DALLAS COWBOYS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS |
COWBOYS – 4.7 YPC allowed | 256 YPG passing allowed |
CHIEFS – 4.1 YPC allowed | 251 YPG passing allowed
|What to watch for: As the NYG proved in Week 4, KC is still a team that can be run on – 33 carries, 4.7 YPC allowed v. the Giants. DAL has taken a run-heavy approach this season, but it is dealing with health issues in the ground game that could carry over into Sunday. RB Marion Barber(notes) had his quad tighten up on him in Week 4 and it could be that the team goes more exclusively to RB Tashard Choice(notes) against KC. Choice had just 14 carries for 33 yards in Week 4, but his opponent, DEN, has thwarted almost all RB comers this season. Feel confident about this one, Choice owners. As for QB Tony Romo(notes), he’s riding his first career two-game streak without a TD pass. Frankly, his WR corps is not giving him much help – and now WR Roy Williams is dealing with a ribcage injury (consider him a “yellow light” option if he plays on Sunday). I’d expect that after connecting just four times (for 31 yards) with TE Jason Witten(notes) in Week 4, he’ll be showered with love and attention by Romo on Sunday. Witten just needs the looks – he’s caught 23 of 27 passes thrown at him, thus far – only PIT TE Heath Miller(notes) has a better completion percentage among those that have been targeted at least 20 times this season.
KC is operating the 7th-worst offense in the league (16 PPG), yet somehow QB Matt Cassel(notes) is managing to post at least serviceable fantasy numbers – 5 TD passes, 58 rushing yards combined in his past 3 games. DAL has allowed at least a TD pass and 220 passing yards to each of the four QBs it has faced and, other than Eli Manning(notes), that hasn’t exactly been an illustrious group – Byron Leftwich(notes), Jake Delhomme(notes), Kyle Orton(notes). It’s a big QB bye week (Aaron Rodgers(notes), Jay Cutler(notes), Drew Brees(notes), Philip Rivers(notes)), so if you are forced to roll with Cassel this week, it’s not the worst-case scenario. RB Larry Johnson(notes) has faced some stiff competition, which could help explain why he has yet to top 3.3 YPC in a game this season. But the fact of the matter is that he’s not the RB he once was, and the O-line in front of him is an even further cry from the KC ground game glories of a few seasons ago. You can look at the 4.7 YPC that DAL allows and think that this is the game that LJ breaks out, but DAL has been very stout since TB ran all over the Cowboys in Week 1. Since then, DAL has shut down the ground advances of Brandon Jacobs(notes), DeAngelo Williams(notes) and Knowshon Moreno(notes). RB Jamaal Charles(notes) is a dynamic talent and he’d be handling the pigskin more often if he could hang onto it. His fumble on the opening kickoff in Week 4 has set him back to square one, and I’m through touting him as a sleeper for now – clearly, head coach Todd Haley is afraid to commit to him.
| || Jason Witten, Tony Romo, Tashard Choice, Dallas Defense |
| || Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe(notes), Patrick Crayton(notes), Marion Barber |
| || Roy Williams, Martellus Bennett(notes), Larry Johnson, Bobby Wade(notes), Mark Bradley(notes), Jamaal Charles, Sean Ryan(notes), Kansas City Defense |
|Sleeper:|| Sam Hurd(notes) |
|Injuries:|| DAL RB Marion Barber (quad) could be questionable; DAL WR Roy Williams (ribs) could be questionable; DAL C Andre Gurode(notes) (knee) could be out; DAL SS Gerald Sensabaugh(notes) (thumb) is out |
|Prediction:|| Dallas 24, Kansas City 17 |