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September 9, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) meets with Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) following the 38-28 victory at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Thursday Night Fantasy Football Preview

IT IS PLAYOFF TIME DEGENERATES! SEMI-FINALS! We are onto Week 15 and that means another Thursday night football matchup. This one looks to be a fun one. LA VS KC, its’s going to be a shootout in the wild west 🤠.

The start of Week 15 means fantasy owners need to address their start/sit decisions. Especially with a game on Thursday night, it is imperative that you start the week off correctly. So listen up degenerates. Here’s your fantasy football preview for Chargers and Chiefs on Thursday Night Football!!!

Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs – 53 Total


So you should probably be starting Patrick Mahomes this week. The Chargers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to the QB position over the last four weeks, but we all know that does not matter. 

Dec 9, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the other QB, I do have some concerns. Let’s take a look at Rivers’ track record in Kansas City. In his last four games at KC, Rivers has averaged just under 13 fantasy points in those contests. He’s thrown just 2 touchdowns in those four games versus six interceptions along with 256 passing yards on average. The last four games the Chiefs have allowed just an average of 13.5 fantasy points per game. The Chiefs have the seventh-highest pressure rate in the NFL (13.2%) and have the second highest sack percentage at 9.72% at home this season. Remember back in Week 1 when Rivers scored 29.96 fantasy points he had 51 passing attempts. He has only surpassed 40 attempts one other time this season, and the Chiefs on average are allowing just 37 passing attempts per game. They also allow just 219  passing yards per game, 1.5 passing touchdowns, and a 5.9 yards per attempt (4th lowest in the NFL). Low-end QB1 for me this week.

Running Backs

Dec 9, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (32) is defended by Cincinnati Bengals middle linebacker Hardy Nickerson (56) during the first quarter at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The curious case of the Thursday night football running back. Jesus, this is a mess this week. What we know so far is that Austin Ekeler is out, and Spencer Ware is most likely out. So that leaves Melvin Gordon has a game-time decision. If he plays you need to have him in your lineups. We saw him pop up on the injury report before and when he played he was not limited in any capacity.  The Chiefs are fifth-worst against running backs in DVOA according to Football Outsiders and have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to the RB position over the past two weeks. KC allows the highest yards per attempt (5.1) to opposing rushers. With the matchup so good you play Gordon. If Gordon misses and Justin Jackson is thrust in there, he becomes a high-end RB2 for me. As the primary runner, he would surely see 15-20 carries to go along with work in the passing game. 20 different running backs this season have gotten double-digit fantasy points against the Chiefs. Worth noting that if Gordon plays Jackson could find an Ekler role on Thursday night making him a low-end RB2 play with some upside if Gordon sees a smaller workload than usually. 

On the Chiefs side, Damien Williams figures to see the majority of work with Darrel Williams and Charcandrick West spelling him. Last week with Ware out with an injury during the game Williams saw 50% of the snaps and he scored two touchdowns. He saw goalline work (4 opportunities) in addition to running 27 routes where he received five targets. The Chargers have allowed the fifth-most receptions, and fourth-most receiving yards to the RB position this season. The Chargers also allow 122.1 rushing yards per game on the road this season. I have Williams ranked right ahead of Jackson in my current RB rankings. With Ware out and Williams seeing eight carries last week, I’d figure we’d see at least 12-15 carries plus anything he gets in the passing game. Since Week 7, every single RB with at least ten carries has scored at least 8.9 fantasy points.

Wide Receivers

More questions arise when we talk about the receivers in this game, most notably Tyreek Hill. He is questionable with a heel injury, but reports have stated that he will play in this game. So what can we expect from Hill? The Chargers have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the WR position over the past four weeks, but they have glaring weaknesses against number one wide receivers. They rank 31st in WR DVOA to the number one wide receiver, and the Chargers rank last in DVOA against deep passes over 16 yards. Hill also over the past two seasons has scored 14 fantasy points per game at home versus 23 fantasy points per game on the road. With his injury concerns, I do think that there could be a scenario where Hill is moved around the formation less, which could decrease his overall effectiveness. Should you start him? Yes, but do not expect a blow-up performance. For the other Chiefs receivers, Chris Conley and DeMarcus Robinson are lower-end receivers with upside. Conley is the best bet to see an increased workload if Hill is limited in any capacity. Conley ran 56 routes last week which led the team but just had two targets. And don’t forget about Kelvin Benjamin! He has one touchdown catch all year and it was against the Chargers 👀👀👀. #CrowWorthyTake – Kelvin Benjamin scores tonight. 

Dec 9, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) dives forward as he is tackled by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Anthony Averett (28) in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

On the Chargers side, Keenan Allen is a top-five wide receiver. Since Week 9 in PPR formats, Allen is the overall WR2 in fantasy football. They have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers over the past four weeks.  That leaves the classic conundrum of Mike Williams vs Tyrell Williams. Who did you get? They have upside though as the Chiefs have allowed the most 20 plus yard plays this season. Tyrell played in the majority of snaps (85%) last week compared to just 50% for Mike. On the other-hand as a red-zone weapon, Williams has a nice match-up with the Chiefs allowing the fourth-most red zone targets the WR position over the past four weeks. I’ll lean towards Mike Williams as the better play because of his touchdown upside and the fact that he had five receptions for 81 yards on six targets in their first match-up with the Chiefs. Chiefs rank 28th in WR DVOA against “Other WR” which is clearly is a fit classification for Mike William in the Chargers’ offense.

Tight Ends

Start Travis Kelce, but fade him in DFS. In his last four games versus the Chargers, Kelce has been shut down. Has not exceeded 46 yards in any of those games, has zero touchdowns, and has been held to one catch in three of those contests. On the Chargers’ side Antonio Gates in a great contrarian play, because the matchup is very good. The Chiefs have allowed the most fantasy points to the TE position over the past four weeks. 

Dec 9, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) is tackled by Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports