The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 7 Kanas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos Thursday Night Football game on October 17, 2019 at 8:15 pm ET.
Kansas CityRank@DenverRank
26.25Implied Total22.75
2419Points All./Gm17.77
69.731Opp. Plays/Gm60.78
45.0%25Opp. Rush %42.58%21
55.0%8Opp. Pass %57.42%12
  • Since 2015, the Chiefs have a league-best 22-3 record against divisional opponents and a league-best 17-8 (68%) against the spread in those games.
  • The Chiefs have won seven consecutive games versus the Broncos (6-1 ATS), their longest winning streak in this rivalry since the 1964-1969 seasons.
  • The Chiefs ran 36 fewer offensive plays than Houston in Week 6 (the largest play differential in a game this season) and 17 fewer than the Colts in Week 5. Through four weeks, the Chiefs had run just three fewer offensive plays than their opponents.
  • The 20:12 time of possession by the Chiefs in Week 6 was their lowest in a game at home since the statistic was tracked (1977).
  • Kansas City is the first team to allow 180 or more rushing yards in four straight games since the Bills in 2012.
  • Kansas City ranks 32nd in the rate of runs allowed to gain five or more yards (46.2%), 26th in rate of runs to gain 10 or more yards (14.1%) and rank 32nd in the league in stuff rate (rate of runs that that fail to gain yardage) at 10.9%. League average outside of them is 18.4%.
  • Patrick Mahomes is 18-of-37 (48.6%) passing in the red zone this season with a touchdown pass on 13.5% of his red zone attempts.
  • Mahomes completed 65.6% (63-of-96) of his red zone passes with a touchdown on 36.5% of his red zone attempts in 2018.
  • Opposing teams have converted 42.1% of their red zone possessions for touchdowns against Denver, the third-lowest rate in the league behind San Francisco and New England (25%).

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Travis Kelce: Last week snapped a 20-game streak in which Kelce had reached double-digit PPR points. Mahomes’s touchdown regression has impacted Kelce the most as he has just one score on 49 targets so far, but Kelce has tormented the Broncos. Over his five games against Denver since 2016, Kelce has games of 6-79-1, 7-78-1, 7-133-1, 11-160-1, and 8-101-0. 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • Patrick Mahomes: We’ve lost some of the immense ceiling recently as Mahomes hasn’t been a top-10 scorer in each of the past three weeks, but does have at least 18 fantasy points in each game. Denver has yet to allow a QB1 for fantasy this season and rank fourth in passing points allowed per game (9.3). Mahomes threw for 304 and 303 yards in his two meetings with Denver a year ago, but did have a career-low 6.76 yards per pass attempt in that matchup in Denver. 
  • Tyreek Hill: He returned to post a 5-80-2 line last week on a team-high 10 targets. Hill was targeted on 42.3% of his routes, which was second in the league in Week 6. Hill has been the WR44 (3-70-0), WR34 (9-54-0), and WR56 (2-38-0) over his past three games versus Denver. Chris Harris may not shadow Hill, but Denver has held Allen Robinson (WR58), Davante Adams (WR50), D.J. Chark (WR43), Keenan Allen (WR59), and Corey Davis (WR45) all to WR4 status or lower over the past five weeks.
  • Phillip Lindsay: Lindsay has been out-snapped by Royce Freeman in three consecutive games and been used less in the passing game, but has a firm grasp as lead rusher and goal-line back. Lindsay has 84 carries to Freeman’s 66 on the season and has all seven of the Denver backfield opportunities from inside of the 5-yard line on the season. There’s no doubt Denver will attempt to have a similar game plan as the Colts and Texans had the past two weeks in attempting to attack Kansas City on the ground, but they’ll need the game script to stay within reason.
  • Courtland Sutton: He’s been a top-30 scoring wideout in five of six games so far, leading the team in targets (46), depth of target (11.8 yards), and yards per catch (15.9). The Chiefs have been hammered so much by opposing running backs that they actually rank ninth in points allowed to opposing wide receivers, but do rank 18th in points per target (1.80) allowed to the position. 

Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)

  • Joe Flacco: He has one game higher than QB16 this season and has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in each of the past two weeks. But both of those games were wins in which they lead wire-to-wire, while they’ll need points here. That said, the Chiefs pass defense has been a bit better than their billed as, ranking 12th in passing points allowed per game (13.9) and 12th in passing points allowed per attempt (0.38). There’s some appeal for volume, but Flacco is still a QB2 option. 
  • Emmanuel Sanders: He left Week 6 early with a knee injury, but early word is promising that he’ll be able to play this Thursday. Sanders has two or fewer catches in three of the past four weeks and hasn’t cleared 57 yards in any of his past three games against the Chiefs, but does still lead the team in end zone targets (four) on the season. 

If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play) 

  • Royce Freeman: Many of us would have expected the Denver backfield roles to be reversed, but Freeman is more of the receiving back while Lindsay is the goal line back. Freeman doesn’t have a touch from inside of the 5-yard line yet on the season, but has maintained floor FLEX status because he’s been used out of the backfield. Freeman ranks 15th for all backs in receiving points on the season with at least four receptions in four of his past five games. Denver should be expected to use their backs heavily here and the Chiefs may be without Chris Jones once again. 
  • Chiefs WRs: Sammy Watkins is out another week, so we’ll have a similar look to what we did last week in usage, albeit in a worse matchup. With Hill returning to the lineup last week, Demarcus Robinson retained an edge on the depth chart (29 routes) while Byron Pringle (24) and Mecole Hardman (18) followed in line with all three options receiving four targets each. Denver has allowed just two touchdowns to opposing wideouts so far on the season. 
  • Chiefs RBs: A week after Damien Williams led the backfield in snaps and touches, LeSean McCoy led the Chiefs backfield with 29 snaps and 10 touches in Week 6 while Williams played 22 snaps and had just two touches. With the Chiefs getting clocked out on the ground the past two games, their backs have totaled 10 carries for 54 yards last week and 10 carries for 25 yards in Week 5. With unstable usage and ineffectiveness running the ball, both Chiefs backs check in as FLEX options.
  • Noah Fant: The matchup is great, but the targets just haven’t been here. Fant has had more than four targets in a game just once through six weeks with a season-high of 37 yards receiving. 33.3% of the receptions allowed by the Chiefs have gone to opposing tight ends — a league-high rate — but they’ve also only allowed two top-12 tight end finishes on the season.

More Week 7 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

KC at DEN | OAK at GB | SF at WAS | LAR at ATL | MIA at BUF | JAX at CIN | ARI at NYG | HOU at IND | MIN at DET | LAC at TEN | BAL at SEA | NO at CHI | PHI at DAL | NE at NYJ