Last updated: October 24th at 10:15am ET
Team Totals: Packers 26, Chiefs 22
Coming off a six-touchdown eruption versus the fraudulent Raiders, Aaron Rodgers catches a tougher draw at Arrowhead Stadium, where DC Steve Spagnuolo’s defense gets back difference-maker DT Chris Jones (groin) from a two-game absence and moved to top five in the NFL in sacks (20) after annihilating Joe Flacco last Thursday night. Only six teams have allowed fewer yards per pass attempt than Kansas City (6.9), and Spags’ secondary has let up just eight touchdown passes in seven games. Davante Adams (toe) also looks to be another week away from returning. While Rodgers obviously can’t be benched in season-long leagues – he’s fantasy’s overall QB2 behind only Deshaun Watson over the last month – there are reasons to believe Rodgers may undershoot recency-biased expectations. … The best way to attack the Chiefs remains on the ground – they’ve been destroyed for 178/889/5 (4.99 YPC) rushing by enemy backs – most notable for Aaron Jones after he retook Week 7 lead-back duties from Jamaal Williams against Oakland. Hands down the superior talent, Jones out-touched Williams 16 to 7 and out-snapped him 57% to 40%. Williams isn’t going away and remains flex-play viable at Arrowhead, but Jones deserves continued lead-back treatment and locked-in RB2 distinction with RB1 upside each week.
Rodgers’ Week 7 target distribution: Williams and Geronimo Allison 5; Jones, Allen Lazard, and Jimmy Graham 4; Marquez Valdes-Scantling 3; Jake Kumerow and Dan Vitale 2. … Without Adams to control targets and bring clarity to the corps, Packers wideouts have devolved into a whack-a-mole situation. For instance, banged-up Valdes-Scantling turned in his season-best game (2/133/1) in last week’s win over Oakland but ran the fourth-fewest routes among Green Bay receivers (13). Week 6 star Lazard ran the most pass patterns (28) but finished fifth on the team in receiving yards (42). Allison tied for the team lead in targets, and Kumerow parlayed his two looks into 54 yards, including a brilliant 37-yard sideline score. Graham resurrected for a perfect 4/65/1 stat line on four targets. Even FB Vitale chipped in gains of 26 and 16. The good news is Week 8’s matchup sets up nicely on paper; D.J. Chark (4/146/1), Chris Conley (6/97/1), Courtland Sutton (6/87/0), Marvin Jones (3/77/0), Kenny Golladay (5/67/2), Emmanuel Sanders (5/60/0), DeAndre Hopkins (9/55/0), Tyrell Williams (5/46/1), and Dede Westbrook (5/30/1) have all exposed the vulnerability of Spags’ secondary. The bad news is Green Bay runs a four-man wideout rotation, uses both backs in the passing game, and sporadically involves Graham. That severe lack of predictability renders the entire pass-catcher corps a fantasy crapshoot on Sunday night.
The Chiefs will turn to 13th-year backup Matt Moore in relief of Patrick Mahomes (knee) beginning with Sunday night’s home bout with the Packers, whose Mike Pettine-coordinated defense has held 5-of-7 quarterbacks faced to fantasy results of QB16 or worse while ranking top 12 in sacks (18) and QB hits (37). Chiefs coach Andy Reid figures to approach Moore as a poor man’s Alex Smith, whose box-score success was always a product of his surrounding parts. The Chiefs’ supporting cast is finally healthy after an injury-plagued first half of the year, and Reid’s scheme famously elevates individual pieces. Moore’s floor and ceiling may seem low, but he is an underrated two-quarterback-league start in this favorable offensive environment. The Chiefs are also getting back LT Eric Fisher (sports hernia) from a five-game absence. … As enemy backs have carved Pettine’s defense for 160/799/7 (4.99 YPC) rushing, Reid might be smart to build a running back-focused game plan sans Mahomes. LeSean McCoy was Reid’s back of choice in each of Kansas City’s last two games on touch counts of 10 and 14, whereas Damien Williams (2, 11) and Darrel Williams (1, 4) took considerable backseats. While all Chiefs backs remain dicey fantasy bets, McCoy’s outlook appears to be most favorable with double-digit touches in 6-of-7 games and as a home-favorite lead back in this plus draw. Damien is playable only on one-game DFS slates.
Moore’s 2019 target distribution: Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce 5; Demarcus Robinson 3; Damien 2; McCoy, Darrel, and Mecole Hardman 1. … For comparison’s sake, Moore’s career yards per attempt is 7.0 versus Alex Smith’s 6.9, and Moore’s TD Rate (4.6%) is superior to Smith’s (3.9%). In Smith’s final Chiefs season (2017), Tyreek was fantasy’s WR4 and Kelce the overall TE2. … Hill progressed to a season-high 87% of last week’s snaps and iced Denver by whipping top CB Chris Harris for a 57-yard score. Quarterback and matchup proof, Hill has shown time and again he’s a player to never bet against. Packers top CB Jaire Alexander has struggled of late, allowing three touchdowns and 10.4 yards per attempt when targeted over the last month. … Not only is Kelce popping in Week 8’s Air Yards Buy Low Model, his matchup is juicy. Rocked by Darren Waller for last week’s overall TE1 performance, Packers opponents are 38-of-50 passing for 383 yards (7.7 YPA) and four touchdowns when targeting tight ends. Especially on Thursday-through-Monday slates, no one will be playing Kelce in DFS this week. … Sammy Watkins (hamstring) is finally due back to throw a wrench into Kansas City’s wide receiver pecking order. In terms of routes run, last week’s distribution was Hill (29) > Robinson (28) > Hardman (18) > Byron Pringle (4). My guess is Sunday night’s primary three-receiver package will place Hill and Robinson outside with Watkins in the slot, Hardman mixing in rotationally, and Pringle focusing on special teams.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 23, Packers 21