This week, I thought it might be fun to change things up and pick a few games that could be used to create game stacks and provide some data and statistics for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends in each of these matchups.
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That said, let’s take a look at this game, which could offer ample fantasy scoring opportunities from both teams and players that can be used to create game stacks.
DEN@KC – GAME TOTAL 53.5 (KC -9.5)
DraftKings Points Allowed to QBs – DEN 16.4 (28th); KC 24.5 (7th)
Denver: Case Keenum, $5100 (QB28)
Through the first seven games, Keenum is averaging 264 passing yards, 1.1 touchdowns, 1.3 interceptions, and 16.4 DK points per game. On the year, he has three games in which he has scored 23 or more DK points. In the other four, however, he has scored below 15.5 and in three of those games he has scored below 10.0. It’s also worth noting that Keenum’s second-worst game of the season came against this defense in Week 4 when he only scored 8.8 DK points
Although a matchup with the Chiefs defense, which has allowed the 7th most DK points to opposing QBs at 24.5 per game, Keenum’s road splits don’t exactly inspire confidence. In his three road games in 2018, his season long totals drop to 243.3 passing yards, 1.0 touchdowns, 1.0 interceptions, and 13.9 DK points per game. As a 9.5 point underdog, he should have to throw quite a bit in this game, but he lacks consistent week-to-week upside which makes it tough to pinpoint when his good fantasy outings are on the horizon.
Kansas City: Patrick Mahomes, $7000 (QB1)
Mahomes is this week’s highest priced quarterback on DraftKings, and for good reason. His salary is $600 more than any other quarterback but this second year phenom simply continues to perform week-in and week-out. Through the first seven weeks of the season, he has scored at least 20.5 DK points in every contest and more than 25.5 in six out of seven. Mahomes also has the highest per game DK points average of any quarterback.
Although he gets an opportunity to face the Broncos in the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium this weekend, it really hasn’t mattered where he plays. On the year, Mahomes has rushed for two touchdowns and is averaging 317.6 passing yards, 3.1 passing touchdowns, 0.7 interceptions, and 30.6 DK points per game. After last week’s dominating performance against the Bengals, he now has six straight games with at least 300 passing yards and has thrown for at least 3 touchdowns in five out of seven games.
While Denver has been tough against QBs so far this season and is only allowing 16.4 to opposing QBs, Mahomes was able to put up a 25.9 point fantasy outing against them on the road in Week 4. For the time being, he is about as safe as it gets at the QB position and offers big time upside.
DraftKings Points Allowed to RBs – DEN 29.2 (7th); KC 33.6 (2nd)
Denver: Phillip Lindsay, $5200 (RB22); Devontae Booker, $3700 (RB70)
Ordinarily, the only backs that would be worth mentioning on the Broncos roster are Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. However, in last week’s matchup against the Cardinals, Royce Freeman sustained a high ankle sprain and has already been ruled out for Sunday. As a result, his absence leaves an additional 10 carries up for grabs.
Logic would dictate that a fair number of these will go to Lindsay, but 3rd-string running back Devontae Booker could get a few more touches this week as well. Along with Lindsay, Booker has already been used in the passing game and if the Broncos find themselves down in this game, perhaps Booker can take advantage of the added touches. Here is a quick look at all three of the Broncos running backs per game averages.
The extra touches that Lindsay is likely to see couldn’t come at a more opportune time as the Chiefs are allowing the 2nd most points to opposing running backs at 33.6 DK points per game. At a reasonable salary of $5200, Lindsay may be worth a look in this contest. Booker can also be considered as a deep GPP play.
Kansas City: Kareem Hunt, $7100 (RB6)
After the first three weeks of the season, it was fair to wonder if Kareem Hunt’s fantasy value would take a dive this season with Patrick Mahomes under center. During this stretch of games, Hunt was only averaging 56.0 rushing yards, 0.3 receptions, 1.7 yards receiving, 0.3 touchdowns, and 12.1 DK points. It’s probably safe to say, however, that we can now put that question to rest.
Starting in Week 4, Hunt kicked it up a notch and has been on a tear ever since. Oddly enough, his fantasy scoring surge began with a 29.5 point outing against this very same Broncos defense. Since that game, Hunt has averaged 28.9 DK points and has scored more than 29.5 DK points in three out of his last four contests. The only game in which he didn’t hit this mark was in Week 5 against the Jaguars when he scored 16.4. Hunt has also scored at least one touchdown in six of the past seven games.
Denver is currently allowing the seventh-most DK points to running backs at 29.2 DK points per game. Through their first seven contests, the Broncos have given up a combined 18.2 points to Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, 34 to Alex Collins and Javorius Allen, 29.5 to Hunt, 42 to Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell, and 39.5 to Todd Gurley. Needless to say, those are some pretty hefty fantasy outings against this defense.
While it’s possible that the Broncos could place an emphasis on trying to stop Hunt this time around, the Chiefs have so many weapons on offense that such a strategy might be a dangerous strategy. Even if that is what they try and do, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can do it. Given the Broncos history against running backs this season, Hunt should have ample opportunities to put up another solid fantasy outing against this weekend.
DraftKings Points Allowed to WRs – DEN 35.7 (23rd); KC 39.6 (13th)
Denver: Emmanuel Sanders, $6500 (WR7); Demaryius Thomas, $4900 (WR38)
As already noted, this will be the second time these two teams have faced each other this year. In the first meeting in Denver, Sanders scored 11.3 points while Thomas logged 6.4 and if history repeats itself, neither of those totals this time around is going to help you win any money. However, we shouldn’t eliminate either of these players from consideration simply because of that one game alone. On the season, the per game averages for each of the aforementioned receivers is summarized below.
As the numbers show, Sanders is the top receiving option in this offense as he is averaging 6.6 receptions on 8.7 targets and 21.4 DK points per game. On the season, he has been the 7th best wide receiver on a points per game basis on DraftKings. While his worst game of the year occurred in the first matchup against the Chiefs, he has scored in double digits in every game and has three games of 27.5 or more DK points this season. Sanders offers big play ability and also has 72 or more receiving yards in five out of seven games.
Also factoring in to the Broncos passing game is Demaryius Thomas. So far this season, Thomas hasn’t been producing at the same level as in previous campaigns and through the first seven contests, he only has one game with more than 20.0 DK points. Rookie Courtland Sutton also sees playing time, but so far he is only averaging 2.0 receptions on 4.7 targets and from a fantasy perspective, isn’t a significant weekly contributor.
On the year, the Chiefs pass defense is giving up the 13th most DK points to opposing wide receivers at 39.6 DK points per game. While they can be exploited, this receiving corps failed to take advantage in their first meeting. If you want to target one of these receivers, the most logical choice of the group is Sanders, followed by Thomas. The Broncos reportedly like Sutton and would like to get him more involved in the offense, so he could be a sleeper play in a GPP if you are inclined to take on the risk. Of course, each of these wide receivers is dependent upon Keenum showing up in the contest.
Kansas City: Tyreek Hill, $8600 (WR3); Sammy Watkins, $4600 (WR48)
While the Broncos defense is not as good as it was a couple of years ago (particularly against the run), they are currently allowing the 23rd fewest fantasy points to wide receivers at 35.7 per game. As good as the Chiefs offense has been this year, in their first matchup against Denver in Week 4, Tyreek Hill scored 14.6 DK points and Sammy Watkins put up a Bluto Blutarsky-like score of 0.0. To be fair, Watkins suffered a hamstring injury in the second quarter of that game and didn’t return. Still, with Watkins out for most of that contest, we might have expected Hill to have a slightly better performance.
Over his career, Hill has now had four matchups against the Broncos and in these games he has averaged 5.0 receptions on 8.5 targets, 36.0 receiving yards, 0.25 receiving touchdowns, 25.0 rushing yards (95 of which occurred in one game), 0.5 rushing touchdowns, and 16.9 DK points. In addition, he has never totaled more than 54 receiving yards against this defense.
That said, with Mahomes at quarterback, this is a different Chiefs offense than in previous seasons. With Mahomes ability to extend plays, Hunt coming out of the backfield, Kelce catching passes, and the speed that Watkins and Hill provide, we have to consider each of these receivers as options on Sunday.
Through the first seven weeks of the season, here is breakdown of Hill and Watkins’ performance on a per game basis.
Although Watkins has had two games where he has scored 18.5 or more DK points, Hill has the higher ceiling of the two and can take it to the house on any given play. On the year, Hill has had four games with 20.0 or more fantasy points and in two of those, he scored more 42.2 and 45.3. While both receivers are certainly in play, the hardest part in targeting the Chiefs offense at the moment is trying to figure out which toys Reid and Mahomes want to play with in any given matchup.
DraftKings Points Allowed to TEs – DEN 12.5 (13th); KC 16.2 (6th)
Denver: Jeff Heuerman, $2600 (TE44)
Kansas City is currently giving up the sixth-most points to the position at 16.2 DK points per game. The Broncos top tight end is Jeff Heuerman who is averaging 2.0 receptions on 3.4 targets, 18.6 receiving yards, 0.0 touchdowns, and 3.9 DK points per game. As bleak as those numbers look, his best game of the season came in Week 4 against the Chiefs when he scored 9.7 fantasy points. In every other game, Heuerman has scored 5.3 DK points or less. If you think that he can exploit the Chiefs defense a second time, perhaps he is worth a look.
Kansas City: Travis Kelce, $6800 (TE2)
Perhaps one of the reasons for Tyreek Hill’s sub-par performances against Denver over his career is due in part to Travis Kelce’s dominance. In the past four games in which he has appeared against the Broncos, Kelce is averaging 8.3 receptions on 12.3 targets and 26.8 DK points per game. Here is a summary of those four games.
On the season, Kelce is currently TE2 and is averaging 17.3 DK points per game through the first seven weeks of the season. Conversely, the Broncos are allowing the 13th most points to opposing tight ends at 12.5 fantasy points per game. Given Kelce’s track record against the Broncos and his performance so far this year, he is the tight end to target in this game.
GAME STACK CONSIDERATIONS
Denver: Phillip Lindsay, Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, and Devontae Booker (sleeper)
Kansas City: Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce
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