Game Previews: All Fantasy Relevant Players For Week 5
Jaguars vs. Chiefs
Can the real BOAT please show up?
I believe in QB Blake Bortles…for the most part. He is not asked to what most quarterbacks are asked to do in that his assignments are not terribly challenging. He just has to concentrate on good mechanics and you’ll get what you saw last week and what he did against the Patriots. He’s shown he can dissect a bad defense and he’ll get just that with Kansas City. His defense can only do so much, especially against a quarterback as on fire as QB Patrick Mahomes is. Bortles simply has to throw his receivers into space and let them do the rest. WRs Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook should have fun in this one, losing the KC corners in the dust.
Can the defense withstand Mahomes?
In short, probably. I’m not sure what Mahomes’ ‘Kryptonite’ is yet, but extreme pressure up front and tight coverage almost worked for Denver. It didn’t quite succeed because Mahomes was able to escape far too often. If they can shrink his pocket quickly and without giving him lanes to run through, it should be a tough day. They’ll still score points, but this isn’t the Steelers.
Regular season games don’t get much bigger than this. The 3-1 Jacksonville Jaguars visit the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs in what could be a preview of the AFC Championship game. Will we get the answer to the age old question, does defense or offense win championships? Per Football Outsiders, KC ranks 2nd in offensive DVOA while Jacksonville ranks 2nd in defensive DVOA. We may get a hint at the answer this weekend.
Can Patrick Mahomes find fantasy success against this dominant defense?
Jacksonville has as balanced a defense as you can get, and are allowing just 11 fantasy points per game to QBs this season. On the surface things look dire for Mahomes. But dig deeper and there may be an area against this defense where QB Patrick Mahomes can succeed. Jacksonville plays a primary Cover-3 defense, which is essentially all Mahomes has seen this year. We have also seen the young star make some incredible plays outside the pocket, a great equalizer for tight secondary coverage. In 2QB leagues, don’t overthink the matchup and start Mahomes. For everyone else I wouldn’t scour the wire for a replacement this week, you don’t want to get caught with an impressive fantasy performance this week. Give Mahomes a shot but lower your expectations.
Big game from Kareem Hunt last week, will that continue?
No. This might be a week you shelf RB Kareem Hunt if you have a better option. Since trading for DT Marcell Dareus in Week 13 of 2017, the Jags rush defense has been dominant. The jags have allowed just one rushing touchdowns and haven’t allowed a 100 yard rusher since the trade. If the Chiefs hope to win they will need to pass the ball, and while Hunt may be involved in the pass game he can’t be expected to have a big game running. Bench him if you have a better option, but if not hope for a touchdown.
Who do I start at receiver this week for the Chiefs?
WR Tyreek Hill is flex play this week but no one else is worth taking a risk on. Nine different receivers have caught a touchdown pass for KC this season but those will be hard to come by this week. WR Sammy Watkins is questionable for the game, which means it’s likely Jaguars star CB Jalen Ramsey will shadow Hill. That’s a difficult matchup but as we said Mahomes scrambling ability may be the key to spring Hill for a big play or two. Not even Ramsey can stick to Hill for more than a few seconds. No one else is worth taking a shot on.
What can we expect from tight end Travis Kelce?
I like TE Travis Kelce this week. Of course Jacksonville is tough on all fantasy positions defensively but if KC is to compete this weekend they must rely on their best offense player. After a stinker in Week 1 Kelce has gone over 100 yards receiving in two of three weeks. Mahomes will look for Kelce early and often, including anytime the team is in the red zone. Kelce has six red zone targets, a quarter of the teams targets, and converted for three TDs. If the Chiefs are to win this game Kelce will need to play big and it’s impossible to sit the tight end.