With the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots eliminated last week, it is a new day for the Texans and Chiefs. They can make a run to the Super Bowl without going through New England. Back in Week 6, the Texans went into Arrowhead Stadium and defeated the Chiefs 31-24. Things are expected to be different this time around as the Chiefs are favored by 10 points in this game. One thing that is not different, is this matchup features two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL (Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes).
Which one of these guys will have the bigger day on Sunday afternoon? We get into that now along with the rest of the positions in this single game preview!
Patrick Mahomes (1X)
With Watson’s multiplier 1.05X, this is a very easy choice based on all of the circumstances that are favoring Mahomes. One of the biggest factors is the difference of rest coming into this game between the two. Mahomes just had a full week off to prepare for this game while Watson is coming off a hard-fought game against the Bills that went into overtime. Watson in this game was sacked seven times and hit 12 times.
You would think the defenses they are facing would be close but the Chiefs have come on quietly as the season went along and they are ranked 11th in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. The Texans are ranked 29th in the league in that category. Injury wise, all of Mahomes’ weapons will be healthy and ready to go while there is uncertainty on the Houston side. Will Fuller and Kenny Stills are expected to play but will not be 100% in this game.
With this uncertainty surrounding the receivers and the defense he will be facing, Watson could be headed for a tough day. The circumstances for Mahomes suggest the opposite and he should be locked into your lineup for this game.
Carlos Hyde (2.2X)
Back in the Week 6 matchup, Hyde was a huge factor in the Texans offense. He had 26 carries for 116 yards and 1 touchdown for a season-high 19.50 fantasy points. While the Chiefs pass defense got better throughout the season, you cannot say the same for the run defense. The Chiefs are ranked 27th in fantasy points allowed to running backs, 26th in rushing yards per game allowed (128.2) and 29th in rushing yards allowed per carry (4.9).
With the aforementioned limitations to the Houston passing attack, Hyde will most definitely be the focus of the Texans offensive game plan. He will not have to worry about Duke Johnson (2.5X) stealing any carries as Johnson is primarily a 3rd down pass option. Johnson had only 5 carries in the previous game against the Chiefs.
Kansas City’s options at running back are Damien Williams (2.25X) and LeSean McCoy (2.45X). With those two sharing the load most of the time, Hyde is a much safer option than either of them. In addition to McCoy and Williams sharing carries, the Chiefs focus will most likely be the passing game anyway. Hyde at 2.2X should be a lock for every user’s lineup.
Deandre Hopkins (1.45X)
Hopkins had another great season catching 104 passes for 1,165 yards and 7 touchdowns. More importantly, he is consistent from game to game. He never had less than 5 catches in a game and there was only 1 game where he had less than 8 targets. Watson all season consistently looks Hopkins’ way.
With the injuries to Fuller and Stills, that will be magnified in this game. With him far and away the best option for Watson, he should be in the double-digits for targets and possibly catches as well. Considering the fact that the Texans could be in a position in the 4th quarter to throw a lot, as they most likely will be playing from behind, this will be the time where Hopkins really stands out. The only other option here to consider over Hopkins would be Tyreek Hill at 1.35X. With Travis Kelce expected to play a major role, that could limit the targets for Hill. With Hopkins at the better multiplier value of 1.45X, he is the one to go with here.
Travis Kelce (1.55X)
The choice between Kelce and Darren Fells (2.6X) was not as easy as you may think. In the previous game against the Chiefs, Fells had a season-high 6 catches for 69 yards. With the limitations of Stills and Fuller, he could have a similar game to that. However, Kelce even at 1.55X is the more reliable pick here.
He has had another Pro-Bowl caliber season catching 97 passes for 1,229 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Texans defense is also ranked 24th in the league in fantasy points allowed to tight ends on the season. Even though Fells is an appealing play here, if you are choosing between him and Kelce, you still have to go with Kelce. The consistent production from Kelce makes up for the fact that his multiplier is 1.55X compared to Fells’ 2.6X.
Harrison Butker (2.5X)
If you are choosing between Butker and Ka’iam Fairbairn (2.6X), there is no doubt that Butker is the pick here. Butker has outperformed Fairbairn by a significant margin this season as he scored 10.4 fantasy points per game compared to Fairbairn’s 6.9 fantasy points per game. Butker has simply been more reliable all season long as well going 34 for 38 on field goals while Fairbairn went 20 for 25.
That reliability combined with the fact that the Chiefs most likely will be playing from ahead makes a big dent in Fairbairn’s value. Bill O’Brien knows that in a game like this, he is not going to be able to settle for field goals. One reason is he knows the Chiefs are going to put up touchdowns and the other is that Fairbairn is not someone you should feel totally comfortable with.
Butker, on the other side, can be trusted at any distance and the Chiefs will not have the same urgency as Houston to go for it on 4th down. Considering these factors, Butker should get the most opportunities and with the multiplier difference minimal, Butker is the choice here.
Carlos Hyde (3.3X)
There are a bunch of appealing options for the champion spot, but Hyde stands out significantly with his multiplier of 3.3X. For all the reasons mentioned above, he is primed to have another big game for the Texans on the ground. With game-changing fantasy potential like this, you would expect his champion multiplier value to be at least below 3X around where Kelce (2.35X) Hopkins (2.2X) are. With it being at 3.3X, this is a tremendous value for a player who is poised to get double-digit fantasy points at the very least.
This article expresses the personal views of the writer and does not reflect the view(s) of SuperDraft in any way.
Featured Image Source: Jay Biggerstaff USA Today Sports