Kickoff: Saturday, December 24th, 1:00 PM ET
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, KC
Betting Odds: KC -10.0, 49.0 total via PFF.com
Writer: Estevão Maximo (@estevao_maximo on Twitter)
Geno Smith (Start, QB1)
This is the game between the second and third-highest QB Ratings in the league, and Geno Smith is not the third. Haha. Geno isn’t at his best moment of the season, but for the purposes of fantasy, the volume has been there for the former Jet. The Niners’ D was always going to present a particularly difficult challenge, and Geno still put up three passing touchdowns against the Panthers, in the week prior, despite a couple of turnovers.
Despite the cold weather, Geno is a low-end QB1 this week, going up against a defense that has allowed the fourth-most points to opposing quarterbacks on the year,
Kenneth Walker (Start, RB2)
The standout rookie wasn’t a major factor in the last game on Thursday Night, but he checked all the boxes for the rest of the season’s expectations. 75% snap share, 12 out of the team’s 13 rushing attempts by a running back, and even five targets on the passing game. Seattle is a team that enjoys having that feature back, and with Kenneth Walker head-and-shoulders above everyone else, he is a very strong RB2.
As long as this Seattle defense doesn’t crumble early, and leave the team in a big hole, which is always a possibility, Walker should get an increase in rushing attempts from what he had against the Niners.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DK Metcalf (Start, WR2), Marquise Goodwin (Start flex), D’Wayne Eskridge (Sit). Noah Fant (Start TE2), Will Dissly (Sit)
Unfortunately, Tyler Lockett is out with surgery on his finger. DK Metcalf retains his status as a WR2 without much change, and the man most likely to benefit from this absence is Marquise Goodwin, the former track star who has been a fringe flex play in the second half of the year. Even going off for 95 yards and a score against the Panthers two weeks ago.
There isn’t much track record for this offense with one of Lockett or DK out, especially with Geno playing at this level, as both have remained healthy for basically the entire year, so it’s hard to predict how things will unfold, but Goodwin is by far the receiver who’s shown the most on the year to take advantage of this opportunity.
The Seahawks’ tight end room is quite frustrating from a fantasy perspective. Noah Fant is the primary option, but despite having 53 targets to Will Dissly’s 37, he only has a single-digit lead on points on the year. Dissly routinely vultures a TD from the former Bronco, but we’re still rolling with Fant as a low-end TE2. In a land of opportunity, we’ll go with the player that doesn’t routinely get in on special teams’ work (Fant).
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes (Start, QB1)
Patrick Mahomes is the best football player I’ve ever seen. He is a QB1 now, he will be a QB1 next week, and he’ll be a QB1 five years from now. I could sit here and list many stats to show why he is probably a lock for MVP, especially if Hurts misses multiple weeks, but that’s rather unnecessary.
Enjoy watching this living legend play.
Jerick McKinnon (Start, RB2), Isaiah Pacheco (Start, flex)
Now here is where things get interesting. Isaiah Pacheco got a taste of the doghouse after an early fumble against the Texans and opened the door for another huge game from Jerrick McKinnon. Andy Reid put Pacheco back in late, so I wouldn’t expect to see McKinnon dominating carries, especially because that’s not what he does, and it’s not what the Chiefs want out of him.
What makes McKinnon the better option here is his lock as a reliable and steady option in the passing game. You can pretty much pencil him in for the two-minute drill, and the most important drives as a whole. McKinnon has 17 targets in the last two games and has caught 15 of them for 182 yards.
While McKinnon will get a healthy snap share, don’t expect to see Pacheco phased out of this offense by any means, his speed meshes really well with what KC needs, and barring multiple fumbles or something whack like that, he’ll lead the team in carries again, and be a solid high-end flex play, bordering on RB2 depending on game-script, even though Andy Reid likes to air it out no matter what.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Start, WR3), MVS (Start, flex), Kadarius Toney (Sit), Travis Kelce (Start, TE1)
Derrick Henry is going up against the Houston Texans, and Travis Kelce is against the Seattle Seahawks. Those matchups are so juicy, I can’t wait for them. The Seahawks followed closely by the Cardinals are in a league of their own as the two worst defenses against tight ends in the NFL, and this week they get a tight end who is in a league of his own when it comes to production out of that position.
In an afternoon that started off pretty quietly, Kelce still managed to put up a 10 for 95 game. Let’s just say expectations are high heading into this game.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is also coming off a 10 receptions day and is a solid WR3 play. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is his usual boom-or-bust self, and Kadarius Toney has yet to materialize as this weapon we all envisioned after his trade. The impact of McKinnon’s role in the passing game also caps the overall upside of this WR room, which is solid but doesn’t have that game-breaking option.