Fantasy Futures: Denver vs. Kansas City

Even with no shot at making the playoffs this is a big game for Kansas City. The Broncos are in town and nobody likes losing to Denver. Suddenly the Chiefs have a spark thanks to running back Larry Johnson who stepped up on Monday night and earned his first career start this weekend.

Expect an offensive explosion this week when these two teams meet. Mainly because the Broncos are in a must win situation, and the Chiefs can't stop anyone from scoring.

Kansas City can play spoiler this weekend as the Broncos are desperate for a win as they are currently on the outside looking in for the last playoff spot. Denver's passing game could shine this Sunday as both Rod Smith and Ashlie Lelie are good starts. The Chiefs must rely on the run and allow Larry Johnson to control the clock. Johnson exhibits great speed when he hits the hole and is capable of taking it to the house each time he touches the ball. Derrick Blaylock's time with the Chiefs is ticking away as during free agency its unlikely Kansas City will pony up as much as he could get on the open market.

The Chiefs offense is producing at a very high level. Trent Green and his wide outs are on the same page, and barring the continued dropped balls Green should better his previous output against the Broncos. Green didn't throw a touchdown pass in the first meeting and could not break the 200 yard passing barrier. But this game is at Arrowhead and the Chiefs should eek out a victory.

Let's take a closer look at the match-ups for this heated division game.

Trent Green - It all starts with the running game this week. The Chiefs will force feed the ball to Johnson and use play action to get the ball downfield. If Champ Bailey covers Tony Gonzalez like earlier this season, Kennison and Morton should see quite a few balls come their way. I like Green this week as I think Denver will put up some points. Start Green and expect 245 yards and 2 or 3 scores.

Jake Plummer - After throwing "the bird" at Denver fans this weekend, Plummer desperately needs a good showing to win back the Bronco faithful. Fortunately he gets the Chiefs secondary this weekend. Plummer should explode for 795 yards and 16 scores this weekend as every pass will go for a score. Okay not really, but would you be surprised? Didn't think so. Start Plummer and realistically expect a 300 yard day with two touchdowns at the minimum.

Larry Johnson - The job is officially his, at least for the remainder of the season. In seven carries last week Johnson managed over a hundred yards and two touchdowns, an impressive showing indeed. Johnson is a great start and could finish the week as the top fantasy running back on the board. The Broncos run defense is no joke and currently are in the top ten run defenses in the NFL. But Kansas City always runs the ball well against the Broncos and this week won't be any different. Start him and reap the rewards as he'll gain 165 yards and at least one touchdown.

Reuben Droughns - Last week Denver replaced starting running back Rueben Droughns early in the first quarter due to two early fumbles. Replacement rookie Tatum Bell got off, scampering for over a hundred yards and two scores. Bell injured his shoulder towards the end of the game and is currently a game time decision. Whoever coach Shanahan puts behind that line is a great start. This week Droughns is the likely starter, but should he stumble (or fumble) early the Broncos will go to Bell and/or veteran Garrison Hearst. Droughns is good for 125 yards and a score.

Eddie Kennison - Stick with the hot hand. Kennison is among the league leaders in receiving and scoring over the last 6 or 7 weeks and had two scores on Monday night. Granted the Broncos pass defense is much better than the Titans, he still rang up over a hundred yards in the first meeting. If Kennison didn't drop at least two balls a game his numbers would be even better. Start him as a second receiver and expect 80 yards and a score.

Rod Smith & Ashlie Lelie - I think both of these guys are likely to have huge games. Smith is the possession guy and Lelie the deep threat. Both will score and don't forget how Rod Smith loves to play, and play well, against Kansas City. The Chiefs could still be without safeties Wesley and Woods. And if cornerback William Bartee is in the game, expect some receiving touchdowns from these guys. Rod Smith should go for 85 yards and two scores. Lelie is good for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Tony Gonzalez - Last time these teams met, Gonzalez had a hard time with Champ Bailey. The Broncos should employ a similar technique and try to limit his touches. Gonzalez will be effective on first and second downs and should still catch 5-7 balls for around 65 yards and a possible score.

Jeb Putzier A red zone target, Putzier could catch a touchdown. But with so many options out there, I doubt he's even on a team in your league. If you're desperate start him, but I don't recommend it.

Lawrence Tynes & Jason Elam - Neither will have many field goal opportunities as these teams will be scoring touchdowns. If you have to start one, I'd go with Elam, but there are better options.

Kansas City - Last year at home Dante took one to the house. I'll guess and say he does it again. There could be a couple of turnovers as well as Droughns is a fumbler.

Denver - Too many points this weekend to recommend this defense. Top Stories