Already faced with a severe mismatch against the Steelers, the Chiefs lost all hope of keeping this one close when Dwayne Bowe was suspended for PED use. Chris Chambers takes over as the "No. 1" receiver with Lance Long No. 2, but the entire K.C. passing game should be avoided in fantasy.
Steelers' coordinator Dick LeBeau, whose defense is tied for fourth in the NFL in sacks, will pour blitzes on Matt Cassel, who's taken the second most sacks in the league. Chambers' and Long's production will ultimately benefit from Bowe's month-long absence, but not this week.
Jamaal Charles, coming off a career game (117 yards, TD, 5.7 YPC), appears to have a firm grip on Kansas City's featured back job.
Kolby Smith managed 12 yards on nine carries last week, and his role will continue to decline. He doesn't make anyone miss, which is a recipe for no-gains and losses behind a line that can't create lanes.
While Charles isn't a fantasy option against Pittsburgh's No. 1 run defense, he has favorable matchups in four straight weeks thereafter (at SD, vs. DEN, vs. BUF, and vs. CLE), giving him difference-making potential down the stretch.
The Steelers will dominate time of possession in this one, making Rashard Mendenhall a legit RB1 play. The Chiefs' No. 27 run defense averages 4.6 YPC against, and one rushing TD allowed.
Pittsburgh can whip K.C. without a spread offense, reducing "spread back" Mewelde Moore's role, and Willie Parker hardly plays anymore...Santonio Holmes is a strong bet for a big receiving day.
The Chiefs' slow-footed secondary is highly susceptible to long passing plays (league-high 12 completions of 40-plus yards allowed), and Holmes is Pittsburgh's most dangerous deep weapon.
Weather won't hinder passing, with temps in the high 50s, a 20 percent chance of rain, and light wind in the Arrowhead forecast. While the Steelers will use a balanced attack because K.C. is so weak against the run, Ben Roethlisberger remains a Top-Five QB1.
The Chiefs lack the pass rush to make Big Ben uncomfortable, as the Bengals did in Week 10...K.C.'s awful safety play upgrades Heath Miller's matchup.
Miller's numbers will decline after a blazing-hot first half with winter taking effect, but he's a fantasy starter this week. He won't have to block much...Hines Ward also struggled against Cincinnati, but is likely to rebound at K.C...Mike Wallace remains a week-to-week crapshoot.
My Pick: Steelers