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Patrick Mahomes has the highest point projection on this showdown slate between his Kansas City Chiefs and the visiting Tennessee Titans. Mahomes has the second-highest yards per game average at 308 while ranking first among all quarterbacks in passing touchdowns with 20 through seven games. The rushing upside isn’t what it once was, but who cares if he is averaging nearly three touchdowns per game with premier weapons littered around him? He’ll be the most expensive player on the slate and has been worth every penny time and time again.
Tennessee will want to keep Kansas City off the field as much as possible because there is no chance they’ll compete with the Chiefs in a shootout. That will be done through Derrick Henry, who has averaged 30 carries per game over his last three while coming off a game where he recorded 219 yards. Kansas City does have one of football’s best rush defenses, but what other choice does Tennessee have? Tannehill or Willis throwing the ball to Robert Woods will not get it done, so look for Henry to be a strong multiplier play if you anticipate this game to be relatively close.
Travis Kelce is a must-stack in the public eyes as his ownership projection is nearly as high as Mahomes, so it’s a matter of assessing his value at the multiplier. Kelce has averaged a touchdown per game and nearly nine targets which are more than enough to prove optimal at the multiplier on most slates. Still, he might actually need two touchdowns to overtake Mahomes’ likely three passing touchdowns and Henry’s 30 carries. Given how this slate anticipates, you’d be safer playing one of those.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is an option at the multiplier to infuse financial flexibility into your lineups while offering upside. He’s found the endzone in each of his last two games while averaging nearly 120 yards in the process, so if that were to continue, he could be in a prime spot to turn optimal if Kelce were not to find the endzone.
Ryan Tannehill is listed as questionable, and we likely won’t have clarity on his availability until pre-game warmups conclude, with Malik Willis preparing to start. We’re looking to fade the Titans quarterbacks regardless, though, as we’ve seen enough of Tannehill to know what to expect, while Malik Willis only attempted ten passes in his first start. You’d be better off allocating that money to rostering a combination of Mahomes, Henry, and Kelce.
It’s hard to get excited about the Titans receivers given Willis’ ten-pass performance last week and Tannehill only averaging roughly 24 pass attempts per game. Robert Woods hasn’t had more than four receptions in a game, while Nick Westbrook-Ikhine only has seven receptions on the season, so we’ll look to a dirt-cheap Cody Hollister as an upside play after he saw 55% of the offensive snaps last week.
Jerick McKinnon is our favorite play out of the Kansas City backfield as he’s out-targeted CEH 6-1 over the past two weeks, while CEH and Isiah Pacheco’s rushing upside is limited, given how strong the Titans defend the run. Paying up for a low-owned doesn’t feel worth it despite the ownership leverage, given the top-end talent we’re trying to squeeze in our lineups.
Kadarius Toney looks overpriced for someone who allegedly has been hurt and is still new to the team, so we’re looking at an affordable Marquez Valdes-Scanting, whose role looks unaffected by Toney’s insertion. MVS is an incredible deep-ball threat that is greatly valuable on showdown slates while still averaging 5.5 targets per game.
Dontrell Hilliard is an interesting play after having an eight-carry game for 83 yards last week. If Willis is the guy under center, we could have another run-heavy game where Hilliard could offer some upside at his affordable price.
The Titans’ tight end room offers us three cheap options who all have the potential to garner targets, but we’d feel safer touting a dart play on the Chiefs side rather than the guy who has Tannehill or Willis throwing them the ball. Austin Hooper has the highest upside of three Titans’ tight ends but focus on the Chiefs for your dart plays.
One of those could be Noah Gray, whose backup tight end role could expand as Jody Fortson is out for tonight. Andy Reid loves to get crazy with his tight ends around the goal line, giving nearly all that potential upside to Gray without Fortson being available. At a minimum, Gray already has a cemented role with a few targets.
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