The Chiefs (-165) are coming off consecutive home losses, and now have to go on the road on a short week to play TNF in Denver. The Broncos are three-point home dogs in this spot, as the sharp money has been coming in on them. With the total set at 48.5, this one has the potential for some points, which has been rare at Mile High.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
Joe Flacco ($8,000) is about as cheap as you’ll find a QB on a showdown slate. For comparison, he’s cheaper at home than third-string QB Devlin Hodges was on SNF on the road against the Chargers. It’s a tough call that’s pretty dependent on your personal game script for this game.
Why you’d play Flacco: He’s facing the 23rd-ranked defense in DKFP allowed to QB, and topped 300 yards and three touchdowns (26 DKFP) in a home game vs. JAX this season. Why you wouldn’t play Flacco: He’s only scored double-digit DKFP in one of his last four games. A good running game has been key in defeating Kansas City these last two weeks.
Courtland Sutton ($7,600) and Emmanuel Sanders ($6,400) are the only two pass-catchers you can trust to play with Flacco, but a stack of all three of them is very affordable. Sanders has been banged up lately, and carries plenty of risk — he’s scored 3.0 or fewer DKFP in three of his last four games. That’s helped Sutton become the go-to-guy, scoring 8.0 or more DKFP in every game this season, averaging 16.5 DKFP.
DaeSean Hamilton ($4,800) is an afterthought at WR, catching just nine passes for 102 yards this season. He’d normally be on the punt play radar, but his salary is up $2,600 because of Sanders’ injury. With Sanders playing, there’s zero value in Hamilton.
Noah Fant ($3,400) and Jeff Heuerman ($800) are viable punt plays, if anything, because the Chiefs rank just 27th against the TE position. Neither have done anything to make themselves fantasy relevant this season. Fant’s 2-31-1 line is the best fantasy outing for either.
Phillip Lindsay ($8,800) and Royce Freeman ($6,000) should be the focal point of Denver’s offense, and are worth stacking. The Colts and Texans really pounded the rock to beat the Chiefs, and this duo has shown the ability to both go off in the same game. Each of them got 16 or more touches last week, and I’d expect that to be the case against a defense that ranks just 24th in DKFP allowed to RBs.
Brandon McManus ($3,600) and Broncos D/ST ($3,000) are also playable values on this slate. Broncos D/ST makes for a contrarian play going against a KC offense that doesn’t look like itself lately.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes ($12,000)finds himself in an interesting spot. Following three games playing to his floor (which has proven to be a consistent 21 DKFP), his salary doesn’t budge on the road on a short week. He’s facing a division opponent that knows him well, is battling an ankle injury, and Denver’s allowed the second-fewest DKFP to QB this season. It sets up on paper as a fade, but can we afford not to roster the most lethal weapon in fantasy football? If you’re going to pay for Mahomes’ top options, you’re already investing in spots that hinge on him having a decent game.
Tyreek Hill ($11,200) and Travis Kelce ($9,800) are the expensive ones to target, and if you’re picking between them and Mahomes, I’d go with the QB. However, if you’re paying up for a KC stack, you need at least one of these guys.
Hill was solid in his return, but he did bring in just 5-of-10 targets for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One of them was a fluky 46-yard score, so the fantasy day could’ve been much worse. Hill’s your high-upside guy, whereas Kelce remains the safer option. Denver’s been a top-five defense against both positions, but weaker against TEs.
The rest of the Chiefs’ WR options are tough to predict — Demarcus Robinson ($6,800), Mecole Hardman ($5,800) and Byron Pringle ($2,800).
Even with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) ruled out, Robinson’s still overpriced from his blowout game in Week 2, but hasn’t done much since, and wasn’t able to bring in any of his four targets last week. Pringle has the feel of a one-hit-wonder, and gets the hype because his big game came on the primetime stage. Hardman is the best value of the three, actually contributing on a consistent basis since back in Week 2. He’s also a high-upside pivot play off Hill, as Hardman’s much cheaper, but has a similar skill-set.
The we have the three-headed monster at RB — LeSean McCoy ($6,200), Damien Williams ($6,600)and Darrel Williams ($2,000). Darrel Williams is out of consideration for me at this point, as his 52 receiving yards last week were a fluke (it was on his only touch of the game). This is a time-share between Shady and Damien Williams, but a tough one to predict. McCoy out-snapped Williams last week, and out-touched him 10-2. The cheaper Shady feels like the right way to attack the Broncos, who’ve been the seventh-worst defense in DKFP surrendered to RB.
Chiefs D/ST ($4,000) and Harrison Butker ($3,800) are values to consider, although I’d much prefer a D/ST at home for $1,000 less.
Final Score: Denver 23, Kansas City 22
I feel stronger picking a side on the total than the spread in this one. I think we’ll see the under hit, with Denver’s defense finding its stride a bit. Mahomes has to face a team that knows him well, on the road and on a short week. Denver will try and follow the Colts’ and Texans’ game plan to run the ball, which should burn the clock.
I’m leaning towards the under, and if I have the Broncos winning (which I’m not confident about) it’s because of the run game. Phillip Lindsay CP ($13,200) makes for the top captain consideration.
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