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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kansas City

Last Season: 10-6

The Todd Haley regime took a step in the right direction last season. Jamaal Charles ran for just under 1500 yards, Bowe caught over a 1,000, and Matt Cassel earned a trip to the pro bowl. However, the Chiefs struggled in the division going just 2-4 against AFC west opponents. In order to take the next step, Kansas City will need to figure out a way to win in the division.

The Chiefs used their first round draft pick on WR Jon Baldwin and signed Arizona WR Steve Breston. The surprise in training camp thus far is that neither is currently listed as the started opposite Dwayne Bowe. Somebody named Jerheme Urban is slated as the number 2 receiver thus far. The plan is likely to bring Breston on as a slot receiver and Baldwin as the two. TE Tony Moeaki is Cassel’s safety valve and will continue to be the second leading receiver. Jammal Charles is poised for a dominate fantasy year butwill it translate? He should rceive more carries as Thomas Jones’ role continues to diminish. Kansas City shouldn’t be taken lightly but the Chargers are still the class of the division and I feel they return to the top of the AFC West. The Cheifs will find themselves in a difficult wild card race.

Prediction: 9-7

Fantasy Sleeper: WR Steve Breston

San Diego Chargers

Last Season: 9-7

The AFC West was the Chargers to lose in 2010, and they did just that. Norv Turner’s team has been famous for is early malaise and ability to pick things up before letting you down in the playoffs. Last year,the malaise never really ended. Holdouts and injuries never let the team get off the ground.

Enter 2011, a healthy Ryan Matthews and frisky defenseshould put the Chargers back on top of the division. I loved the resigning of Safety Eric Weddle and acquisition of Bob Sanders. If Sanders stayshealthy, they’ve got one of the best combos in the league. Expect a nice regular season before a playoff swoon.

Prediction 13-3.

Fantasy Sleeper: RB Mike Tolbert

Denver Broncos

Last Season: 4-12

Former head coach Josh McDaniels took a wild gamble when hemoved up in the draft to take Tim Tebow. It’s the kind of gamble that, fair or unfair, needs to pay dividends immediately or its your ass. Well, McDaniels is gone and it appears Tebow will start the year on the bench.

Tebow looks good to me. He will never put up great stats, but he’s a leader and strong as hell. The Broncos aren’t going anywhere and Kyle Orton is a nice asset to trade off. Just a few weeks ago, we all thought Orton was taking his talents to South Beach. New HC John Fox feels Orton’s the better option to win at QB. However, you’re not winning much Orton and you should see if Tebow’sworth the time and effort to develop. Orton to Brandon Lloyd 30 times a game and Moreno disappointing at tailback-no desire to watch this team.

Prediction: 6-10

Fantasy Sleeper: WR Eddie Royal

Oakland Raiders

Tom Cable returned the Radiers to respectability from the ashes of the JaMarcus Russell debacle. For his efforts, he was shown the door. Tom Cable and TE Zach Miller now reside in Seattle. Jason Campbell continues his unprecedented run at learning a new offensive scheme almost every year and Al Davis defies death once again.

I can’t see much coming from this Raiders squad. They have a few pieces but their best players on both sides of the ball are gone and many of the positive changes seem to have eroded. While the AFC West is weak overall, the Radiers will do little to take advantage of it.

Prediction: 4-12

Fantasy Sleeper: RB Michael Bush

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