The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 11 Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers Sunday Night Football game.
|Kansas City||Rank||@||LA Chargers||Rank|
|34.84%||3||Opp. Rush %||44.46%||22|
|65.16%||30||Opp. Pass %||55.54%||11|
- The Chiefs are number one in the league in offensive expected points added (115.5). The next closest team (Miami) is at 64.9 EPA.
- The Chargers have allowed opponents to score on 47.8% of their drives at home this season, the second-highest rate in the league.
- The Chiefs have scored on 56.1% of their drives on the road, the highest rate in the league.
- Patrick Mahomes leads all players in fantasy points inside of the red zone (109.6), points inside of the 10-yard line (74.3), and points inside of the 5-yard line (45.2).
- Mahomes leads the league with 18 passing touchdowns inside of the 10-yard line. The next closest player has 10.
- 40.3% of the passing plays run by the Chiefs have resulted in a first down or touchdown, the highest rate in the league.
- Just 29.3% of the Chargers’ rushing plays have gained five or more yards, the lowest rate in the league.
Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes has been on fire for fantasy, ripping off six straight games as a top-six scorer with four top-three finishes over that span. He has four consecutive games with 300 passing yards while throwing for 292, 338, 423, 446, and 331 yards over his past five games.
He has thrown an interception in four straight games with a turnover in six of his past seven games, but his passing volume and just enough rushing output have erased those negative plays.
The Chargers played Mahomes and the Chiefs well all the way back in Week 2. Mahomes was held to a season-low 235 passing yards while throwing for 6.7 yards per pass attempt. The Chiefs have figured out some things since then, but Kansas City does come into this week with both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman questionable while the Chargers have been able to throw some things at Travis Kelce when Derwin James has been available.
Top-down, the Chargers are not objectively a defense to carry a lot of concern over or push Mahomes off being a front-end fantasy option this week. They are 23rd in pressure rate (30.4%) and middle of the pack in most passing metrics, allowing a 65.4% completion rate (17th), 7.1 yards per pass attempt (17th), and a 4.6% touchdown rate (22nd).
Justin Herbert (TRUST): Herbert’s tough runout continued Sunday Night as he closed as the QB24 (12.0 points) in a tough draw against the 49ers. Herbert has now finished in the top half of weekly scoring just once over his past five games.
Since Week 5, Herbert’s 5.5 yards per pass attempt are ahead of only Mac Jones (5.0) while he has five touchdown passes to four interceptions over that span. He has thrown multiple touchdown passes in just two of his past seven games.
The Chiefs have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in eight games this season, the most in the league. They are allowing 0.487 passing points per attempt (29th) while facing 38.6 pass attempts per game (second most). Put together, they are allowing the most passing points per game (18.8) in the league. Four of the past five starting quarterbacks against the Chiefs have been top-10 fantasy scorers, with the only exception being Malik Willis.
Herbert was the QB9 (23.5 points) when these teams played back in Week 2. It appears that we will see all of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Gerald Everett play, which is huge. The Chargers have run just 16 total offensive plays this season with those three and Austin Ekeler on the field so far this season. We cannot fix the state of the offensive line, but getting all of those playmakers back on the field is massive for Herbert to bounce back as a QB1.
Austin Ekeler: Ekeler was held out of the end zone for the first time since Week 3 and we finally saw some of the cracks we were talking about over this hot stretch for him, more so if you are playing in non-PPR formats. He had 63 total yards on Sunday night and has been held below 100 yards in three of his past four games.
The Chargers have not been able to run the football outside of one week this season. Ekeler is 39th in success rate running the football (35.6%) and 43rd in the rate of runs to gain a first down or touchdown (19.2%). He has more than 47 rushing yards in just two games this season.
Ekeler has been able to make up ground in the passing game on sheer volume alone. He has 49 targets over the past four games with seven or more receptions in each game. All of the injuries to the Chargers’ pass catchers this season have forced targets his way, but he also is averaging career-lows in receiving efficiency, averaging 6.3 yards per catch and 5.2 yards per target. If those rates hold up and the potential return of Allen and Williams reduces those targets there could be a larger fall than anticipated.
That said, we do still have a bed of receiving work to lay our heads on while Ekeler still has massive touchdown equity in the offense. He is third among skill players in red zone fantasy points and has 10 touchdowns on the season.
He also gets a favorable matchup to aid his receiving output. The Chiefs are allowing a league-high 14.0 receiving points per game to opposing running backs. That includes Ekeler catching nine passes for 55 yards against them in Week 2. Ekeler has averaged 6.4 catches per game against Kansas City since 2018.
You get the most out of Ekeler as an RB1 in full-PPR formats, but with a strong game environment and his touchdown upside, he is a front-end starter with a high floor in all formats.
Chiefs RBs: We have been nudging closer to Isiah Pacheco getting a larger role in the running game and the takeover for that early down role was complete on Sunday. Pacheco had 16-of-18 backfield carries for 82 yards against the Jaguars. He even lost a fumble in Jacksonville territory early in the game and the Chiefs went right back to him.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire played just four total snaps and did not get a carry.
Pacheco has not been good, but opportunity is the name of the game. Out of 50 backs with 50 or more carries this season, Pacheco is 43rd in success rate (33.3%) and 47th in rate of runs to gain a first down or touchdown (16.7%). On the positive end, he is averaging 3.17 yards after contact per carry, which is 17th.
We are not getting any receiving work while we still need him to garner goal line touches, but Pacheco is attached to an elite scoring offense. If he holds the usage he did last weekend, we will run into viable scoring weeks. With his Week 10 workload, he is at worst a touchdown-dependent FLEX and borderline RB2 in non-PPR formats.
Pacheco also gets a premier matchup against a Chargers defense allowing a league-high 5.7 yards per carry to running backs. In this game environment, he is more of a start than sit on the majority of rosters.
Jerick McKinnon was still the primary pass catcher and once again the highest scorer in this backfield last week if you play in full-PPR formats. McKinnon has six receptions and eight targets in each of the past two games, while he has been a top-40 scorer in six straight games. He can be used a floor-based FLEX in PPR leagues. The Chargers are 22nd in receiving points allowed per game to backs (9.9).
Chargers WRs: Brandon Staley said that they were expecting both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to practice this week and they each part of the walkthrough Friday.
Both players would carry some volatility coming off long layoffs but would be returning to face a Kansas City team that faces the seventh-most targets per game (21.1) to wideouts. They are allowing a 6.3% touchdown rate on those targets (30th) and have allowed a pair of top-24 scoring wide receivers in three of their past four games, with the only exception being the Titans game.
Even with added instability, both Allen and Williams are WR2 starts.
Josh Palmer only had three catches for 44 yards Sunday, but he had another 22.9% of the team targets. Palmer has had at least eight targets in five of his past six full games played. He has fringe FLEX viability with both Allen and Williams back since he will play in 3WR sets and both players could be limited.
DeAndre Carter’s fantasy potential depends completely on who is playing or not. Carter has been targeted on 11.1% of his routes with Williams on the field this season.
Chiefs WRs: We also have a lot of potential moving parts on the Kansas City side with JuJu Smith-Schuster in concussion protocol and Mecole Hardman placed on injured reserve.
With Hardman out and Smith-Schuster exiting early last week, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (34 routes), Justin Watson (29), Kadarius Toney (17), and Skyy Moore (10) all got into the mix.
From a playing time perspective, Valdes-Scantling is the most bettable player here. He has run a route on at least 70% of the dropbacks in every game this season. The rub is that he doesn’t earn targets. He scored his first touchdown of the season last week but was targeted just four times on 34 routes. MVS hasn’t had more than four targets in a game since Week 5. He is a touchdown-dependent FLEX play.
From an excitement stance, Toney is the most alluring player here. Sure, he did not play as much as the highlights or box score would suggest as he was more or less in that Hardman-esque role, but when he was in the game the Chiefs had a plan for him. Toney caught 4-of-5 targets for 57 yards and a score. Toney’s usage should continue to grow. He is an upside based WR3, but one that offers much more appeal than a number of floor based options. In a majority of start/sit conundrums involving Toney with players in a similar tier of rankings, he is someone I would swing on, but we should still expect the Chiefs to rotate all of their wide receivers Sunday. Unlike say a Christian Watson or a Gabriel Davis (volatile players with high ceilings that we know are going to at least be on the field all of the time), Toney comes with playing time fragility outside of performance.
The Chargers really clamped this unit back in Week 2. Kansas City wideouts caught 10-of-16 targets for 122 yards and a touchdown, with Watson leading the team with 50 yards.
Watson has consistently been the next man up in the wide receiver rotation this season and that was the case again Sunday when Smith-Schuster exited. He only had one catch for 12 yards Sunday, but Watson becomes a single-game DFS dart.
Travis Kelce: Catching 6-of-7 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown, Kelce has now been a top-three weekly scorer at his position in 8-of-9 games this season.
We are locking in Kelce as a top fantasy tight end, but the one week he was not even a TE1 was when these teams played in Week 2. Kelce caught 5-of-7 targets for 51 yards in that game so it is not like he was erased or provided an unusable game, so don’t lose any sleep here.
That said, this has been one of the better rivalries when Kelce and Derwin James match up.
Since James entered the NFL in 2018, Kelce has run 179 pass routes against the Chargers with James on the field. On those routes, Kelce has caught 21-of-37 targets for 210 yards with zero touchdowns. Kelce has been targeted on 20.7% of his routes with 1.17 yards per route run.
With James off of the field over that same span, Kelce has secured 28-of-38 targets (73.7%) for 409 yards (14.6 Yd/Rec) and four touchdowns while being targeted on 30.6% of his routes run with 3.33 yards per route run.
While those splits are something to chew on in this rivalry it’s maybe more for avoiding Kelce at high exposure on Showdown Slates.
Gerald Everett: Everett left last week’s game with a groin injury, but he did practice this week and is expected to play on Sunday. Everett has some fragility due to his injury, the Chargers getting everyone back on the field. His usage was already shaky and had resulted in one TE1 scoring week over previous five games.
The state of the tight end position is dire and this game environment is strong, so he can still be used a volatile option right on the TE1 line. Kansas City is allowing 7.4 yards per target (20th) and an 8.1% touchdown rate (27th) to opposing tight ends, which includes a 6-71-0 line on 10 targets to Everett back in Week 2.
Chiefs vs Chargers Prediction for Week 11:
Based on the Sharp Football moneyline outcome model, recent trends & key matchups, we predict the Chiefs will win this Week 11 game.
More Week 11 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet: