Fantasy Football Thursday Night Football Primer: Chargers vs. Chiefs (Week 2)

Every week, I’ll be writing a complete primer on each NFL matchup and all the related gamers, matchups, tempo and playcalling notes, and accidents. It covers every thing you might want to know when setting your lineups. But since that article is huge and requires a full pot of espresso, we’re additionally going to supply these extra targeted matchup overviews.

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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Injuries

*Our team-specific damage information desk and inactive participant pages are linked beneath*

Los Angeles – Injury Reports

Kansas City – Injury Reports

Quarterbacks

Justin Herbert: Last 12 months towards the Chiefs’ Justin Herbert was a lot better for fantasy (QB5, QB2) than in actual life. He logged two top-five performances on the energy of fourth passing scores in a single recreation and a speeding landing within the different. Herbert, by way of the air, was okay finishing 63.1% of his passes (averaging 258.5 passing yards), however with solely 6.8 yards per try to point out for it. Despite destroying Kyler Murray in Week 1, this is not a move protection to worry. Last 12 months the Chiefs posted the eighth-highest adjusted completion charge whereas sitting at ninth in yards per try and fourth in deep passing yards. The one concern Herbert may have is that if the Chiefs’ move rush can get dwelling. Last 12 months Kansas City was fifth in strain charge and eighth in blitz charge. Herbert had the Twelfth-highest completion charge distinction when blitzed and the tenth-lowest passer score towards the blitz (minimal 200 dropbacks). The scoring surroundings is good, however Herbert may disappoint this week. He’s a mid-range QB1.

Patrick Mahomes: Last 12 months, the Bolts’ move protection was thirteenth in yards per try and 14th in passing touchdowns allowed. Patrick Mahomes carved them up of their two conferences, finishing 63.7% of his passes and averaging 335 passing yards with a 6:3 passing landing to interception ratio. In these two video games, Mahomes went deep on 11.1% of his passes which is not prone to be the assault plan in Week 2. Outside of these video games, Mahomes had a 9.7% deep charge final 12 months, right down to 7.7% by way of one recreation of the 2022 season. Mahomes ought to preserve issues quick and let his receivers try this work towards a group that allowed the seventh-fewest deep passing yards final 12 months. Mahomes is a prime 3-5 fantasy quarterback once more this week.

Running Backs

Austin Ekeler: Austin Ekeler wasn’t alone final week within the backfield. Ekeler solely performed 49% of the Chargers’ snaps which is odd contemplating he solely dropped beneath 58% of snaps twice throughout all the 2021 season. The Bolts have referred to wanting to maintain Ekeler recent by working in different backs. It’s one factor to listen to about it and fairly one other to see it unfold. The largest concern was Ekler’s 38.2% dropback charge per route. Joshua Kelley and Sony Michel stealing some early down work is not a large concern, however with them consuming into his routes, it is one thing to look at, and it drops Ekeler into low-end RB1 territory. I do not wish to overreact to a one-week pattern of utilization, but when we see this proceed into Week 2, it could possibly be time to press the silent alarm button.

Austin Ekeler was the RB8 and RB5 final 12 months in his two video games towards the Chiefs, averaging 16.5 touches and 94.5 complete yards. Kansas City is a juicy matchup for Ekeler, offered he will get the job. Last 12 months they allowed the second-highest yards per try and ranked twenty sixth in DVOA towards receiving backs. They noticed the fifth-most working again targets whereas permitting the fourth-most receptions and third-most receiving yards.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Last week, earlier than the Chiefs achieved the total thrashing of Arizona, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was working because the lead again with ten touches (Jerick McKinnon 4, Isiah Pacheco two). Edwards-Helaire secured all three of his targets and, in complete, turned his ten touches into 74 complete yards. His 2.88 yards after contact per try on this small pattern was strikingly much like his rookie season (3.03). While the Chargers had been eighth in DVOA towards working backs by way of the air final 12 months, they allowed the third-most speeding yards and second-most speeding touchdowns. After permitting Josh Jacobs to run for five.7 yards per carry final week, they do not look any completely different from the group that completed final 12 months twenty eighth in adjusted line yards and second-level yards. CEH is a robust RB2 once more in Week 2.

Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen: Currently I’m projecting him to overlook this recreation, however keep glued to observe studies all week for readability. Update: Keenan Allen has been dominated out for Week 2.

Mike Williams: Mike Williams flopped in Week 1. There’s no manner round it. Despite main the group with 31 routes, he solely noticed an 11.8% goal share with one air yard. Yes, you learn that proper. One air yard. His 3.8 aDOT in Week 1 was harking back to final 12 months’s begin to the season when it was 9.8 by way of three video games. Yes, I do know that is extra excessive. I’m not able to press the panic button for a participant that will probably be leaned on by Herbert this week, with Keenan Allen doubtless out. The expertise continues to be there. Williams was fifth in highway wins final 12 months.

Last 12 months he averaged 9 targets towards Kansas City with one excellent recreation (seven receptions, 122 receiving yards, WR1) and one dud (WR46). Williams ran about 84% of his routes on the surface final week, which suggests he’ll match up with seventh-round rookie Jaylen Watson and Rashad Fenton. Fenton allowed a 69.2% catch charge and 91.2 passer score final 12 months. Herbert ought to reap the benefits of Williams’ dimension towards the 5’11” 193-pound Fenton.

Joshua Palmer: Joshua Palmer completed second amongst wideouts in routes run final week (25). He was on the boundary for 60% of his routes which may proceed or improve this week if DeAndre Carter resumes the slot function. Palmer was solely focused on 12.0% of his routes which had been wretched. Palmer did not show the flexibility to attract targets at a excessive charge final 12 months (18.1%, 76th) nor be environment friendly with them (1.31 yards per route run, 83rd), so rely me beneath consensus on Palmer hype coming into Week 2. Palmer may have a strong day merely based mostly on quantity towards Watson and Fenton, however do not count on a moon shot recreation. Palmer is a WR4 with upside.

DeAndre Carter: If you are on the lookout for a deep league or last-second beginning candidate with upside, it is DeAndre Carter. Carter got here off the bench final week and ran from the slot on 71.4% of his snaps. He drew a goal on 28.5% of his routes. Last 12 months within the 4 video games the place he ran 25 or extra routes with Washington, he posted yards per route run marks 1.7 or larger 3 times (1.77, 1.70, 2.1). If Carter is the first slot receiver once more this week, I like his potential upside towards L’Jarius Sneed. Last 12 months Sneed allowed a 75.0% catch charge and 100.5 passer score in protection.

JuJu Smith-Schuster: Ok. I’ll point out earlier than we get into discussing Juju Smith-Schuster that I used to be out. All the best way out on Smith-Schuster for 2022. If I used to be flawed about him I’ll personal the L fortunately. Ok now to Smith-Schuster. He was second amongst huge receivers in routes (one lower than Marquez Valdes-Scantling) whereas main the group with a 20.5% goal share and 54 air yards (2.47 yards per route run). He rotated between the slot (42.9%) and outdoors. I’m curious if we see his slot charge climb larger this week. When he is outdoors he’ll match up with Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr. (assuming JC Jackson stays out). Davis allowed a 55.0% catch charge and 97.4 passer score final 12 months. Samuel gave up a 67.9% catch charge and 101.0 passer score. Why I feel Smith-Schuster’s slot utilization may climb is to reap the benefits of Bryce Callahan. Callahan stands at 5’9″ which might be advantageous from the soar for Smith-Schuster (6’1″). Callahan allowed a 66.7% catch charge and 102.0 passer score final season.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Marquez Valdes-Scantling was only a man final week. He solely drew a ten.3% goal share regardless of working a route on 80.4% of dropbacks. With just one crimson zone goal and missing the deep function (zero deep targets), he is week flex play for Week 2. He’ll run about 65% of his routes towards Davis and Samuel.

Mecole Hardman: Mecole Hardman is the utilization powder keg that would explode in Week 2. Hardman solely ran a route on 60.9% of Mahomes’ dropbacks, however the blowout could possibly be answerable for a part of this. Hardman was utilized from the slot on 63% of his routes which pins him towards Callahan in Week 2. This big-time love for Hardman comes from his excessive leverage goal utilization. He was the one huge receiver to see a deep goal (two) in Week 1 whereas additionally main the best way in crimson zone targets (three). Unless you are in a deeper league or dynasty format, you most likely will not must delve right down to Hardman for a flex in Week 2, however if you happen to’re on this spot, the reward could possibly be substantial.

Tight Ends

Gerald Everett: Gerald Everett’s Week 1 utilization was good. He ran a route on 67.6% of dropbacks. In an ideal world, would we would like that nearer to 75%? Sure, however his different peripherals had been encouraging. While he solely commanded an 11.8% goal share, he led the group with two crimson zone targets and managed 2.35 yards per route run. These are numbers we are able to positively stay with. The Chiefs had been a middle-of-the-road matchup final 12 months, rating seventeenth in DVOA and fifteenth in receptions, and receiving yards allowed to tight ends.

Travis Kelce: Travis Kelce was Travis Kelce in Week 1. He ranked fourth in goal share (23.1%), first in receiving yards (121), and tied for first in crimson zone targets (two) amongst tight ends. Last season Kelce destroyed the Chargers, and he is primed to do it once more in 2022. He averaged a ridiculous 12 targets, 8.5 receptions, and 147.5 receiving yards towards the Bolts ending because the TE4 and TE1. After permitting Darren Waller to rumble for 79 yards on 4 catches final week, the Chargers’ protection carefully resembles the squad that ranked twenty third in DVOA with probably the most receiving yards and second-most receiving touchdowns allowed to tight ends final 12 months.

Thursday Night Football DFS Plays

Top shelf captains: Travis Kelce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Patrick Mahomes, Juju Smith-Schuster

Contrarian captains / Flex performs: Gerald Everett, Mike Williams, DeAndre Carter, Mecole Hardman, Austin Ekeler

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