Kickoff: Sunday, October 1st, 2023, 8:20 pm EST
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Betting Odds: NYJ +7.5, 44.5 o/u total via oddhsark.com
Writer: Dustin Ludke (@TheDunit13 on Twitter)
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes (Start, QB1)
He may have lost his best friend to Taylor Swift, but Patrick Mahones has not lost his grasp as the top quarterback in the NFL and fantasy football. Nothing New there. A test comes this week against the New York Jets. Everyone knows that the Jets are a good defense, especially on the back end. They are giving up the second-fewest points to quarterbacks and are rated as the 5th-best coverage defense by PFF.com. We will be Safe and Sound in terms of Mahomes’s production. Mahomes is so creative in his play that he will find the open man. He utilizes everyone and looks like he is throwing an enchanted ball on invisible strings. Curerntly 13 different players have caught a pass from Mahomes. Even as good as the Jets are they can’t cover everyone. You don’t have a better option on your bench or waiver so fire up Mahomes. He should be a QB1 this week, and probably forever & always.
Isiah Pacheco (Start, Flex), Jerick McKinnon (Sit) Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Sit)
People are going to look at the box scores and assume that Clyde Edwards-Helaire is back. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is that Isiah Pacheco is the starting bellcow back for the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes C.E.H had 15 carries, but almost all of them came once the game was out of hand and the backups were playing. I don’t want a guy who was playing with the second-string quarterback. He and my lineup Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Is that Mean? Maybe but that’s okay.
Pacheco got his carries when it counted. He was super efficient on his carries averaging 4.13 yards per attempt. He scored a touchdown, which bolstered his fantasy production. Pacheco has been just okay so far this season but his volume will keep him as a solid flex play with upside. The Jets are middle of the road in run defense and giving up points to running backs. The game could get out of control again for the Chiefs, and they may turn to C.E.H. to give Pacheco a breather. Start Pacheco as a flex play.
The question of whether to start Jerick McKinnon is a tough one. He had been disappointing until this past week when he scored two receiving touchdowns. My issue is his snap share. He only played on 29% of the total snaps in Week 3. He only saw three targets, and two carries. If not for the touchdowns, he would have scored under five points for your fantasy team. The Jets are decent against the run but we know that Mahomes will spread the ball around. McKinnon has a place in this world when the offense trends more toward the passing game. The game script this week doesn’t look to be a game where the Chiefs will have to pass a ton. I Almost do want to start McKinnon, but can’t. KcKinnon is a best ball play at best. You can’t trust him in managed formats.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Kadarius Toney (Sit), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Sit) Skyy Moore (Sit) Rashee Rice (Sit)Travis Kelce (Start, TE1)
Who’s ready for another week of talking about Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift‘s Love Story? It’s about all you need to talk about with Kelce. He is a must-start every week. We know All Too Well how good he is when he is healthy. If you need more reasons to start him the Jets are giving up the second-most points to the tight end position. He will have defenders saying “I Knew You Were Trouble” when they have to line up opposite him. Kelce just creates coverage nightmares. He can find the Blank Space in the zone and create Bad Blood in man. He can put up anywhere from Fifteen to 22 points in any given week. TE1 now and Evermore.
Who to start outside of Kelce is a whole other question. It looks as if Skyy Moore might be the receiver to have. He has played on the most snaps out of the receiving core. He is third in targets through three weeks, but only one behind Rashee Rice. Given the tough secondary matchup with either Sauce Gardner or D.J. Reed, I struggle to find a place in my lineup for Moore or Rice.
Even Marquez Valdes-Scantling who leads the team in routes run hasn’t seen enough targets to make him an attractive play. Kadarius Toney barely played this past week, so either the illness he was dealing with was more potent than we knew, he is injured because he is Delicate, or he just isn’t that involved in the offense. I’m out on them all this week. I do think Moore and Rice are good stash players who most weeks will be flex plays. This week they end up just Outside WR3 range.
New York Jets
Zach Wilson (Sit)
It’s been a rough go for Zach Wilson with the New York Jets. He is the Anti-Hero that everyone loves to hate, but secretly is rooting for things to turn around for him. He is only completing 54% of his passes currently despite having a solid group of pass catchers. He was thrown in as the starter after Aaron Rodgers got hurt and has never looked comfortable under center. He now has to face not only an offense that can score at will, but a defense that is giving up the eighth fewest points to opposing quarterbacks and is rated as the 12th-best pass rush defense. Defensive lineman Chris Jones is back and now in his third game will be looking to continue his streak of at least one sack per game this year. I’m not starting Wilson in My Wildest Dreams.
Dalvin Cook (Start, Flex), Breece Hall (Start, RB2), Michael Carter (Sit)
This season for the Jets’ running backs is starting to look a lot like last year. Last season we saw a rookie Breece Hall trail then-starter Michael Carter. Week 4 happened and Hall claimed the backfield as Mine until he got hurt. Through three weeks, Dalvin Cook has looked to be the lead back. Hall has been able to Shake It Off and started to take back over this past week. He out-snapped Cook 31 to 16 and saw more opportunities, both rushing and receiving, at 14 to 11. It’s not the best matchup as they will be seeing a lot of Red as the Chiefs are giving up the fifth-fewest points to running backs. The two have been splitting enough of the work to make both iffy plays. It will come down to the pass-catching work as the Jets will probably be playing from behind. They are pretty equal in that regard. I’m okay rolling with Hall as a low-end RB2 and starting Cook as a flex play.
It’s been a Cruel Summer for Michael Carter. He looked like he might get a chance to see what he can do on the new-look Jets with Rodgers under center and Hall still recovering from his knee injury. When Dalvin Cook was brought in, it ruined any shot Carter had at relevancy. He is barely playing on 30% of the team’s snaps so far this season and in Week 3 he saw no carries and only one target. His can probably be dropped at this point.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Garrett Wilson (Start, WR3), Allen Lazard (Start, Flex), Randall Cobb (Sit), Tyler Conklin (Sit), C.J. Uzomah (Sit)
We aren’t Out of The Woods in terms of Garrett Wilson being back to a weekly starter. He has some good weeks even with Z. Wilson throwing the ball but it seems without a touchdown he is just okay at best. The Chiefs are giving up the fourth-fewest points to wide receivers. Garrett Wilson will face coverage from Trent McDuffie, who rates as the second-best cover corner according to PFF.com. The Jets will probably be playing from behind which should make for more opportunities for Wilson. You can still start him as a WR3 this week. His style of play allows him to get open even with Treacherous coverage.
Allen Lazard is an interesting option this week. The Chiefs don’t have a great second cornerback. L’Jarius Sneed rates at 56.5 which makes him the 76th out of 107 cover corners on PFF.com. Lazard should be able to utilize his height and route running to get open and present a large target for Zach Wilson who will probably be under a ton of pressure from the Chiefs front. I’m willing to roll him in as a flex play this week. They will have to pass because they will be behind most of the game and as Lazard and Wilson build chemistry his opportunities should grow.
You would have to be fearless to start any other Jets pass catcher. None of them have over 100 yards on the season. Only tight end Ty Conklin has over 10 targets. Randal Cobb looks out of place on the team. Mecole Hardman hasn’t found a role as a field stretcher and C.J. Uzomah is mainly blocking. The offense isn’t scoring enough or playing enough snaps to make a third pass catcher attractive for fantasy. Everything has changed since Rodgers got hurt. It’s a far cry from the offense we thought we would see back in August.