With Matt Cassel out for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, our fantasy football advice changes. Cassel's absence hurts a couple of players and helps a couple others. His replacement will be Brodie Croyle and he's probably not worth a start if you have other options.
Dwayne Bowe will be the one hurt the most by Cassel's absence. I imagine the Chiefs will put an even heavier emphasis on the run game with Croyle in there which means Bowe won't get many looks. Bowe was shut out last week so I'm sure he wants to get back into a rhythm but I'm just not sure this will be the week he does. He and Cassel developed a nice rapport that paid off well for fantasy football players. He and Croyle can't have the same rapport with limited practice time so don't count on a big day for Bowe.
Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones could see increased duty against the Chargers. Even if Cassel were playing, the Chiefs game plan includes lots of running the ball. They're the No. 1 rush team so that's no surprise. But with Cassel now out I think you see a larger emphasis on the run game. I also think you see Charles getting some good action in the passing game as Croyle may opt to take shorter, safer throws to running backs in the flat.
The Chiefs are going to want to slow this game down in San Diego. The Chargers have one of the best offenses in the NFL and they can put up a ton of points. That tells me the Chiefs will want to run the ball, control the clock and limit San Diego's possessions.
In summary, play the Chiefs running backs but think hard about starting Croyle or Bowe.