Game Overview ::
By Hilow >>
- Skyy Moore missed practice on Tuesday and returned for a limited session on Wednesday (he suffered a laceration that required stitches in Week 17).
- Mecole Hardman was activated from injured reserve on Wednesday and got in a limited practice.
- The Chiefs are the only remaining team in the league to hold a pass rate over expectation (PROE) value at or above league average in every game they have played this season.
- The Raiders have allowed 246.8 pass yards per game and rank 32nd in DVOA against the pass.
- Josh Jacobs was limited on Tuesday before being listed as out during Wednesday’s walkthrough practice.
How kansas city Will Try To Win ::
The Chiefs are caught up in the uncertainty surrounding the NFL schedule that was induced by the horrific situation with Damar Hamlin during the Bills-Bengals game on Monday night. There are too many variables to speculate what will happen with the postponed game, but suffice it to say, the Chiefs want to win this game as they continue to fight for the top overall seed out of the AFC. That removes any of the motivation issues that will plague Week 18, allowing us to approach this side of the game through our normal exploration. Kansas City is the only remaining team in the league to hold a PROE value at or above league average in every game they have played this season, with only three games near league average (and the rest far above league average). Their first half pace of play ranks sixth in the league and their situation neutral pace of play ranks third, giving us a clear indication of how they are trying to win games. And it makes sense as they have this dude named Patrick Mahomes on their team, why wouldn’t they want as many plays run from scrimmage as possible in a game? Basically, they function through the lens that their offense can go toe to toe with any offense in the league, and they want to increase the sample size in a given game to allow more room for that advantage to play out. Expect more of the same against their division rivals here.
You have to go all the back to Week 12 to find a game where Isiah Pacheco handily out-snapped Jerick McKinnon. Furthermore, McKinnon has played more than 85% of the offensive snaps in the red zone since the team’s Week 8 bye week. Basically, Jerick McKinnon is this team’s RB1, even though Pacheco gets the starts on paper. To break that down a bit further, Pacheco has a clearly defined role as the early down back between the 20s, with McKinnon operating as the change of pace back, the primary red zone back, the two-minute offense back, and the clear passing down back. McKinnon also just set the NFL record with receiving touchdowns in five consecutive games (he has seven over that time frame). The pure rushing matchup yields a well above average 4.65 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Raiders defense allowing the fourth most fantasy points per game, third most targets, and 17 total touchdowns to the position this season.
Mecole Hardman’s likely return to the pass-catching corps for the Chiefs introduces further uncertainty to the snap rates behind Travis Kelce and JuJu Smith-Schuster, the latter two of which should be considered the only two players to operate in a near every-down role for Kansas City on a standard week. Expect all of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson, Mecole Hardman, Skyy Moore, and Kadarius Toney to fight for playing time in an offense that has utilized 12-personnel between 40 and 50% of their offensive snaps in each game since Week 11. The final consideration for this pass-catching unit as it pertains to fantasy utility is the fact that Hardman had been the primary schemed usage player in the red zone before hitting injured reserve, a role that Jerick McKinnon has soaked up in his stead. It will be interesting to see how that role shakes out with Hardman back. The big picture here is the Raiders have allowed 246.8 pass yards per game this season (fourth most in the league) and are ranked dead last in DVOA against the pass . . . and they are going against the Chiefs.
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