Last updated: November 13th at 5:04pm ET.
Team Totals: Chiefs 28, Chargers 24
Patrick Mahomes showed minimal aftereffects from his three-week ankle sprain in last Sunday’s return at Nashville, spraying a typically staunch Titans defense for Week 10’s QB3 score on three touchdowns and a season-high 446 yards. In two career meetings with Chargers DC Gus Bradley’s defense, Mahomes is 39-of-61 passing (64%) for 499 yards (8.2 YPA), six touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Particularly with his pass-catching arsenal fully at hand, Mahomes is neck and neck with Lamar Jackson as Week 11’s top fantasy quarterback play. … With LeSean McCoy healthy scratched at Tennessee, Damien Williams retook command of Kansas City’s backfield on season highs in routes run (31), playing time (73%), and touches (24) against the Titans, while Darrel Williams (3 touches) and Darwin Thompson (2) took clear backseats. Even as Damien’s first-half lost fumble was returned for a pick six, Andy Reid never wavered feeding his top all-purpose back. Running backs facing the Chargers have averaged a crisp 4.40 yards per carry and 5.5 catches per game, positioning Damien for fringe RB1/2 fantasy treatment and high-end RB1 upside in Kansas City’s high-scoring attack. … On Monday, Reid attributed McCoy’s Week 10 inactivity to the fact that Shady is “not getting any younger,” a kind way of calling McCoy washed up.
Mahomes’ Week 10 target distribution: Tyreek Hill 19; Sammy Watkins 9; Travis Kelce 7; Damien and Demarcus Robinson 5; Darrel, Mecole Hardman, Thompson, and Deon Yelder 1. … Beginning with most recent, Hill’s last four receiving lines against the Chargers are 4/46/0 > 7/169/2 > 5/88/1 > 5/77/1, while Tyreek has shown a high 2019 floor with 80-plus yards and/or a touchdown in five straight games. The owner of Casey Hayward’s on-field soul time and again, Hill is an exciting WR1 play on Monday night. … Watkins checked in as Week 11’s No. 3 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model and has drawn eight-plus targets in 6-of-7 fully-played games. While his ceiling may be limited with Hill, Kelce, and Damien all healthy, Watkins remains a strong WR3 play in this potential track meet. … In a probable small-sample fluke, Kelce’s historical results against the Chargers are worse than any other team on stat lines beginning most recent: 7/61/0 > 1/6/0 > 6/46/0 > 1/1/0 > 1/8/0. Particularly with shutdown S Derwin James (foot, I.R.) out at least two more weeks, this isn’t a matchup to fear for Kelce despite his track record. Last week’s bout with Tennessee was also perceived as difficult, yet Kelce emerged with 7/75/1 receiving and nearly caught an additional 16-yard score only for Hill’s holding penalty to negate it. … Here’s how Chiefs pass-catcher routes were distributed in Mahomes’ Week 10 return: Kelce 48; Hill 44; Watkins 39; Robinson 38; Hardman 16. … Among Kansas City’s ancillary pass catchers, Robinson makes the most sense with a big route-running role and four or more targets in 7-of-10 games. … In fantasy, no player is more big-play reliant than Hardman, who hasn’t topped three targets since Week 6.
The Titans provided a Week 10 template for the Chargers to attack the Chiefs, hammering the ball down Kansas City’s throat with 26 run plays compared to 19 passes. Kansas City’s run-stopping inability is no secret, surrendering a 246/1,245/8 (5.06 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs on the year. Under rookie OC Shane Steichen, Melvin Gordon has emerged as Los Angeles’ offensive focus on touches/yardage/TD counts of 23/109/2 and 23/133/1 over the Chargers’ last two games, regaining every-week RB1 value in season-long leagues. This is a perfect opportunity for the Bolts to ride Gordon hard. … Gordon’s bellcow reemergence hasn’t taken away from Austin Ekeler’s flex viability; Ekeler has 24 touches over L.A.’s last two games and played 45% of last week’s offensive snaps. The Chiefs have allowed the NFL’s second-most running back receiving yards (571), setting up Ekeler for a PPR-friendly performance on Monday night. Ekeler has totaled 80-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 9-of-10 games. … This game’s shootout potential suggests Philip Rivers has a shot to beat usual fantasy expectations, yet Rivers hasn’t scored above QB9 all year. The good news is 7-of-10 quarterbacks to face Kansas City have delivered top-12 outcomes, suggesting Rivers is a safe play whose ceiling is raised by this game’s high-scoring potential.
Rivers’ target distribution under Steichen: Hunter Henry 17; Keenan Allen 15; Ekeler and Mike Williams 6; Gordon 5. … Henry is an elite-TE1 monster with 47-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 6-of-6 games, while Kansas City has permitted the NFL’s second-most catches (65) and sixth-most yards (589) to tight ends. Henry has reemerged as an easy top-three play at fantasy’s most-frustrating position. … Popping as Week 11’s No. 2 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model, Allen has double-digit targets in three of his last four games and is primed for positive-TD regression without a pay-dirt trip since Week 3. Allen ranks top eight in the NFL in red-zone targets (12) yet has flukily scored on only two of them. … Williams’ target counts are 3 and 3 since Steichen replaced Ken Whisenhunt calling plays, and his Air Yards (126) during that span are less than both Henry (197) and Allen (175). Williams is viable on one-game DFS slates but difficult to trust as more than a Hail Mary WR3/flex in season-long leagues.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 30, Chargers 24