Kickoff: Monday, November 1st at 8:15 PM ET
Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Betting Odds: KC -10, 52 total via Oddsshark
New York Giants
Daniel Jones (Start)
With Lamar Jackson and Derek Carr on a bye, Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield injured, and none of the rookie quarterbacks claiming every-week starter status, Daniel Jones is firmly in streaming quarterback range this week. I have him ranked as the QB12, and while you could make a case for him as low as QB16, I’ve got him as a start this week. Jones isn’t great as a passer, ranking 26th in completion percentage at 63.5% and throwing just 5 touchdowns on the year. But that 2.1% TD rate is certainly due for some positive regression, and Jones ranks a respectable 10th overall in Air Yards per attempt per FantasyData. Sure, his 27% deep ball completion percentage ranks second from the bottom among qualified passers, but at least he’s trying! We know that Jones will add 2-4 points most weeks with his legs, rushing for 229 yards through six and a half games, and he’s chipped in two rushing touchdowns on the year as well, which helps offset some turnovers as well.
The big selling point this week is, of course, the matchup, as the Chiefs have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. That number is inflated by a tough schedule to start the year, but Jones should be in a position to put up points, and the Giants will likely be forced to throw the ball to keep up. There may be safer options behind Jones in the rankings, but with a QB6 and a QB4 performance under his belt this year, he does have respectable upside.
Saquon Barkley (Start, RB2), Devontae Booker (Start, RB2)
Both of these Sit/Start decisions obviously deserve an asterisk, as we are awaiting the health of Saquon Barkley. News from Wednesday was positive for Barkley, though the Giants don’t have to release an official injury report until Thursday. Barkley is a clear start if healthy and not on a snap count, though we could see him eased back in coming off of his ankle injury. Barkley started the year as the RB54 in Week 1 and the RB33 in Week 2 as the Giants eased him in as he returned from injury. While that was a much more serious injury than this ankle sprain, it would make sense to not push him in his first game back. But we saw Barkley’s upside in Weeks 3 and 4, finishing as the RB9 and RB2 respectively while scoring three touchdowns and catching 11 passes combined.
If Barkley plays, Devontae Booker is a sit, as he is a volume-based play in fantasy leagues. But if Barkley misses the game, I have Booker as my RB25 against a Chiefs defense that has allowed the tenth-most PPR points to opposing running backs. Booker played 82% of the snaps last week and has ranged between 72% and 88% of the snaps in the last three weeks, putting him in elite territory. Of course, the talent is lacking, as Booker is 47th among all running backs in yards created per attempt and 41st in breakaway rate. Booker shockingly ranks second in juke rate at 55.7%, so he can make people miss and fight for positive yardage, but he just lacks the big play athleticism that Barkley has. Booker has ranged between RB15 and 24 over the past three weeks, and that feels about right again this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Kenny Golladay (Start, WR3/FLEX), Sterling Shepard (WR2), Kadarius Toney (WR2), Darius Slayton (Sit), Evan Engram (Sit)
Well, this situation is a mess to handicap on a Thursday. As I linked above in the Barkley section, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Kadarius Toney were all on the field at practice Wednesday after sitting last week, though we will have to wait until Thursday to get an official injury report from the Giants. If at least two of that group returns this week, we can safely sit Darius Slayton, who was the first to return to the field last week and posted five catches for 63 yards on nine targets as the last man standing. Slayton did have 13 targets combined over Weeks 1 and 2 before his own injury, so he has seen some solid volume in three games this year, but that was before Toney had begun to emerge. He’s at best a deep league flex option.
Golladay has missed the past two and a half games with a knee injury, and is certainly the biggest name in this receiving corps. But as far as single-game target shares go, Golladay’s 25% target share from Week 2 is his best of the year, a number that has been topped by Toney twice, Shepard three times, and Slayton once. Golladay’s other three games have ranged between 19% and 14% target shares, and he has yet to catch a touchdown on the year. Golladay is merely a back-end WR3 or flex unless Shepard or Toney misses, and a reinjury is always a worry as well.
While Shepard is certainly always an injury risk, especially coming off of a hamstring injury, his upside is at least more enticing. In his three full games this year, Shepard has target shares of 31%, 29%, and 25%, and has finished as the WR21 (PPR) or better in each game. It’s a matter of risk here for sure, but it’s pretty clear that Shepard is a WR2 if he plays a full game.
Toney is the true wildcard here, as he reeled off two straight top-30 performances over Weeks 4 and 5, including finishing as the WR5 in PPR leagues against the Cowboys with a 35% target share. It’s anyone’s guess where he fits in if all of the receivers are healthy, but it sure looks like he has forced his hand after that two-game stretch. He’s a WR2 with significant reinjury risk, just like the rest of this group. If they are all on the field this week, I would rank them Shepard, Toney, Golladay, and Slayton in that order.
Don’t start Evan Engram, just don’t do it. I know the Chiefs have given up the fifth-most points to opposing tight ends, but we’ve been down this road too many times with Engram. Engram has just three red zone targets in five games, and just one inside the five-yard line. He did see a 25% target share last week, but that was with all but Slayton missing in action. He’s topped out at 10 PPR points this year and would need at least two of the questionable wide receivers to miss the game to be startable.
Kansas City Cheifs
Patrick Mahomes (Start, QB1)
Welcome to “worry about Patrick Mahomes week” everyone! Despite what it looked like last Sunday, Mahomes cleared concussion protocol on the sideline, so it appears he is healthy and ready to go this week. For all the angst around his play this year, Mahomes is the QB6 on a point per game basis, ranks fourth in passing yards, third in passing touchdowns, and first in interceptions? Whatever, we can live with that in most fantasy leagues, and he’s even chipped in the fifth-most rushing yards from a quarterback on the season.
The Giants have given up the 12th most points per game to opposing fantasy quarterbacks, and the Chiefs are certainly in need of a get-right game. Unless you also have Josh Allen or Kyler Murray, you are starting Mahomes this week.
Darrel Williams (Start, RB2), Jerrick McKinnon (Sit)
Filling in for the injured Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams has played 72% and 64% of the snaps over the past two weeks and is a solid RB2 in Week 8. The Giants have allowed the 11th-most PPR points to opposing running backs this year, averaging 112 rushing yards per game allowed to the position. Williams was the RB7 in Week 6 against Washington due to his two touchdowns and cratered to RB33 last week, but it was a down week for the offense as a whole. His only competition is Jerrick McKinnon, who has just 3 rushes and 3 receptions combined over the past two weeks, so Williams is a poor man’s CEH at this point. If the Chiefs can grab a lead, and they are favored by ten points, Williams could rack up some fantasy points in the second half.
McKinnon might be more intriguing in a different offense, but Mahomes doesn’t like to check the ball down, as we saw with CEH’s lack of passing game involvement, and McKinnon has yet to top 32% of the snaps or an 8.7% target share since Edwards-Helaire went down. He can be left on waivers.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Tyreek Hill (Start, WR1), Travis Kelce (Start, TE1), Mecole Hardman (Sit), Demarcus Robinson (Sit), Byron Pringle (Sit)
Tyreek Hill has seen his snap share drop a touch over the past few weeks as he played through a quad injury, and this offense is certainly sputtering after scoring three points last week. But there’s nothing to worry about here, Hill ranks 4th among wide receivers in targets, second in receptions, fifth in yards, and eight in touchdowns. He’s my WR3 this week.
The same goes for Travis Kelce, who is still the TE1 on the season and ranks first in targets, yards, and receptions. He’s finished outside of the top 12 tight ends just once on the season.
As for the rest of the receiving corps, there’s not much to see here. Mecole Hardman has had his moments, racking up 12 targets and 9 receptions against Buffalo in Week 5, but even with that usage, he was just the WR19, his only performance inside the top 30 this season. With teams selling out to stop the KC deep ball, Hardman ranks 141st among wide receivers with 9.6 air yards per reception, and for a player built for the deep ball, that’s not going to cut it. And we know the drill by now with Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle, who have their pop-up games from time to time but then disappear back to obscurity. And if you want to know about Josh Gordon, he played 8 snaps last week.