Kickoff: Sunday, November 7th at 4:25 PM ET
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Betting Odds: GB +7, 48 total via Oddsshark
Green Bay Packers
Jordan Love (Sit, QB2)
Welp, Aaron Rodgers has COVID and won’t play this Sunday. Jordan Love will get his shot this week against the Chiefs, and the Packers may get a glimpse into their future. Predicting Love’s fantasy output is going to be difficult. First of all, we don’t have any historical stats to pull from Love’s NFL career. Jordan doesn’t have one complete regular-season NFL game under his belt yet. On the other hand, the Chiefs’ defense is struggling, allowing the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Love could be a decent option in two-quarterback leagues but shouldn’t be starting in one-QB leagues. I wouldn’t expect too much from the inexperienced young quarterback in his first start.
Aaron Jones (Start, RB1), AJ Dillon (Start-able Flex)
Aaron Jones had a great fantasy outing last week with 24 points against the Cardinals and a whopping 11 targets. I’ve claimed that Jones is somewhat reliant on the pass before, so he could be at a bit of a disadvantage without Rodgers this week. Still, the Packers will probably need to rely on Jones this week and could give him plenty of carries against a Chiefs defense that’s struggled against the run this year. I believe Jones will be a focal point of this offense, giving him enough opportunity for an RB1 performance.
I’m ranking AJ Dillon towards the bottom of the Flex tier this week. He isn’t a very dependable fantasy option, but the match-up this week could force Green Bay to run the ball more than usual. Plus, Dillon had a season-high 16 rushing attempts last week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Davante Adams (Start, Low-end WR1), Randall Cobb (Sit), Allen Lazard (Sit)
Davante Adams will try to clear the COVID protocol in time to play this week. I imagine Love will rely on his best receiver early and often if Adams is healthy and ready to go. Either way, Adams is too good to bench if he’s active.
Randall Cobb did well with Adams inactive last week with his second-best fantasy performance of the season and two touchdowns. The trouble is that Cobb still only had three catches, which is pretty much the same workload he’s seen all season. I wouldn’t expect another big performance from Cobb this week, especially with Adams potentially returning.
Allen Lazard was activated from the COVID list and should be active this week. I would be inclined to rank him higher if Adams was inactive, but I don’t see that happening. Lazard has been too inconsistent to trust otherwise.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes (Start, QB1)
Patrick Mahomes had yet another mediocre performance last week against the Giants. Turnovers keep holding him back. Still, it’s not like fantasy managers are going to abandon such an important pick. Mahomes should still be considered a QB1 against the Packers this week, but it may be time to start tempering expectations if Pat can’t get it done for a third week in a row against a mediocre defense. This game was originally projected to be pretty high-scoring before Rodgers was ruled out, but the over/under has since dropped by about a touchdown. The high projected point total was good news for Mahomes’ fantasy projection, but I still believe he can achieve QB1 production. I wouldn’t expect crazy numbers, but I believe Mahomes should be capable of a QB1 performance against Green Bay.
Darrel Williams (Start, RB2), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Sit), Derrick Gore (Sit)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is eligible to return from IR this week, but fantasy managers need to monitor his practice status if they need to start CEH. The Chiefs could choose to ease Edwards-Helaire back into the mix. CEH had an MCL sprain, so it would make sense for Kansas City to let him take his time coming back.
If Edwards-Helaire is once again a non-factor, Darrel Williams should be in line for an RB2 performance against the Packers. The Green Bay defense has been mediocre against fantasy running backs and so-so in rushing yards allowed this year, so Williams should have plenty of opportunities for an impressive performance this week. I wouldn’t be too concerned about Derrick Gore. Gore did have 11 carries last week, but we wouldn’t be mentioning him without the touchdown. I wouldn’t trust Gore this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Tyreek Hill (Start, WR1), Mecole Hardman (Sit), Travis Kelce ()
Tyreek Hill proved to every fantasy manager why he’s an automatic start every week with an insane 18 targets and 27.4 fantasy points last week. Hill is a must-start option even with the Chiefs offense struggling lately. The overall WR2 on the season is an easy start against the Packers.
Unlike Tyreek, Mecole Hardman may be a bit more dependent on the Chiefs’ offensive production. What I mean is that Hardman’s fantasy value could be higher every week if the Kansas City offense were firing on all cylinders. I wouldn’t expect much from Mecole in Week 9.
Travis Kelce had another poor fantasy performance last week with only four receptions and a fumble. This is a pretty odd situation for fantasy managers to predict. We know Kelce is one of the best tight ends to play the game, but will he struggle with Mahomes under-performing? Either way, the Green Bay secondary is still pretty banged up and has been pretty mediocre against fantasy tight ends this year. Fantasy managers need to trust their elite tight end and hope for an impressive bounce-back performance.
-Ryan Kruse (@ryanpkruse)