Kickoff: Sunday, November 22nd at 8:20 PM ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Betting Odds: KC -6.5, 57 Total via Oddsshark
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes (Start)
With Russell Wilson struggling just enough the past few weeks, Patrick Mahomes has put himself right back into the MVP race. The Chiefs have basically decided that they do not need to run the ball anymore and have thrown it 70% and 80% of the time the last two weeks. He is only 16th in deep passing rate (per PFF) and surprisingly has a negative-2.2 CPOE (Per NextGenStats). But when you can do the things he can, it really doesn’t matter. The Raiders proved last time that they can hold up their end of the deal for a shootout, so I would expect Mahomes to be throwing the ball quite a bit this week. You don’t need me to tell you to start him.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Start, Flex), Le’Veon Bell (Sit)
As I mentioned in Mahomes’ blurb, the Chiefs have thrown the ball 70% and 80% of the time the last two weeks before their bye. Because of that Clyde Edwards-Helaire has not been able to do much, totaling 17 touches combined. Le’Veon Bell was limited to 14 touches. It has become a bit difficult to trust Edwards-Helaire but he is still the lead back attached to this Chiefs offense, so he has upside as a flex or even RB2. Bell is not the same player he once was and saw his touched trend down (though it could change coming out of the bye). I would avoid using Bell until we see a change in his usage.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Tyreek Hill (Start, WR1), Travis Kelce (Start, TE1), Sammy Watkins (Start, Deep Flex)
Shall we rattle off some Tyreek Hill stats? Yes, let’s. Hill is 13th in routes run among WRs (per PFF), 12th in the NFL in targets, third in air yards, and 11th in WOPR (per airyards.com). He has only had a few 100-yard games, but Hill has been as good as ever. With George Kittle’s injury and Mark Andrews disappointing, Travis Kelce has been a significant advantage to his owners. He is third in routes run among TEs (per PFF), first in targets, and has a 50 point gap to the next TE in PPR scoring. If Sammy Watkins returns from his hamstring injury (he was close before the bye), he can be a decent flex option in deeper leagues with a potential shootout here. He should assume his role as the second WR as none of the other options really distinguished themselves and the Chiefs seem to want to limit Mecole Hardman’s snaps.
Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr (Streamer)
Derek Carr was playing pretty well but has slowed down the past three weeks. He has only thrown for 430 yards and three touchdowns during that time. He had his best performance of the year against the Chiefs earlier and can recreate it if he decides to throw deep again. On the year, Carr is ranked 26th in deep passing rate (per PFF) which is not enough with a player like Henry Ruggs. In the game again the Chiefs, Carr took chances downfield which opened up the offense. Hopefully, we see that again.
Josh Jacobs (Start, RB1)
You may be concerned with Devontae Booker’s performance and the 61% snap share for Josh Jacobs last week. But it was a blowout, so the Raiders didn’t want to risk Jacobs getting injured. Jacobs has been excellent as a rusher with a 43.9% ROE% (per NextGenStats). That means that on nearly half of Jacobs’ runs, he gets more yardage than an average RB would gain. He also saw his second-highest target total last week, which we need to hope continues. If it doesn’t, then Jacobs will continue to be a bit game-script dependent. Also as Ryan and I discussed on our Waiver Wire podcast, Booker is a decent addition as a handcuff. We are getting close to the playoffs and we want to hold any back that could see a bell-cow workload if there is an injury.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Darren Waller (Start, TE1), Nelson Agholor (Start, Flex), Henry Ruggs (Start, Deep Flex), Hunter Renfrow (Sit)
Darren Waller is the de facto WR1 for the Raiders. He is second in targets for TEs and 10th in routes run among the position (per PFF). He has only cleared 50 yards twice this season but has already caught more TDs than all of last year. While he is far from Travis Kelce, he is in his own tier as the next best TE for fantasy. The Raiders WR group is averaging 12 targets per game, the league-low. Nelson Agholor has been the most consistent of the bunch. He leads the WRs with five endzone targets and in routes run (per PFF). In the shootout environment, I think Agholor can be a decent flex play. Henry Ruggs is a deep flex option this week in the hopes of Carr connecting with him on a deep TD (Ruggs is fourth in the NFL in aDOT per airyards.com). With the low volume he has been seeing, that’s about the most you can hope for. Hunter Renfrow is the primary slot receiver but has only seen more than four targets once in the past five weeks.
-Frank Costanzo (@FrankQBList on Twitter, Zzzonked92 on Reddit)