Fantasy Futures: Denver vs. Kansas City

The Kansas City Chiefs squeaked out a victory on the road last week and the collective sigh of relief was heard all the way to Oklahoma City. Can you believe head coach Norv Turner didn't call a play for Randy Moss in the last drive? Thank goodness, because the Chiefs would have been 1-1 instead of 2-0 with a firm lead in the division. Good thing he's the Raiders coach, his play-calling should benefit Kansas City at least one more time this season.

Kansas City visits Denver on Monday Night for their second straight prime time game. The Chiefs are riding a strong run defense and an efficient offense. The fantasy numbers have been dreary for quarterback Trent Green, but he will prove his value as a top 6 fantasy quarterback over the course of this season. Denver quarterback Jake Plummer is poised for a decent game as the Chiefs are likely to continue their strong run defense and Plummer should find success through the air and via the bootleg. By the way, any guesses how many Denver bootlegs we see on Monday. I'm putting the over/under at 5.

It'll be another close fought AFC West battle, but I think the Chiefs pull another road victory out of their hat. Let's look at the individual players and see how the match-ups affect your squad.

QUARTERBACK:
Trent Green — He will get on a roll. This week I consider him a must play as the Denver secondary is a bit overrated and did give up 34 points to a Miami Dolphins squad learning a new scheme. Green will find Gonzalez, Parker and Kennison all over the field and I think he tosses for 250 yards and at least one score.

Jake Plummer— It's not unlikely for Plummer to toss for 275 yards and 2 TD's this Monday night. However, the Broncos are only completing 25% of their 3rd down conversions and Plummer's passer rating is a terrible 59.9. And we all know as fantasy junkies if the offense isn't on the field, it's tough to score fantasy points. I don't recommend Plummer as a strong start and would look elsewhere if you have another viable choice. Plus he's never really had a great game statistically against KC. I think 190 yards and a possible score is more realistic.


EDGE: TRENT GREEN

RUNNING BACK:
Priest Holmes/Larry Johnson Start both of them until further notice. The previous disclaimer is a permanent fixture in this space. It's a complete toss up on what kind of numbers to expect from this dynamic duo from week to week. I think Holmes is the better start as his opportunity is greater; but Johnson's explosiveness and talent demand he touch the rock. Even getting as few touches as Johnson does, he still ranks among the top ten fantasy backs. My only prediction is collectively they rush for 200+ yards on Monday with 3 TD's on the ground.

Mike Anderson/Tatum Bell/Ron Dayne Stay away. Unlike the Kansas City backfield, Denver is a true crapshoot every week. Until a surefire starter or at least a back that consistently touches the ball 15+ times a game, you can't rely on any of these guys. If you must choose one, Mike Anderson should start the game and get the most opportunities.
EDGE: PRIEST HOLMES, WITH LARRY JOHNSON ON HIS HEELS

WIDE RECEIVER:
Eddie Kennison/Samie ParkerIf Denver cornerback Champ Bailey covers Tony Gonzalez, like we saw last season, expect Kennison to have a darn good day. Rookie corner Darrant Williams should get exploited by Green this week and if he is on either Kennison or Parker, expect them to get the ball. Kennison should catch 4-8 balls on Monday for 95 yards and a score. Parker could grab 5 balls this week, or catch one 11 yard out. Stick with Kennison, make Parker prove his value.

Rod Smith/Ashley Lelie Rod Smith seems to have a good game against KC every game they play. Regardless of the new KC secondary, Smith is a good start and should finish with 80+ yards and if Plummer's going to throw a touchdown, Smith should be the recipient. Lelie is an underachiever. He has speed and great hands, but he has trouble getting open. I don't know if if's lazy route running or if his only real threat is as a field stretcher. I wouldn't start Lelie unless you play in league requiring three wide receivers.
EDGE: ROD SMITH

TIGHT END:
Tony Gonzalez— Gonzalez was supposed to feast on the Raiders last Sunday and he didn't. The Broncos and Champ Bailey stand in his way on Monday night. It's a tough match-up for Gonzalez, but he'll still be targeted at least 8-10 times during the game. He's a must start who should get you 65 yards and a possible score.

Jeb Putzier Not a viable fantasy starter. If you're relying on Putzier, I'm sorry. There is no helping you.
EDGE: NOT JEB PUTZIER

KICKER:
Lawrence Tynes This is a good spot start for Tynes. The thin Denver air could mean a 50-yarder is in his future. Just hope he doesn't miss two 30-yarders in the process.

Jason Elam He's an every week starter and with an anemic offense that comes alive every once in a while during a game, Elam is always a good start at home.
EDGE: JASON ELAM

DEFENSE:
Kansas City— Expect pressure on Plummer this Monday. The Chiefs want to force Plummer to try and beat them with his arm, because it's just not that good. If you can fluster Plummer, the game is yours. Start this defense with confidence.

Denver— A middle of the pack defense. The only real benefit is they will get plenty of opportunities as the Chiefs offense will dominate time of possession. Still look elsewhere for you defense this week.
EDGE: KANSAS CITY

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