Game Predictions & Player Projections - TEN vs. KC

Game Predictions & Player Projections - TEN vs. KC

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - TEN vs. KC

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Prediction: TEN 13, KC 23 (Line: KC by 3.5)

The Titans were only 7-9 last year and held a 4-4 road record. They have moved onto all new coaches, a new quarterback, running back and wide receiver. The Chiefs were 11-5 and one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 season. They held a 5-3 mark at home. Better defense at home has to favor the Chiefs who already won 26-17 against the Titans last year during week five.

Tennessee Titans

1 @KC —– 10 @BAL —–
2 DAL —– 11 PIT —–
3 @CIN —– 12 @PHI —–
4 @IND —– 13 @HOU —–
5 CLE —– 14 NYG —–
6 JAC —– 15 NYJ —–
7 @WAS —– 16 @JAC —–
8 HOU —– 17 IND —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
TEN @ KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel 190,1
RB Bishop Sankey 50 3-20
WR Harry Douglas 4-60
WR Justin Hunter 4-60,1
WR Kendall Wright 6-60
TE Delanie Walker 4-40

The Titans scrapped almost everything from last year and picked up Ken Whisenhunt to be the new head coach. Jason Michael comes along to help run the offense but this remains Whisenhunt’s scheme that Michael learned last year. After heading up the Cardinals, Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator last year in San Diego and Michael coached tight ends for him. His offenses are more about making use of what is there than forcing any particular facet. This will be a vertical passing offense that should use the tight end more but will also focus on a strong rushing game.

Jake Locker remains – a surprise to some – but he has spent three seasons on the sidelines injured as much as playing. Locker is not a bad quarterback, he can just never remain healthy and that disrupts the offense each time he comes in or out. There is no Ryan Fitzpatrick to turn to this time. Just Charlie Whitehurst and the sixth round rookie Zach Mettenberger. That could be a messy situation once Locker is injured yet again.

The Titans also parted ways with Chris Johnson after seven seasons and picked up Bishop Sankey as the first running back selected last April (albeit with a 2.22 pick). Sankey is a 5-9, 210 lb. runner who should be a nice fit in this offense. Shonn Greene remains the starter at least in name and likely in work for the first few weeks until Sankey can give the coaches enough confidence to press Greene back down to the short yardage, goal line back that he has really only ever been. Greene is already working on two balky knees – it should not take Sankey long.

Kenny Britt finally wore out his welcome and left for St. Louis. But Kendall Wright, Nate Washington and Justin Hunter are more than adequate to get the job done. In particular the 6-4 Hunter enters his second season and has impressed the new coaches. Wright is a solid possession receiver but Hunter has upside to be more. He’s the one to watch among the receivers.

Should Whisenhunt use the tight end position more, Delanie Walker benefits and after seven years in San Francisco, he had a career best 60-571-6 in his first season with the Titans. He should see an increase but in the end it all comes down to when Locker is out for the year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Chiefs defense should end up as one of the better units again this year and since they are at Arrowhead this week, figure on the Titans struggling in their new offense a bit. it is too early to expect Locker or Walker to deserve a fantasy start. And Sankey and Greene are likely to share the load in this opener so much that neither garner much fantasy value. The Chiefs secondary is better than average as it is and that makes both Wright and Hopkins risky plays. They have the most upside of any Titans players but it will be a risk in a new offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 15 20 21 26 18 21
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 21 16 19 3 4 2

Kansas City Chiefs

1 TEN —– 10 @BUF —–
2 @DEN —– 11 SEA —–
3 @MIA —– 12 @OAK —–
4 NE —– 13 DEN —–
5 @SF —– 14 @ARI —–
6 BYE —– 15 OAK —–
7 @SD —– 16 @PIT —–
8 STL —– 17 SD —–
9 NYJ —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
KC vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 20 220,1
RB Jamaal Charles 100,1 5-40,1
WR Jeremy Maclin 5-70,1
WR Rod Streater 5-60
WR Mike Williams 3-50
TE Travis Kelce 2-30
PK Cairo Santos 3 FG 2 XP

The Chiefs enter their second season under Andy Reid and look to build on the amazing success of the first half of 2013. The Chiefs stumbled down the stretch and this year will face a more daunting schedule but so long as Jamaal Charles remains the main cog this machine can move. It is troublesome that the offensive line lost three starters and replaced them with younger, less experienced players. That could come back to haunt them and in particular Charles who comes off a career high 356 touches. The plan is to use Knile Davis more to rest Charles but the reality is that they all say that sort of thing and then ride the best horse hard again. Charles need not worry about Davis so much as if he will get good enough blocking. Charles ran for 108 yards and a score on 22 runs in Tennessee last year and added 37 yards on five catches.

Alex Smith was no different in Kansas City though his 3313 yards were a career best as were the 23 touchdowns. A tougher schedule is certain to involve more passing and Smith has to step up his game even more. For a Reid quarterback, he was very mediocre. But he was given a $45 million, four-year contract last week. Smith only passed for 245 yards and no scores in Tennessee last year.

Dwayne Bowe will miss this week because of a one-game suspension for substance abuse. He was a major disappointment in 2013 when he only managed to catch 57 passes for 673 yards and five scores. He also disclosed he has an issue with a finger that is described as “shot” and that will impact him this year.

Donnie Avery started last year with a few decent games but was even less effective than Bowe. He’ll be joined by Junior Hemingway for this week even though the third year player has only 13 NFL catches to his credit. The only part of the passing offense that sparks optimism is Travis Kelce who lost his rookie season because of a knee injury but who already showed up in preseason games looking like a factor. He is a receiving tight end who played in college at Cincinnati and was drafted in the third round of 2013.

The Chiefs turned to Charles last year and allowed him to handle most of the offense. How well Alex Smith can direct the passing offense remains to be fully known despite the big money they just gave him but he will come into play much more with a tougher slate of games and the potential for problematic line play.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is a bad week to expect to see much change. The Titans were one of the weakest defenses against the run last year and Charles at home will be a major problem for them. The Chiefs won’t have much need to pass to win this game and that makes Charles the only attractive fantasy option this week. Watch Travis Kelce too in case he starts to make noise early.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 17 1 32 31 17 1
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 3 30 2 23 23 17

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