Thursday Night Football DFS Showdown
What a way to start Week 6 of the 2023 NFL season. The reigning Super Bowl Champions will host a team that hasn’t smelled playoff in quite some time.
The 4-1 Kansas City Chiefs are coming off a 27-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The most notable occurrence in that game was tight end Travis Kelce suffered an ankle injury. Kelce left the game but limped back to catch the winning touchdown pass.
The 1-4 Denver Broncos plod into Kansas City after losing 21-31 to the New York Jets. Considering head coach Sean Payton’s preseason comments, the loss was a double embarrassment.
The refresher: remember that DraftKings is a full-PPR format. There is a three-point bonus for 300 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, and 100 receiving yards. Most importantly, whomever you pick as the Captain, their price is 1.5 times the original price. You also will receive the Captain’s point total multiplied by 1.5 times.
- Chiefs, -10.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Broncos +450; Chiefs -600
- Total 47.5 over -105; under -115
Kansas City will be breezy, with a south-southeast wind of 20 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. The chance of precipitation is 80%.
Injury Report from CBS-NFL
- Broncos: OLB Frank Clark (illness), DT D.J. Jones (knee), OLB Baron Browning (knee) OUT; TE Greg Dulcich (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
- Chiefs: TE Travis Kelce (ankle), DE George Karlaftis (hamstring), P Tommy Townsend (left knee) QUESTIONABLE
Always shop around for the best odds. Here are three that are interesting.
Isiah Pacheco, 70.5 rushing yards (over -120)
I have seen this number as high as 75.5 at -115. I would still go over on the bet. In his last three games, Pacheco has 55, 115, and 62 rushing yards. This week, he gets the Broncos, who are giving away, on average, 164.2 rushing yards per game, 1.6 rushing touchdowns per game, and 34.4 average fantasy points to the running back position.
In Week 4, Pacheco was on the field for 60% of the offensive snaps, averaging 5.8 yards per carry against the New York Jets. Last week, Pacheco was on the field for 59% of the offensive snaps. He only managed 56 rushing yards against the Minnesota Vikings, but now he gets to play the Broncos.
The team that has been gifting running backs yards. Last week, it was Breece Hall with 177 rushing yards; the week prior, it was Khalil Herbert with 103.
Patrick Mahomes, 2.5 passing touchdowns (over +120)
Mahomes only has one game this season with over two passing touchdowns. But again, betting on the Denver Broncos’ defense to underperform has been the winning edge. The Broncos have allowed the most passing touchdowns this season (13). That averages to 2.6 per game.
Mahomes may not need to pass for three touchdowns, but it’s prime time. Taylor Swift will probably be cheering from a suite. He won’t be able not to do it.
Javonte Williams, 39.5 rushing yards (under -120)
The last time Williams had time on the field was the Week 3 shellacking the Miami Dolphins administered. In that game, Williams had 11 rushing attempts for 42 yards. The next highest was Jaleel McLaughlin, with five attempts for 15 yards.
For this bet, I’m going with the trend. In Week 4, McLaughlin led the running backs with 72 yards on seven rushing attempts. The next one up was quarterback Russell Wilson, with 13 yards on four attempts. And last week, McLaughlin again led with 68 yards on nine attempts. The next man was again Wilson with 49 yards on seven attempts.
The Broncos have one running back who amasses most of the rushing yardage, and the second one trails significantly. I’m betting that Williams won’t be the lead running back on his first day back.
The Chiefs haven’t been the juggernaut offense that we have grown used to seeing. They are averaging 381 total yards per game. Mahomes has thrown 10 touchdowns and four interceptions and only has one game with three touchdown passes.
Travis Kelce has dominated the targets with 37, but after that, Rashee Rice has 24, Skyy Moore has 17, and Justin Watson has 16 targets.
The Broncos defense has given up an average of 450.6 total yards per game. They allow 36.2 points per game (the most in the NFL) by allowing 2.6 average passing touchdowns per game and 1.6 rushing touchdowns per game on average.
The Broncos offense is averaging 328.2 total yards per game. It would be good if the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense weren’t only giving up 301.4 total yards per game. The defense has 13 total sacks, with Chris Jones racking up 4.5 and Mike Danna with 3.5.
While Wilson hasn’t been the problem this season (he has an 11:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio), he is 1-3 versus the Chiefs and 0-2 as a Bronco. Last year, he had four touchdowns and two interceptions in the two meetings. He passed for 247 yards and 222 yards, respectively, and was sacked six times in the first meeting and four times in the second.
Showdown Player Pool
Who you play as your Captain impacts the rest of your lineup, potentially limiting good flex options; in this game, the viable Captain options are:
- Patrick Mahomes price tag is exorbitant. At $19,500, picking Mahomes will limit the rest of your choices. It will leave you with $20,750 for your next five flex players. Woof. Alternatively, although he hasn’t yet, Mahomes has the potential to pay off the Captain’s price.
- Travis Kelce, $16,500, is the second most expensive player on the slate. Kelce is coming into the game with an injury designation. There is the chance he doesn’t play the complete game and/or he plays injured. But Kelce also has the ceiling to break the slate when healthy.
Last week, Tyler Conklin was the leading receiver for the Jets against the Broncos with five targets, four receptions, and 67 yards. Conklin broke away for a 37-yard catch and run. The week before, Cole Kmet torched the Broncos for two touchdowns and 85 yards on seven receptions and nine targets.
- Isiah Pacheco, $14,100 is my favorite option. The leader in the backfield is going against a team that is giving up the most fantasy points to the running back, the most yards to the running back position, and the most rushing touchdowns per game to the position.=
- Russell Wilson $14,400; the prevailing theory is the Captain comes from the winning team (because you know they will score the most points). But if you believe that the points from the Chiefs side will be randomly dispersed and you don’t want to pay up for Mahomes, there is an argument for Wilson.
The team will be playing from behind, and Wilson has hit 300 passing yards in two of his five games.
- Jerry Jeudy $13,500, ranks second on the team in targets (24) but has yet to score a touchdown.
- Courtland Sutton $11,700 Sutton leads the team in red-zone targets (7). He has only seen double-digit fantasy points once.
Depending on your belief in chaos theory, there are several players who you could put in as Captain to differentiate yourself from the pack. These listed are just the usual suspects.
Don’t Forget About Me
Consider these players for your flex position or player pool.
Rashee Rice, $9,600 Rice is second on the Chiefs in targets (24) and second in receiving touchdowns (2).
Noah Gray, $6,600 if Kelce is limited, the next tight end-up will reap the benefits of Denver’s porous defense.
Justin Watson, $3,300 Watson is the big play option for the Chiefs. He averages 21.9 yards per catch.
Marvin Mims, $6,900 Mims, is the big play option on the Broncos side. He isn’t on the field enough to count on for consistent targets, but he averages 24.6 yards per reception.
Brandon Johnson, $1,800 Johnson is listed as the fourth wide receiver on the Broncos’ depth chart. Yet, Johnson has the second most red zone targets and has three touchdowns on the season.
Don’t forget to check the weather report at Arrowhead it matters. High winds firmly place the Chiefs’ defense ($8,400) in play. Kicker Harrison Butker ($7,200) is always in play at home.
- Captain: QB, Mahomes, $19,200
- Flex: Chiefs Defense, $5,600
- Flex: TE, Gray, $4,400
- Flex: WR, Johnson, $1,200
- Flex: RB, Pacheco, $9,400
- Flex: QB, Wilson, $9,600
I am leaving $600 on the floor. I’m honestly torn with putting Pacheco in the Captain position. But for now, this is how it stands.
Gladys is obsessive about fantasy football, Pittsburgh Steelers, dogs/cats, pop culture movies and television shows, and Ben & Jerry’s 7 Layer Vegan Ice Cream (although not necessarily in that order). A writer about NFL, college ball, and fantasy football for more than 10 years, she attempts to combine her degree in statistical variance (BS Policy Analysis) with player knowledge and game script. Though her concentration is on IDP, redraft, and PPR leagues, all fantasy formats are fair game. Reach out whenever you can find me on Twitter @gladysLtyler. And remember, don’t suck and tip your bartenders well.