Kickoff: Sunday, October 11th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Betting Odds: KC -13, 56 Total via Oddsshark
Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr (Sit)
Derek Carr has been playing better than you would expect, which is a continuation from last year. He is fifth in Ben Baldwin’s (of the Athletic) composite QB stat and his CPOE (competition percentage over expectation) is at 7.4 per NextGenStats. Carr’s issues though are still the same that have plagued him for most of his career. He still refuses to throw downfield (sixth lowest intended air yards per NextGenStats) and the Raiders’ commitment to the rushing game. Those two factors could change against the Chiefs with the Raiders likely chasing points, but the Chiefs’ defense has played really well as of late (we can take the Patriots game with a grain of salt). I would understand the logic of streaming Carr this week, but I’d rather avoid it.
Josh Jacobs (Start, RB2)
Josh Jacobs started hot against the Panthers but has quickly cooled. He only has 16 and 15 rush attempts the last two weeks respectively for a total of 119 yards and no touchdowns. Jacobs’ tough schedule will continue for a few weeks so we may not see him hit a ceiling game for a bit. A nice trend for Jacobs this year though has been his receiving usage. Jacobs is 19th in routes run among RBs and has at least three catches in every game. With Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards potentially still out, Jacobs could make up for his lack of rushing with some catches against the Chiefs.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Darren Waller (Start, TE1), Hunter Renfrow (Sit, Deep Flex)
Darren Waller is the only receiving option that has fantasy value on the Raiders’ offense right now. He is clearly Carr’s favorite target and focal point of the passing attack. Waller is fifth in routes run among TEs and leads all TEs in team target share (29.2%). Be happy if you have Waller. Hunter Renfrow is basically the only healthy WR on the Raiders right now, but I would only start him if I did not have any other real options (the bankable seven to nine targets create a decent but unexciting floor). The Chiefs have been tough against WRs all year and Renfrow is only a check-down option.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes (Start, QB1)
Patrick Mahomes had a “bad” game against the Patriots on Monday night, but he still threw for two touchdowns which were enough to not tank your week. Mahomes has not had his monster game yet and that is mostly due to the Chiefs keeping the offense closer to the line of scrimmage then they have in recent seasons. The Raiders are a “tough” opponent for QBs but that is mostly because they have been torched on the ground and haven’t faced a murderer’s row of QBs. Start Mahomes with confidence, like you do every week.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Start, RB1)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire has not been a disappointment per se but he hasn’t had a touchdown or 100 yards since the first week of the season. His receiving role has increased after Week 1 where he only saw two targets for zero catches and now has 18 targets on the season. He is 17th in routes run among RBs and he has proven to be elusive, ranking sixth among RBs in Elusive Rating (per PFF, minimum 40 rushing attempts). This is a smash spot for a defense that has been gashed by RBs so far this season.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Tyreek Hill (Start, WR1), Sammy Watkins (Sit), Mecole Hardman (Sit), Travis Kelce (Start, TE1)
Seriously, if you guys have Chiefs offensive weapons, I don’t know why you are even reading this. Is there anything I am going to say that will change your mind about starting Mahomes, Edwards-Helaire, Tyreek Hill, or Travis Kelce? All of those guys are must-start each week. Hill is a mismatch against the Raiders’ cornerbacks who had a rough day against the Bills’ receivers. Kelce has been as consistent as ever. If you are here for Sammy Watkins or Mecole Hardman, then I can understand. Watkins has turned into a short route option and security blanket for Mahomes, he no longer runs deep routes as we remember in Buffalo. If you are playing Watkins, you are hoping for a score, almost as if he is a TE. Hardman finally saw his snaps rise above Demarcus Robinson against the Patriots and we can only pray that continues. But unless Hill or Watkins is injured, Hardman won’t have consistent enough usage to trust in fantasy.
-Frank Costanzo (@FrankQBList on Twitter, Zzzonked92 on Reddit)