Fantasy Futures: New England vs. Kansas City

A sluggish Saints team all but ended the Chiefs dream at serious playoff run this January. Mathematically, the Chiefs are still alive and must win the remaining seven games in order to advance to the post season. I'm still full of optimism so realize crazier things have happened, just look at who Kansas City welcomes to Arrowhead Monday night, the New England Patriots.

The Pats proved extended winning streaks are possible in today's NFL. So the Chiefs need to start a streak of their own by winning one this week, against the World Champs. Is your fantasy situation the same? Is your team a reflection of the Chiefs or the Patriots? Regardless, fantasy playoffs are looming and big points are always welcome to the line-up.

The Patriots are among the NFL elite. Tom Brady and Corey Dillon lead the offense by example. This season both players have performed at a high level and the addition of Dillon makes New England a scary offense to defend. With a balanced attack, this group can put up some serious points. Expect a shootout Monday Night as the Pats are capable of scoring from anywhere, much like Kansas City. If Kansas City is too win, sticking to the run and limiting turnovers, four last week, are key to getting on a roll.

Just watching the Patriots makes you realize how good New England fans have it. For that matter all New Englanders. This team doesn't make many mistakes. Everybody makes plays on this team and they play as unselfish as any team in recent memory.

But that team faces a desperate group Monday night in Kansas City who hanging onto the slimmest of hopes in making anything of the 2004 season. The Chiefs will once again ride without Priest Holmes, but they will not lie down. Many pundits will say the Patriots will trounce Kansas City, but I will go out and say Kansas City will win Monday night. And they'll do it by at least a touchdown.

Enough with game prognostication, let's see how this game will affect your fantasy squad.

QUARTERBACK:
Trent Green - Statistically, the Pats defense is very good against the pass. Ranked 11th overall, the Pats are ball hawks and feed off turnovers. Green is very accurate and last weeks comedy of error was just that—last week. Green returns to Arrowhead and regains his form as he dismantles the New England secondary and plays off the success of the run. Expect 270 yards and two scores, maybe three.

Tom Brady - He has Dillon back after a scare last week. But the Pats could easily come out and throw the ball the first 15 plays. They're on national television and want to show the league they are the kings of the hill. Brady should find success as the Chiefs secondary is playing without much emotion and are finding ways to beat themselves. Brady should have good numbers so start him and expect 250 yards and at least two scores.

RUNNING BACK:
Derrick Blaylock - The one for now or at least this week he is again the man. Blaylock had 30+ carries and over 180 yards last week. Quite a performance. Hopefully he can match that at home. Blaylock is showcasing his talents and wants to prove a valuable commodity on the free agent market next year. The Chiefs offensive line was opening holes last week and the same should happen this week. I like Blaylock against the Pats and expect him to bust loose for 125 yards and a score.

Corey Dillon -Fantasy owners have to hate the Pats play calling in the red zone. Dillon carries the load up and down the field and when they get close to the goal line, Brady tosses it in. Dillon is still running with power and speed and should give the Chiefs fits. He'll get his yards and its 50-50 if he gets a score. Expect 140 yards.

WIDE RECEIVER:

Eddie Kennison & Johnnie Morton - Well Kennison showed up last week and Morton, well he fumbled much like Kennison did against the Bucs. Morton is a weak play this week, but Kennison may be a diamond in the rough. Facing a dinged up secondary, Kennison should find single coverage because the Pats like to blitz safeties. He'll get free downfield and catch at least one score. Kennison will finish with 100 yards and a touchdown. Morton gets 45 yards.

David Givens - This third-year receiver is really coming into his own. Not on many fantasy teams at the start of the season, Givens is a quality #2 receiver and should have a great game this weekend. Problem is Brady spreads around the ball so much that Givens may not score and his touches may be limited. Play him anyway as Kansas City likes to give up big yards to teams best receivers.

TIGHT END:
Tony Gonzalez - Still a stud and still a must start. The Pats are good at taking away what your good at and Gonzalez will be a major focus. New England will force Green to throw to the wide-outs, but if Kennison and Morton catch some balls early, the safeties can't cheat down on Gonzalez and give help. I like Gonzalez to get 65 yards and a touchdown.

Daniel Graham - Graham blew up earlier this year. It seemed like he was catching a touchdown every week. This week is a decent play for Graham, but if there is one thing Kansas City has done this year it is that they've done a good job at containing tight ends. This week should be the same. Graham may catch four balls all night and not one of them will be a touchdown.

KICKER:
Lawrence Tynes - Again I don't recommend Tynes, but there are worse options. Start him and he should reward with a field goal and several extra points.

Adam Vinatieri -He's only been the leading fantasy kicker the last few weeks. Start him and you will relish in the spoils of fantasy points from your most unpredictable position.

DEFENSE:
Kansas City - The Pats don't make a lot of mistakes, but if Kansas City is too prove my prediction earlier and get a win, Dante Hall needs to TAKE ONE TO THE HOUSE! I know it's not going to happen, but if I keep on saying it every week I'll look like a genius when it finally happens. It's probably smart to find a different defense to start because I don't see a lot of sacks in store this weekend.

New England - Start'em if you got'em. You have too. You drafted them earlier than you should have, so start New England they're a reliable fantasy unit.


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