Last updated: October 10th at 4:45pm ET
Team Totals: Chiefs 29.5, Texans 25.5
Texans-Chiefs predictably has Week 6’s highest total (55) and is an obvious game to lean toward in all lineup decisions. … Deshaun Watson’s biggest week-to-week obstacle is always pass protection, but he should get comfortable pockets here with Kansas City missing interior difference-maker DT Chris Jones (groin) while ranking 21st in sack rate (5.9%) and 26th in QB Hit Rate (12.2%) in DC Steve Spagnuolo’s first year. After the Texans reshuffled offensive-line components, Watson was not sacked for just the second time in his career and took a single hit in last week’s shootout win over Atlanta. In Watson’s 27 starts, his yards per pass attempt (7.95 to 8.77) and yards per carry (5.78 to 6.22) both spike on the road, while the Chiefs have allowed the NFL’s ninth-most QB rushing yards this year. … One risk to Watson’s Week 6 ceiling is the possibility coach Bill O’Brien tries to jam Carlos Hyde down Kansas City’s throat, somewhat sensible in theory since Jones and NT Xavier Williams (high ankle sprain) are both missing from a Chiefs defensive front that was already trucked for 126/668/3 (5.30 YPC) rushing by enemy backs in Weeks 1-5. This is a revenge game of sorts for Hyde, who was cut by Kansas City in September. O’Brien has shown a true infatuation with him; Hyde set season highs in snaps (63%) and carries (21) in last week’s victory, even as Hyde is down to 3.19 yards per carry over his last three games. Still all but nonexistent in the passing game, Hyde is always a touchdown-or-bust flex option. … Duke Johnson averaged 6.9 yards per rushing attempt with five catches for 52 yards in Weeks 3-5 but hasn’t topped ten touches since Week 1.
Watson’s target distribution: DeAndre Hopkins 44; Will Fuller 39; Jordan Akins 15; Kenny Stills 14; Duke and Darren Fells 13; Keke Coutee 11; Hyde 7. … Frustrated Hopkins drafters are sick of hearing it, but Fuller, Fells, and Coutee all having big Week 5s was the best-possible thing that could have happened to Nuk, who needed his teammates to step up in order for defenses to stop tilting coverage his way. With all of that on tape, Hopkins is staring a monster breakout game in the face at K.C. D.J. Chark (4/146/1), Chris Conley (6/97/1), Marvin Jones (3/77/0), Kenny Golladay (5/67/2), Tyrell Williams (5/46/1), and Dede Westbrook (5/30/1) have all exposed the vulnerability of Spags’ secondary. Nuk is my overall WR2 in Week 6, behind only Julio Jones. … Up to fourth in the NFL in Air Yards (542), Fuller’s destruction of Atlanta could have been even bigger had he not stepped out of bounds twice at the one-yard line. Fuller destroyed Falcons top CB Desmond Trufant for 124 of his 217 yards and all three of Fuller’s TDs, and Kansas City doesn’t have a corner that can carry Trufant’s jock. Fuller should stay locked into season-long lineups as a WR2 in Week 6’s highest-totaled game. … Coutee played only 44% of Houston’s Week 5 offensive snaps and drew four targets on just 20 routes, even without Stills (hamstring) in the lineup. The Texans’ No. 3 wideout situation should be avoided outside of deep leagues. … Even as Fells hit pay dirt twice in last week’s second half, they came on his only two targets of the game. Akins and Fells both ran the same number of pass routes (24) and remain touchdown-or-bust dart-throw streamers.
A full practice participant this week after last Sunday night’s ankle scare, Patrick Mahomes now catches the Texans at Arrowhead Stadium with a shot to get back Tyreek Hill (shoulder) in the highest-totaled game of Week 6. Banged for top-12 fantasy quarterback results in 4-of-5 games – including Matt Ryan’s overall QB2 finish in Week 5 – the Texans play zone coverage on 68% of passing snaps; Mahomes has torched zone looks for eight touchdowns, zero picks, and an obscene 12.9 yards per pass attempt this year. With just one TD pass over his last two starts, Mahomes is primed for positive regression in this probable track meet. … Damien Williams was immediately reinstalled as Kansas City’s lead back after his two-week knee injury, pacing the backfield in touches (12), targets (4), and snaps (57%). Even as fantasy-friendly results didn’t follow in the Chiefs’ 19-13 loss to the Colts – two early-game end-zone targets landed just beyond his reach — Williams’ usage was promising for his chances of returning RB2 value versus Houston. Texans DC Romeo Crennel’s unit has defended the run decently – holding enemy backs to 4.29 yards per carry – but has been gashed by running backs in the passing game for a league-high 9.0 catches and 67.2 receiving yards per game. Williams, by far, is the Chiefs’ best receiving back. … Logging just two touches on a 23% playing-time clip, LeSean McCoy took a major step back in Williams’ return. While I don’t believe we’ve seen the last of McCoy, he must be downgraded to a low-floor flex option until Andy Reid shows us evidence McCoy can be trusted for double-digit touches again. Historically, Reid has preferred one-back offenses over committees. … Darrel Williams played 21% of Kansas City’s Week 5 snaps, didn’t touch the ball, and is a bench stash going forward. Darwin Thompson was inactive.
Travis Kelce has drawn seven red-zone targets – second most in the league – with five inside the ten – also second most – yet scored on none of them. Positive regression should hit Kelce very soon, possibly in a multi-touchdown explosion. In this probable high-scoring affair, he’s the best tight end play of the week. … Houston’s burnable secondary has allowed at- or above-expectation wide receiver lines to Keenan Allen (13/183/2), Michael Thomas (10/123/0), Ted Ginn (7/101/0), Calvin Ridley (5/88/1), Chris Conley (4/73/0), and D.J. Chark (7/55/1). Tyreek Hill will be a no-brainer WR1 if green lighted by Kansas City’s medical staff. … With Sammy Watkins (hamstring) looking doubtful, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman will likely round out the Chiefs’ three-receiver set should Tyreek play, although Byron Pringle stated his Week 5 case to play ahead of Hardman by out-snapping him 77% to 61% and leading Kansas City in receiving (6/103/1). When all Chiefs receivers are healthy, I still think the pecking order goes as follows: Hill > Watkins > Robinson > Hardman > Pringle. Despite his big Week 5, I believe Pringle will need both Hill and Watkins to miss Sunday’s game in order to be fantasy playable against the Texans. It’s notable that Robinson popped in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Buy Low Model this week.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 34, Texans 30