davis should get around 110 yards on the ground. Foster is good for 50 total yards and a touchdown. WR

Eddie Kennison - The Chiefs most receiver is worth starting this weekend against the Panthers. His 6-catch 101-yard performance against Denver was a good sign. But the Chiefs spread the ball around so much it's hard to tell who well step up. Kennison should be matched up on Ricky Manning Jr., and should prove that an old dog has some new tricks. Kennison should be a third receiver on your fantasy squad and could go for 80 yards.

Mushin Muhammad - Another receiver with similar statistics to Kennison who has tremendous skills and can make plays. An awesome run blocker, Muhammad is at the tail end of his career. He's effective in the intermediate routes and in red zone passing. His height gives him an advantage over shorter defensive backs and could see a few more touches with Steve Smith out of the picture. Muhammed is a good second receiver this week and should account for 100 yards and a score. (Rookie Keary Colbert will start this week in Steve Smith's spot. If you have room to add him to your roster, it might be smart to jump on him before someone else does. Watch him closely this week to get a feel for his on-field relationship with Delhomme.)

TE
Tony Gonzalez - Like Priest Holmes, Gonzalez is an every week starter. His low output performance last week is one of few that fantasy owners will endure this season. He should have a bounce back game and exploit the middle of the Carolina defense. Expect a huge week from Gonzalez as he will top 100 yards and should score.

Kris Mangum - If he's on your team, drop him and find someone else. He is a blocking tight end and rarely has many footballs thrown his way.

Kickers - Lawrence Tynes and John Kasay are both worth starting this week. Both offenses should move the football and give their kickers opportunities.

Defense - Both teams have good special teams and are capable of returning kicks/punts for a score. Don't expect a shut out, but both teams could end up with a couple of sacks and a turnover.


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