Kickoff Sunday, Oct 24th 1:00pm Eastern

Chiefs (
31) at

Titans (
27)

Over/Under 58.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Chiefs Run D
25th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per carry
Titans Run O
15th DVOA/5th Yards per carry
Chiefs Pass D
16th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per pass
Titans Pass O
22nd DVOA/23rd Yards per pass
Titans Run D
18th DVOA/6th Yards allowed per carry
Chiefs Run O
7th DVOA/16th Yards per carry
Titans Pass D
13th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per pass
Chiefs Pass O
10th DVOA/4th Yards per pass
GAME OVERVIEW::
BY Hilow >>>
  • The field might struggle to attack this game optimally – as in, it isn’t as simple as “each team should smash so let’s build all our rosters around this spot.”
  • Thinking through the potential game scripts and scenarios gives us a significant edge for the highest profile game of the week (which will be done in the DFS Interpretation section below).
  • That said, Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Derrick Henry are all set up well in this game, with ancillary pass-catchers from each side viable in rosters that cater to various potential game environments.
HOW KANSAS CITY WILL TRY TO WIN::

The 3-3 Kansas City Chiefs go on the road to face a potential playoff opponent in a game that could decide the playoff home team. To say this game has more meaning than your typical Week 7 matchup is an understatement. In their first game without second-year starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs passed the ball at a 64% situation-neutral clip, right in line with their 62% marks over the course of the first six weeks. Darel Williams filled in as the primary ball-carrier and saw a massive 25 running back opportunities en route to almost 24 fantasy points. BUT (yup, here’s the “but”) he did so on the backs of two short touchdown plunges (three and one-yard scores) and a putrid 3.0 yards per carry. Don’t be fooled into thinking he will somehow evolve into the primary focus of this offense. That honor rests squarely on the shoulders of Patrick Mahomes. Since the rush-to-pass ratios have remained fairly consistent for the Chiefs this season, the biggest influence on expected volume for each lands on the total number of offensive plays the Chiefs run from scrimmage. And since they boast the most efficient offense in the league, capable of scoring fast and sustaining drives, the most impactful metric to their total offensive plays run from scrimmage in games has been how quickly their opponents can score. This is an important idea when considering the various ways this game can play out (which we will get into more below!).

As alluded to earlier, we should expect Darel Williams to act as the primary ball-carrier, with Jerick McKinnon spelling him in a change of pace and third-down role. McKinnon has seen snap rates of 31% and 28% the previous two weeks (the week CEH got hurt and the week after he was placed on IR), which is a solid projection for Week 7. In those two games, he saw opportunity totals of three and seven. There is nothing in the metrics that hint at an expanded role here, leaving him out of consideration for fantasy purposes. Darel Williams’ volume should then be considered a direct result of the number of offensive plays run from scrimmage by the Chiefs as their week-to-week rush-pass rates have remained fairly sticky.

Similar to the expected volume of the running backs, Patrick Mahomes’ pass volume is highly reliant on the total number of offensive plays the Chiefs are able to run (more so than game environment). Since that volume relies so heavily on how quickly opponents are able to score on the Chiefs (because the Chiefs rank dead last in the NFL in defensive drive metrics like yards allowed per drive and drive success rate allowed), paired with the fact that the Titans offense is so heavily built around the run, and their running back is capable of breaking off chunk gains on every touch, and we start to see a clearer picture regarding how the optimal way to approach this game. Tyreek Hill has seen 12 or more targets in three consecutive weeks, while Travis Kelce has seen double-digit looks in three of the last four contests. These two represent 50.5% of the team’s target market share to date, highlighting just how involved they are on a weekly basis. Behind Hill and Kelce, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman each typically play between 60% and 80% of the offensive snaps and should be considered high ceiling, low floor plays. Byron Pringle has not seen a substantial boost to snap rate this season as many thought he might and should be reserved for deep MME play. 

HOW TENNESSEE WILL TRY TO WIN::

5.2. That’s the yards allowed per rush from the Kansas City defense this season. Browns, Ravens, Chargers, Eagles, Bills, and the Football Team. Those have been their opponents. Those teams rank second, 24th, 15th, 21st, eighth, and 18th in adjusted line yards on offense this year, indicating that the poor yards allowed per rush from the Kansas City defense are not simply a factor of teams they have played to this point. Tennessee holds the league’s sixth highest situation-neutral rush rate through six weeks, a year after finishing third highest. The Titans have a running back named Derrick Henry who leads the league in rushing, after leading the league each of the last two years. It is no secret how the Titans will attempt to win this game, the only question becomes how deep into it they’ll be able to stick to that plan of attack considering their own shortcomings on defense (27th in DVOA against the pass does not bode well against the Cheifs).

The matchup on the ground yields an elite 4.66 net-adjusted line yards metric but the Titans are likely to be without perennial All-Pro Tackle Taylor Lewan after he was carted off the field in Week 6 with a scary-looking head injury that was ultimately deemed a concussion. We all know the drill by now – Derrick Henry, by the numbers, gets better as the game progresses. This should primarily be attributed to the beating he inflicts on opposing defenses over four grueling quarters of play. I would say the injury to Anthony Hitchens is a big deal for the Chiefs, but that simply isn’t the case. Hitchens is one of PFF’s worst-graded linebackers in the league this season.

Although not typically thought of as the main cog of the offense, the pass game could see a boost to volume depending on game script. Furthering the intrigue are the multitude of injuries to the primary pass-catchers. AJ Brown has yet to practice this week (as of Thursday) with the stomach troubles associated with food poisoning while Julio Jones returned to a limited practice on Thursday following a missed practice on Wednesday with a hamstring injury. Keep an eye on the statuses of both heading into the weekend, as an absence from either would both narrow down the expected target distribution as well as vault Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Marcus Johnson into prominent roles. Behind those four, expect Chester Rogers to operate as wide receiver depth assuming Josh Reynolds, who was inactive via coaching decision on Monday Night Football this past week, is once again held out. Rogers has also yet to practice this week but his absence would be nearly inconsequential with Marcus Johnson now healthy. The 18% tight end target rate falls just below league average but has led to a season-high of only five targets to any one of Anthony Firkser, Geoff Swaim, and MyCole Pruitt.  

LIKELIEST GAME FLOW::

There is a wide range of potential outcomes with respect to likeliest game flow here, leading to a situation that is best attacked by singling out various game scenarios on different rosters. For the primary fantasy players, those potential game environments don’t alter the low end of their respective range of outcomes (floor), instead extending or contracting the theoretical ceiling. As in, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce can each be counted on for a couple of the highest floors on the week, but their ceiling greatly depends on the potential for expanded volume (a shootout or playing from behind). Similarly, Derrick Henry and his heavy volume are nearly locked in but his ceiling depends greatly on touchdowns, which would have a large effect on the expected game environment. Secondary members of each team should be reserved for game stacks as each typically does not see the requisite volume in order to provide solid price-considered returns.


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • The two games in the Mahomes-Tanny era (both in 2019 season) have produced scores of 32-35 & 35-24
  • 2021 KC totals: 62 // 71 // 54 // 72 // 58 // 44
  • 2021 TEN totals: 51 // 63 // 41 // 51 // 56
  • Yds/play allowed: KC (32nd), TEN (27th)

Patrick Mahomes:

  • TEN ranks 27th in def pass DVOA
  • 2021 QBs vs TEN: Kyler (289:4:1) // Russ (343:2) // Wentz (194:0) // Wilson (297:2:1) // Lawrence (273:1:1) // Allen ()
  • Mahomes yds/TDs: 337:3 // 343:3 // 260:3 // 278:5 // 272:2 // 397:2
  • Mahomes has been intercepted 8 times in 6 weeks
  • TEN has just 3 INT in 6 weeks
  • QB rushing vs TEN: Kyler (5:20:1) // Lawrence (7:28:1)
  • Mahomes rush yds: 18, TD // 3 // 45 // 26 // 61 // 31
  • Mahomes DK scores when KC implied for 29+ pts on the road: 2018 (30.8, 43.9, 33) // 2019 (35.6, 21) // 2020 (20.6, 25.5, 35.3, 24.6) // 2021 (32.7, 28)

Tyreek Hill:

  • Only ATL allowed more WR DK pts than TEN in 2020
  • TEN has allowed the most WR DK pts in 2021 by 4 pts/g more than next closest
  • Seven WRs vs TEN in 2021 have scored 20+ DK pts: Hopkins (26.3), Kirk (24) // Lockett (34.8), Swain (21) // Davis (24.1) // Diggs (23.9), Beasley (21.8)
  • Tyreek Hill has finished above 60 rec yds in 40 of his 53 full games since 2018
  • The final game scores of Hill’s 25+ pt scores since 2020: (35-9), (33-31), (35-31), (27-24), (33-27), (38-24), (33-29), (42-30)
  • Hill targets: 15 // 4 // 7 // 12 // 13 // 12
  • Hill in the two Mahomes vs TEN games: 11:157:1 // 5:67:2
  • TEN has allowed the 8th highest explosive pass rate to WRs
  • Since 2019 (nearly 2.5 seasons), the quartet of Watkins, Hardman, Robinson, Pringle has produced just five scores of 20+ DK pts, and the two biggest came during the absence of Hill
  • One of those scores came in the second TEN game with Watkins putting up 7:114:1 on 10 tg
  • Hardman & Watkins each caught a 60+ yd TD vs TEN in 2019 matchups
  • Hardman has 76 & 62 yds in the last two weeks

Travis Kelce:

  • Kelce targets this year: 7, 8, 11, 6, 10, 11
  • The only TEs with more than 3 tg vs TEN are Ryan Griffin (1:8) & Dan Arnold (6:66)
  • Kelce in the two Mahomes vs TEN games: 7:75:1 // 3:30
  • Jody Fortson, one of KC’s backup TEs, scored 2 TDs already this year but has now been lost for the season
  • Kelce has 5 RZ touches on season (Hill with 9, Hardman with 5)
  • Since 2020: DK pts when Hill sub-15 DK pts: 22.5 // 30.6 // 22.8 // 26.9 // 20.4 // 17.7
  • Since 2020: DK pts when Hill 25+ DK pts: 27.9 // 28.9 // 29.9 // 16.2 // 30.6 // 25.6 // 6.3
  • Since 2020: Kelce has produced 70+ yds in 18/24 games, including 11 100yd games and 18 TDs

Darrel Williams:

  • Williams led McKinnon in rush att 26 to 1 through five weeks, and got 21 att to McKinnon’s 3 in his first start
  • Williams leads McKinnon in targets 14 to 7 through six weeks
  • Rush att without CEH in 2020: Williams (6, 10, 13) // Bell (11, 7, 2)
  • Targets without CEH in 2020: Williams (2, 6, 4) // Bell (3, 3, 2)
  • Williams basically absorbed most of 2020 Bell’s usage for himself, with 25 touches to McKinnon’s 7
  • That was a KC RB’s first game with 20+ carries since W6 vs BUF in 2020
  • TEN ranks 21st in defensive rush DVOA
  • RB total yds vs TEN: Edmonds (106), Conner (53) // Carson (31) // Taylor (72), Hines (79) // Carter (34), Coleman (31) // Robinson (147) // Singletary (43), Moss (39)
  • Damien Williams in the Mahomes vs TEN games:: (19:77, 5:32) // (17:45:1, 5:44)
  • TEN has allowed 5 RB rush TDs, but no RB rec TDs through six games

Ryan Tannehill:

  • Since TEN’s 13 pt clunker vs ARI in W1, TEN has scored 33 // 25 // 24 // 30 // 34 offensive points
  • KC has allowed the 4th most pts (though just one less than 2nd & 3rd)
  • KC ranks 31st in defensive pass DVOA even after a strong W6
  • QB rushing production vs KC: Lamar (16:107:2) // Hurts (8:47) // Allen (11:59:1)
  • Tanny rushing: 2:17:1 // 4:27 // 5:56 // 3:9 // 3:21 // 2:3:1
  • Tanny vs 2019 KC: 181:2, 3:37 // 209:2, 3:11
  • 2021 QB pass yds vs KC: 321 // 239 // 281 // 387 // 315 // 182
  • Tannehill has passed for 300 yds in just 4 of his 23 starts since 2020

TEN WRs:

  • TEN WRs have underwhelmed to start 2021, with each scoring over 15 DK pts just once so far (Brown: 16.1 // Julio: 21.8)
  • Top WRs vs KC: Landry (5:71, rush TD) // Brown (6:113:1) // Williams (7:122:2), Allen (8:50:1) // Smith (7:122) // Sanders (3:54:2), Diggs (2:69) // McLaurin (4:28)
  • Tgs when both Brown & Julio played full: Brown (8, 9, 9) // Julio (6, 8, 5)
  • 218 underdog WRs averaging 8+ tg since 2014 in 50+ pt total games are averaging 17.68 points
  • Some notable WR scores that have fit this criteria in 2021 (DK pts): Cooper (41.9) // Hopkins (26.3) // Jefferson (18.5, 29.8, 20.4) // Ridley (19.3) // Mike Will (36.2) // Kupp (30.6) // Adams (34.2) // Moore (34.9) // Metcalf (16.5, 26.8) // McLaurin (6.8)

TEN TEs:

  • TEN TEs in KC matchups: Jonnu (4:30, 3:38) // Firkser (3:36:1, 1:22:1)
  • KC ranks 31st in both defensive success rate & yds/att allowed to TEs
  • TEs vs KC: CLE (7:120) // BAL (6:66) // LAC (5:57) // PHI (11:116:1) // BUF (4:118:1) // WAS (5:65:1)
  • Season-highs for TEN TEs: Firkser (3:33) // Pruitt (3:43)

Derrick Henry:

  • Henry has already rushed for 10 TDs (three games of 3)
  • KC has allowed 5 RB rush TDs through six weeks
  • KC ranks 32nd in defensive rush DVOA
  • Of KC’s 799 rush yds allowed (6th most), just 518 of them have come from RBs (15th fewest)
  • Henry’s rush yds: 58 // 182 // 113 // 157 // 130 // 143
  • A RB has topped 50 rec yds vs KC in four straight: Ekeler (52:1) // Gainwell (58) // Moss (55) // McKissic (65)
  • Henry had 3+ rec in each of first three weeks, but in the last three has totaled just 4 rec for 33 yds
  • Henry vs Mahomes KC: 23:188:2, 2:3 // 19:69:1, 2:-8
  • Henry as a home dog in 2020: 19.3 // 14.9 // 8.1 DK pts
  • Henry as a home dog in 2021: 38.6 DK pts (vs BUF)
  • At least one TEN player scored 20+ DK pts in 14/16 games in 2020
  • No TEN player scored 20 in W1, but Henry has scored 20+ in every game since (50.7, 22.4, 28.7, 34, 38.6)