Thursday Night Football Preview
- Spread: Chiefs -10.5
- Over/Under: 47.5
The Denver Broncos are set to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC West Showdown. The Chiefs, being a double-digit home favorite, are looking to extend their four game winning streak. On the other side, the 1-4 Broncos are desperate for a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Adding drama to the mix are trade rumors in the Denver camp and Travis Kelce's ankle injury and how it might affect his performance. Patrick Mahomes is 11-0 versus the Broncos. If Denver is to have any chance of pulling off an upset, they'll need to find a way to contain the star quarterback. This is not an easy feat for the league's worst defense. This game has the third-highest total of the week and is expected to produce plenty of fantasy points.
The Chiefs are a 10.5 point favorite in this game. Although Patrick Mahomes is the most expensive player on the slate, and likely the highest-owned, I think this is the perfect spot to play him at Captain. Obviously, you want Travis Kelce in the lineup, as well. That's a big chunk of your salary, so it does require making one or two dart-throw picks to compensate. I think that's where KC wide receiver, Justin Watson, fits in nicely. He leads the team in deep targets with nine, double the amount of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who is second with four. Watson has 360 air yards through five games, but has not scored a touchdown. Some positive TD regression is coming his way and the Denver defense offers a golden opportunity to get it.
I also like the Chiefs defense and kicker. They're projected to score about 30 points, so Harrison Butker should have multiple opportunities to rack up fantasy points. Although, I would only roster Butker if I choose a Captain other than Mahomes. Home favorites with a high point spread also make for good defensive picks.
As for Denver, I'm trying to fit Russell Wilson in my lineups. While the Broncos offense hasn't been great, they're still averaging a respectable 24.2 points per game. Wilson has played well, considering. He's second in the league with 11 passing touchdowns and fourth in red zone passing attempts. Denver will probably be playing from behind, so I would expect Wilson to throw a lot of passes. I'll also have some exposure to Jaleel McLaughlin and Samaje Perine in the backfield. Both players have pass-catching ability and could be used in that role a lot in this game.
Captain Choices (1.5x salary, 1.5x points)
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs ($19,200)
For me, there are two clear choices for Captain. As I mentioned earlier, I like using the spot for the home quarterback when his team is favored by 10 or more points. I’m not concerned about high ownership, even in a large-field tournament. I’ll use my flex spots to differentiate my lineup. The potential to put up big numbers is too great in this matchup. Mahomes is averaging two touchdown passes per game. Aside from Travis Kelce, it’s anyone’s guess who Mahomes will target. The Chiefs have nine players with 11 or more targets through five games. He ranks fourth among QBs in expected points added to his team. I think it’s worth paying up for Mahomes, especially when there are so many good options for salary relief this week.
Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs ($16,500)
Travis Kelce is the other great option for Captain this week. He comes at a cheaper price than Mahomes and has three-touchdown potential each week. Dever ranks 27th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends, with opposing tight ends averaging 15.1 Draftkings fantasy points each week. Kelce has twice as many receptions as any other Chiefs player, even while missing one game. He’s averaging almost two red zone targets per game. It’s hard to overstate Kelce’s value in this offense. Fade him at your own risk.
Isiah Pacheco, RB, Chiefs ($14,100)
The Broncos are giving up 44 DK fantasy points to opposing running backs. To put that in perspective, the next worst team, the Chicago Bears, are only giving up 30.2 DK fantasy points. Right now, any RB facing the Broncos is a must start. In a game where the Chiefs are so heavily favored, Pacheco should see a lot of opportunities. If you’re looking for a lower-owned, lower-priced option at the Captain spot, you can’t do better than Pacheco.
Top Flex Options
- Russell Wilson, QB, Broncos ($9,600)
- Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos ($7,800)
- Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos ($7,200)
- Rashee Rice, WR, Chiefs ($6,400)
Secondary Flex Options
- Jaleel McLaughlin, RB, Broncos ($7,000)
- Chiefs Defense ($5,600)
- Jerick McKinnon, RB, Chiefs ($5,200)
- Harrison Butker, K, Chiefs ($4,800)
- Kadarius Toney, WR, Chiefs ($4,000)
- Justin Watson, WR, Chiefs ($2,200)
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs ($1,000)
I'm looking at this game from the perspective of the Chiefs winning handily. I think they will cover the spread and I think the game will go over the Vegas total. So I'm stacking the Chiefs pretty heavily in my lineup. I anticipate a decent fantasy performance from Russell Wilson, but not from the other Broncos to. I love Justin Watson as a dart-throw. He's Mahomes' favorite deep target and is due for a touchdown. I'm also hoping Clyde Edwards-Helaire will see more work than usual, if the game gets out of hand.
- Patrick Mahomes
- Travis Kelce
- Russell Wilson
- Justin Watson
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Jaleel McLaughlin
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