By Mic Pori. The Kansas City Chiefs are going into Sunday with a lot of momentum. The Chiefs are now tied for first place in the AFC West after a strong showing against the Oakland Raiders. The Tennessee Titans come into this game having held off the Denver Broncos keeping them in the playoff hunt. A win for the Chiefs solidifies their first place position while a win for the Titans could bring them closer to securing a wild card spot. The game on Sunday provides a lot of interesting matchups for fantasy football fans.
The Chiefs have a strong offense, one that can rack up some decent fantasy stats. Alex Smith might not be the best quarterback in the league but he produces some consistently good offensive performances. Against the Raiders, Smith threw for 274 yards with one touchdown, though he also threw for one interception and fumbled the ball during a sack.
Part of the reason for the strength of Smith’s passing is his receivers. Tight End Travis Kelce has had four games in a row with over 100 receiving yards while rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill has been pulling almost 90% of his targets and racking up quite a few touchdowns. Spencer Ware has carried the team’s rushing attack with over 700 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Titans offense has its own strengths. Marcus Mariota has come into his own in his second season, getting an approximate average of 200 yards and 2 touchdowns per game, thanks to Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker who have about a combined 1,200 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Besides a great passing, the Titans rush offense adds great fantasy football numbers thanks to DeMarco Murray who, with over 1,000 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns has developed into quite a good running back.
The Titans underperformed offensively last game against a top tier Broncos defense. Passing and receiving yards were low and only one touchdown was scored for the Titans the whole game. However, they were still able to come out with a win. The offense will probably perform better against the Chiefs’ comparatively weaker defense.
Both teams will most likely be looking to pass and the Chiefs have the advantage with better options receiving compared to the Titans and the Titans having a low ranked passing defense. The Titans have a stronger run game with DeMarco Murray having much better performances than Spencer Ware.
On paper, the game is a tossup but the Chiefs’ have the advantage given their consistently stronger passing offense. This probably won’t be the greatest game for fantasy football numbers but it could yield some intriguing results.
Titans 13 | Chiefs 20
Tyreek Hill is a guaranteed start. Hill leads the team in reception touchdowns with 6 and has been Smith’s go to wide receiver for the past couple of games. He is very effective at pulling in his targets usually missing only one catch per game and coming out the game last Sunday having caught each of his targets. Hill is one of the stars of the Chief’s passing game and is someone worth playing in fantasy football.
Travis Kelce is a very strong fantasy football start. While Tyreek Hill has more touchdowns, Kelce leads the team in reception yards with almost one thousand. He has gone the past four games with over 100 receiving yards and has established himself as the main key to the Chief’s passing attack. If he keeps his hot streak going, he will probably post some very strong numbers against the Titans.
DeMarco Murray is a good start for fantasy football team owners. Even when the Titans’ offense was flailing against the Broncos, he still put on a good performance with 92 yards and one touchdown. Having already broken 1,000 rushing yards, it seems as though there’s little stopping Murray.
Alex Smith has followed his performances all season. He has scored in the past four games and often breaks 200 passing yards. Against a low ranked passing defense in the Tennessee Titans, it’s highly likely that he will throw for some good numbers. Yet, he’s risky because it’s no guarantee and he has only thrown for multiple touchdown in just three games.
Spencer Ware has struggled since the Chiefs bye week having yet to post a 100 all-purpose yard game. Ware goes up against a Titans highly ranked rush defense. Averaging about 60 yards per game and a rather low amount of touchdowns, Ware will most likely not be a big playmaker against the Titans. He’s a candidate for the fantasy football pine.
Jeremy Maclin might be a question mark for starting this week. His return to the Chiefs was rather underwhelming with only one catch for 16 yards against the Raiders. Considering Tyreek Hill’s rise to prominence in Maclin’s absence, it seems as though Maclin might get a little lost in the shuffle. He might do better in this game, but he is definitely not a first choice receiver.
Delanie Walker has been a great source of reception yards and touchdowns earlier in the season but he has been going quiet these past couple of weeks with less than 100 yards and only one touchdown in the past three weeks. Maybe he could bounce back and pick up some major yardage but given how he has an unfavorable matchup against the Chiefs it wouldn’t be surprising if he has another quiet game.
Marcus Mariota has had pretty strong fantasy football performances all season but last week he threw six for 20 with only 92 yards and no touchdowns. While that was against the Denver Broncos’ top ranked pass defense, Mariota enters his game against the Chiefs with an unfavorable matchup yet again. While he has the potential to put up big numbers, he’s a risky start. The Chiefs defense has been dominant when playing at home.
Rishard Matthews goes into the game not looking too hot. Pulling in only four receptions in the past three weeks and entering an unfavorable fantasy football matchup, Matthews is most likely going to have another quiet game. While he has scored a touchdown and gotten decent yardage recently, he has not playing at the same level he was earlier this season and is not a smart choice to start this week in fantasy football formats.