Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Chargers (
23.75) at

Chiefs (
30.75)

Over/Under 54.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Chargers Run D
32nd DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per carry
Chiefs Run O
8th DVOA/10th Yards per carry
Chargers Pass D
5th DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per pass
Chiefs Pass O
4th DVOA/2nd Yards per pass
Chiefs Run D
31st DVOA/27th Yards allowed per carry
Chargers Run O
13th DVOA/22nd Yards per carry
Chiefs Pass D
31st DVOA/25th Yards allowed per pass
Chargers Pass O
13th DVOA/7th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow >>
  • Austin Ekeler is highly appealing to me (won’t steal the thunder just yet)
  • Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Patrick Mahomes always carry slate-breaking upside in even the most difficult of matchups
  • We’re likely to see the Chiefs succeed here; likely game flow depends largely on the Chargers level of success offensively
  • Chargers rank first in the league in yards per drive while the Chiefs rank third
  • Could this game be going overlooked?
  • High likelihood of this game being the top game environment on the slate

How Los Angeles Will Try To Win ::

The secrets of Joe Lombardi’s new-look offense are largely known at this point, and it’s transpiring exactly as we thought it would coming into the season. The power and stretch run game work in close conjunction with the “X” wide receiver (Mike Williams) in a possession-style role, with now “Z” and “Y” hybrid Keenan Allen maintaining a similar role as he has grown accustomed to. Basically, Lombardi took the base offense from his time in New Orleans and folded one of the most pure route runners in the league into it. The big picture is Lombardi is still tweaking things as the season labors on, with the plan of attack slightly different in Week 1 as compared to Week 2, but the overall concepts remain rather consistent. The biggest change in fundamental role has been Mike Williams, who has transformed from primarily a downfield threat into the prototypical possession-style “X” receiver. His average depth of target in 2021 falls right in line with how we would picture that type of player, checking in at 9.2 yards (quick side note: Keenan Allen holds a deeper aDOT than Mike Williams this season, something we never thought we’d hear or say). The Chargers hold the league’s seventh highest situation-neutral pass rate through two weeks and play at the fifth fastest situation-neutral pace of play.

Running back Austin Ekeler’s opportunity counts of 15 and 18 are right in line with what we should expect of a running back playing around 60% of the offensive snaps. The short-lived concerns about his pass game usage went right out the window after a Week 2 game in which he saw a whopping nine targets. The matchup on the ground yields a borderline elite 4.77 net-adjusted line yards metric and the clear optimal way to attack the Chiefs is on the ground and over the short-middle of the field through the air. If ever there were a game for the Chargers to lean more heavily on Austin Ekeler, this would be it (not from a likely game flow perspective, but from the perspective of what gives them the best chance of coming out of this game with a win). When we look at the two games the Chargers have played, it becomes fairly evident that Ekeler’s usage is highly influenced by game plan coming into the game. He saw 15 rushes in a slugfest-style game against the Football Team and subsequently saw nine targets against a Dallas team that the Chargers knew they would have to put up points against. This game sets up well for him to see additional pass volume again.

As we explored above, the dramatic shift in offensive philosophy has turned the wide receiver roles on their heads to start the year. Lombardi came in and immediately transformed Mike Williams into a possession-style, prototypical “X” receiver, altering his routes and tightening up his average depth of target. What that means is he is relegated to a player who requires an increase to volume and one or two scores in order to provide a GPP-worthy score. The setup for this game is interesting due to the likely increased aerial aggression and pass volume from the Chargers, but the per-target upside is lacking from Mr. Williams due to the types of routes he is running. Keenan Allen runs higher YAC-upside routes, but this Chiefs defense is built to subdue YAC potential through swarming tackling. Finally, Jared Cook and Donald Parham are splitting snaps at a near-even rate.

How Kansas City Will Try To Win ::

Patrick Mahomes. Travis Kelce. Tyreek Hill. That’s how Kansas City will try to win. I’m only half joking. We’ve seen this offense tear apart defense after defense. The matchup literally does not matter. With that out of the way, the Chiefs are operating at a moderate 62% situation-neutral pass rate and seventh-ranked situation-neutral pace of play to start the year. Their drive success rate ranks first in the league at a ridiculous 82.7% and they have scored the most points per drive in the league at 3.59. They are #goodatfootball.

The matchup on the ground yields a 4.055 net-adjusted line yards metric, but why run the football behind an offensive line ranked 29th in the league in yards created metrics when you have Patrick Mahomes? That’s basically been the theme so far this season for the Chiefs, and until we see a higher level of schemed usage near the goal line and through the pass game, Clyde Edwards-Helaire remains a fringe option at best.

The moneymakers for this offense remain Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill through the air. The Chargers have allowed the second fewest fantasy points in the league to wide receivers over their first two games, but like we alluded to earlier, matchup largely does not matter with the Chiefs. If choosing one or the other, Travis Kelce sets up better to do significant damage from an on-paper sense against the prevent nature of this Chargers defense. It feels almost wrong keeping the Chiefs portion of this writeup so short, but there isn’t much to add that you don’t already know about how this team will look to win games currently.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

The Chiefs are very rarely a consideration to completely fail, so if the likeliest scenario has the Chiefs succeeding on offense in even the most difficult of matchups (this isn’t the most difficult matchup, but I wouldn’t call it a plus matchup either), their game flows largely depend on what their opponent is able to muster on offense (as in, the Chiefs more often than not control the pace, tempo, and flow of games – they’re just that good). When we start thinking through the likeliest scenario in this spot, it becomes fairly evident the Chargers should feauture Austin Ekeler heavily in both the run game and pass game. This will, without a doubt, give them the best opportunity to come out of this important divisional game with a win. Regardless of how they ultimately choose to attack here, it is likely we see some additional aggression from the Chargers as they look to go toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes and his Chiefs. Of note: the Chargers rank third in the league in drive success rate (Chiefs rank first), first in the league in yards per drive (Chiefs rank third), but have turned the ball over at the league’s highest rate, leading to just a 15th-ranked points per drive value.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • For the first time since 2016, the Chiefs are not atop the AFC West
  • The Chargers fell to 1-1 on a buzzer beater field goal
  • Andy Reid and Mahomes are versus the Chargers
  • Chiefs totals following a short week: 

Justin Herbert

  • In Week 1, the Chargers offense utilized 11 personnel on 64% of their snaps and 12 personnel on 22%
  • In Week 2, those figures increased to 71% out of 11 and 23% out of 12 (meaning other formations saw even less usage)
  • Through two weeks, the Chargers have had a success rate of 52% out of 11 (94 snaps in total)  and 61% out of 12 (31 snaps)
  • LAC’s ranks fourth in pass rate over expectation after two weeks
  • The second most pressured QB last season, as a rookie, Herbert still led the league in QB rating under pressure
  • Through two weeks, that has regressed to 11th
  • Herbert ranks in the bottom 10 on rate of passes with 15+ air yards through two weeks (11.36%)
  • In all games that closed with a Vegas total line of 50+, here are Herbert’s DK totals: 19.7 // 30.1 // 20.4 // 26.4
  • In all games that ended with 50+ points: 24 // 27.4 // 41.5 // 23.2 // 26.4 // 21.5 // 30.7 // 31 // 36 (@ KC but Mahomes inactive)
  • The Over hit in 56.2% of Chargers games last season
  • In Herbert’s first career game, stepping in last minute due to the lung puncturing Tyrod Taylor received at the hands of team medical staff, he scored 26.2 DK points in a home loss to the Chiefs (20-23)
  • Then in Week 17 last year, Herbert put up 35.98 DK points in a road victory at Arrowhead
  • Mahomes was inactive that game
  • This week marks the first time that Herbert and Mahomes have squared off in a game that Herbert was the expected starter for the entire week while the KC defense game planned

LAC Passing Attack

  • Through two games, the Chargers pass catchers (RB/WR/TE) are third in the league in targets per game with 43, behind only Las Vegas (44.5) and Detroit (45.5)
  • 65.1% of team targets have gone to the WR position
  • KC defense has allowed 54.8% of receiving yardage given up to go to the WR position, 53.8% of the targets, and only 0.5 TDs per game
  • Against RBs, those figures are 11.3%, 15.4%, and 0, respectively
  • But KC has allowed TEs 33.9% of all receiving yardage (most in the league to that position), 30.8% of targets, and 0 TDs
  • Keenan Allen averaged 12.2 targets in 11 full games with Herbert last season
  • Through two games, he’s averaged 10 (12 in Week 1 @ WAS, 8 vs. DAL)
  • Keenan is eighth in total targets among all players
  • Since 2020, Keenan’s DK totals in games that closed with a Vegas total of 50+: 17.8 // 2.6 (limited snap count off of injury) // 16 // 28.3
  • Keenan’s DK totals in games with normal snaps and 50+ points scored: 14.2 // 10.9 // 25.5 // 21.7 // 28.3 // 12.9 // 38.5
  • Here are the career ADoT season averages for Mike Williams, starting with 2017-2020: 12 // 15.6 // 18.3 // 15.8
  • Through two games in 2021, Mike’s ADoT average is 9.9
  • He had only received double digit targets in three total games his first four years
  • Mike had 12 targets in Week 1 and 10 in Week 2. His 22 targets in two games would be more than 25% of his best career season (85 targets)
  • Mike is fourth in total targets for all players, third in WRs
  • His DK points in 2021: 22.2 // 22.1
  • Since 2020, Mike’s DK totals in games that closed with a Vegas total of 50+: 22.1 // 4.2 (less than 50% snaps) // 5.6 // 13.1
  • Mike’s DK totals in games with 50%+ snaps and 50+ points scored: 30.9 // 1.4 // 21 // 13.1 // 5.8 // 17.2 // 25.8
  • Jalen Guyton has seven targets in two games and a PFF grade of 53.9
  • Guyton’s ADoT in 2020 was 16.4
  • Through two weeks in 2021, it’s 5.1
  • Josh Palmer has just three targets in two games
  • Jared Cook has out targeted fellow tight end Donald Parham 13 to 1
  • Cook has turned those targets into eight receptions and DK totals of 10.6 & 5.8

Austin Ekeler

  • Kansas City has allowed the most rushing yards (404), rushing TDs (7), and yards per rush (6.0)
  • Ekeler was the sixth highest scoring RB on DK in Week 2, behind the likes of Cordarrelle Patterson & Tony Pollard, and just ahead of JD McKissic
  • Ekeler had zero targets in Week 1
  • He led all RBs with nine targets in Week 2
  • The Week 3 matchup versus KC will be only the third game with a 50+ Vegas total that Ekeler has been active for alongside Herbert. His DK totals in those games: 22.5 // 11.9 // 23.9
  • Ekeler’s DK totals for games with 50+ Vegas lines prior to Herbert: 24.2 // 13.3 // 9.3 // 1.9 (only 10 offensive snaps) // 12.9
  • Ekeler’s DK totals versus KC: 17.1 // 18.8 // 17.9 // 24.2 // 23.6 // 1.9 (10 offensive snaps)

Patrick Mahomes

  • Last year’s Super Bowl was the first time that the Chiefs failed to score a TD with Mahomes on the roster
  • Mahomes was the most pressured QB in Super Bowl history
  • The Chiefs have since had an OL makeover
  • Since 2018, here are the DK totals for Mahomes in games that closed with a 50+ Vegas total line: 41.84 // 28.26 // 25.86 // 31.98 // 36.82 // 30.02 // 30.8 // 43.92 // 33 // 18.02 // 28.22 // 18.34 // 17.92 // 24.9 // 35.62 // 30.86 // 21 // 21.54 // 20.82 // 16.18 // 41.14 // 35.06 // 20.44 // 43 // 33.7 // 20.6 // 33.88 // 25.52 // 35.28 // 22.32 // 24.62 // 26.86 // 20.22 // 21.6 // 28.5 // 36.28 // 28.02
  • That’s an average of 28.46, with games in there that he played less than 100% of snaps for injury, blowout, playoff rest, or a combination
  • Using the Fantasy Labs Trends tool, that’s a 6.42 DK points over expectation (which uses salary cost to determine expected output)
  • Against the Chargers, Mahomes has scored: 28.34 // 18.02 // 16.18 // 12.06 // 30.48

KC Passing Attack

  • Tyreek Hill leads the Chiefs in targets with 19 in two games
  • He’s caught 14 balls for 211 yards and 1 TD
  • He’s lined up in the slot on 44.6% of his routes and 54.1% out wide, with one snap inline
  • Tyreek had just four targets in the loss to Baltimore Sunday night
  • His 5.9 DK points was the lowest since the game in Buffalo last October, the only single digit DK outing in 2020
  • Tyreek DK totals vs. LAC: 21.8 // 10.1 // 8.1 // 45.3 // 19.8 // 20 // 17.1
  • Tyreek’s totals in games with Vegas totals 50+, since 2018: 5.9 // 40.1 // 29.2 // 22.9 // 10.5 // 17.4 // 26.1 // 14.8 // 60.9 // 30 // 36.1 // 5.5 // 18.3 // 21.2 // 15.6 // 24.4 // 6.5 // 25 // 5.2 // 24.8 // 31.6 // 13.1 // 8.1 // 6 // 46.5 // 12.5 // 10 // 20.6 // 42.2 // 14.6 // 7.6 // 20
  • Travis Kelce has 15 targets through two games
  • He’s produced 13 catches, 185 yards, and 3 TDs
  • Kelce is third in targets behind Darren Waller (26) and TJ Hockenson (20), and second in team target share % behind Waller
  • Since Mahomes took over the Chiefs, Kelce’s DK totals vs. LAC: 
  • Kelce’s DK totals in games with Vegas totals 50+: 26.9 // 25.6 // 39.8 // 27.9 // 22.8 // 22.8 // 30.6 // 30.6 // 16.2 // 29.86 // 28.9 // 22.5 // 27.8 // 14.7 // 17 // 6 // 44.4 // 22.2 // 9.8 // 11 // 15.5 // 15.9 // 26.7 // 11.3 // 20.8 // 11.2 // 10.4 // 13.1 // 42.8 // 31.7 // 28.9 // 19.9 // 14.5 // 11.1 // 20.8 // 22.4 // 32.9
  • Kelce’s DK totals against LAC: 24 // 5.4 // 22.2 // 13.1 // 1.6
  • (It’s odd how many games close with 50+ Vegas totals when Mahomes is at QB…)
  • Mecole Hardman is the only other KC pass catcher with double digit targets so far in 2021
  • He’s caught 8/11, for 74 yards
  • Hardman’s DK totals vs. LAC: 3.5 // 7.3 // 10 // 3.3
  • Demarcus Robinson has five targets, four receptions, 55 yards and a score. His 17.2 ADoT leads the team
  • Robinson’s notable DK scores: 13.6 // 11.8 // 10.9 // 10.4 // 11.4 // 16.3 // 11.9 // 13.3 // 38.2 // 15.9
  • Byron Pringle has caught all three targets for 69 yards and a score. His 90% out of the slot leads the team, but he only has 20 pass routes
  • Pringle’s notable DK scores: 14.3 // 15.2

KC RBs

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire has only three targets in 2021
  • That’s tied with notably not notable Ameer Abdullah
  • In 13 games last season, he averaged 4.2 targets
  • CEH’s DK scores in games with a Vegas total closing line of 50+: 3.6 // 10.2 // 7.7 // 9.3 // 14.1 // 4.9 // 20.7 // 12.4 // 23.9 // 11 // 18.4 // 22.8
  • In one career game versus the Chargers, CEH scored 13 DK points
  • The Chargers have allowed 29.1 DK points per game to the RB position