Kickoff: Sunday, January 2nd at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Betting Odds: CIN +5, 49.5 total via Oddsshark
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes (Start, low-end QB1)
Patrick Mahomes has had a very up and down season so far. I expect the same to continue this week against the Bengals. CBS has them ranked 11th in giving up points to the quarterback position and have some very good cornerbacks. Mahomes will have all of his pass-catching weapons back from the covid list so that should help. It’s hard to ever bench Mahomes even after his bad weeks. He has played very well since the bye 4 weeks ago. Over the past 4 games, he has 8 touchdowns and only one interception. He should have a decent week but I doubt we see the massive games that Mahomes owners are used to.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Out), Darrel Williams (Start, RB2), Derrick Gore (Start, Flex)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is considered week to week with a shoulder injury. This leaves the rushing game to Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore. In the week 16 game, Williams saw 42% of the team’s snaps, and Gore got 28%. Gore got one more carry with 12. They both received 3 targets which gave them both decent fantasy days. The Bengals are ranked 8th by CBS in giving up points to the running back position so it could be tough sledding for the KC backs. I think they both get enough volume to save their fantasy days. Gore is especially intriguing since he is second on the team in red-zone carries with 6 behind Edwards-Helaire who has 12.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Tyreek Hill (Start, WR2), Mecole Hardman (Sit), Travis Kelce (Start), Byron Pringle (Start, Flex), Josh Gordon (Drop)
Getting tightened Travis Kelce back will certainly help the KC passing game. Tyreek Hill will be covered primarily by Chidobe Awuzie. He is PFF’s 9th rated corner. The Bengals as a whole have a good group of corners. they have 4 in the top 100. If the Bengals take away Kelce and Hill this could open up room for Byron Pringle. Pringle is coming off his best game where he caught 6 of 7 passes for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has been playing on close to 70% of the team’s snaps over the past 4 weeks and played on 8-% last week. Mecole Hardman is still playing under 40% of snaps and although he found the endzone in week 16 it was only his second on the season.
Joe Burrow (Sit, high-end QB2)
Joe Burrow had a massive game in week 16. He posted the 5th highest single-game passing record in NFL history. He now comes into week 17 against what CBS ranks as the 27th worst pass defense in giving point the QB position. It’s hard to imagine that since KC sports 3 cornerbacks ranked over 70 in coverage. With all the weapons available to Mr. Joe Cool, he should have a decent game. The Bengals are still in the playoff hunt and playing the Chiefs is the litmus test for all AFC teams
Joe Mixon (Start, RB2), Samaje Perine (Sit)
Joe Mixon got back to his previous ways in week 16. He had a rushing and receiving touchdown. It stopped his 2 games scoreless streak. He gets the KC defense who CBS ranks as 14th against the run. He should continue to see volume. He hasn’t seen under 17 carries since the week 10 bye. He also has 33 red zone carries which account for 76% of the team red zone carries. There is plenty of volume for Mixon to be an RB2 and could easily get into the RB1 category. Samaje Perine has been a non-factor. He didn’t even get a carry on his 14% snap share in week 16. We could see Perine and Chris Evans get more work if the Bengals get a lead and want to try to save Mixon for the playoffs
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Ja’marr Chase (Start, WR2), Tyler Boyd (Start, Flex), Tee Higgins (Start, WR3), C.J. Uzomah (Sit)
It’s crazy to think that the Cincinnati Bengals can support 3 top-end wide receivers. the Bengals, The BUNGles. The hapless team that we all know and love. They have built a team around the passing game. With the likes of Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins there are too many options for defenses to cover. Even with cornerbacks ranked fairly high by PFF, the Chiefs will have their hands full. Trying to figure out which one will be the star each week is a nightmare for fantasy writers. below are some stats to consider
|Targets||Receptions||Snap %||Yards per Target||Touchdowns||red zone targets|
Looking at these stats I think you can put Chase as a solid wr2. He is leading in all but one of the metrics. Higgins leads in receptions despite being the lowest on snap % which is probably due to missing 2 games earlier in the season. Boyd seems to be the odd man out despite scoring the past 2 weeks. I think owners will be expecting that trend to continue. Tight end C.J. Uzomah has been a let down it seems every other week. Since he had a halfway decent game last week I’m going to say this will be a down week.
-Dustin Ludke (Dunit13dl on Reddit)
Curious if you take weather into account (GB vs. Minnesota)?