|Kansas City||Rank||@||New England||Rank|
|42.0%||21||Opp. Rush %||37.3%||5|
|58.0%||12||Opp. Pass %||62.7%||28|
- Including the postseason, the Patriots have won 21 straight home games, the longest streak in the league. The next closest home winning streak is held by Minnesota at five games.
- New England is first in the league in expected points added via their defense (168.9), but 19th in expected points added via their offense (29.6).
- Over their past five games, the Patriots are 24th in yards per play on offense (4.9) and 26th in touchdown rate per drive (15.8%).
- The Chiefs have scored on 49.6% of their possessions, trailing only Baltimore (58.4%).
- Opponents have scored on 14.9% of their possessions against New England and on just 12.7% of their possessions on the road against the Patriots, the lowest rates in the league.
- Over the past two seasons, the Chiefs have scored on 13-of-22 (59.1%) of their drives against New England while other teams have scored on 23.3%.
- In those games, the Patriots have outscored the Chiefs 38-9 in the first half while the Chiefs have outscored the Patriots 62-39 in the second half.
- The average offensive touchdown length for the Chiefs is 24.8 yards, the highest in the league. League average is 15.4 yards.
- Tom Brady ranks last in the league out of 35 qualifying passers in completion rate under pressure at 34.1%. Average from that group outside of Brady is 49.0%.
- His 3.9 yards per pass attempt under pressure ranks 34th of the same group. League average is 6.2 yards per pass attempt under pressure.
Trust (spike production for that player)
- Julian Edelman: Edelman is the Gibraltar of the passing game for New England. He’s had double-digit targets in seven straight games, averaging 18.9 fantasy points per game over that span with a low of 13.7 points. Opposing teams target their wideouts just 45.8% of the time versus the Chiefs — the lowest rate in the league — but that matters more for any pursuit of the ancillary wideouts here than it does for Edelman.
On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)
- James White: The other Patriot we can have faith in in the receiving game is White. White is coming off a season-high 22 touches and 14 carries a week ago. He has 16.9% of the team targets on the season, while the Chiefs are 30th in receiving points allowed per game to opposing backfields (14.8).
- Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes has thrown for 182 and 175 yards the past two weeks with just two touchdown passes. He has started using his legs more with 59 and 25 rushing yards and a score in those games, but his 5.9 yards per pass attempt over the past two weeks leave trepidation in this matchup compared to how on fire he was a year ago when he threw for 352 and 295 yards against this defense with seven touchdown passes. The Patriots are allowing 5.7 yards per pass attempt this season (second), but as we saw a week ago, they do bleed after all in the passing game. It was one thing for the Patriots to struggle with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens because everyone has, but they still only allowed 163 passing yards, one touchdown and 7.1 yards per pass attempt in that game. Houston borrowed some concepts used by the Ravens, but Deshaun Watson lined up and had 9.4 yards per attempt and three touchdowns.
- Travis Kelce: We always know the Patriots like to attempt to take away someone on the opposing offense and that player has been Kelce when these teams link up. Kelce has had lines of 3-23-1, 5-61-0, 5-40-0, and 6-23-0 over the past four meetings between these teams. We’re not moving off using Kelce by any stretch, but he’s been a focal point for the New England defense and the Patriots. In that same light, Zach Ertz was in a similar spot in Week 11 and still caught 9-of-11 targets for 94 yards.
- Tyreek Hill: 12 weeks into the season and we’ve only had three full games of Hill and Mahomes paired together. In those games, Hill has caught 21-of-37 targets for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Hill has a good resume against the Patriots, with games of 7-133-1 and 7-142-3 prior to a 1-42 game on just three targets in the AFC Championship a year ago. In that later game, New England used Jonathan Jones and Devin McCourty to double Hill often. It was the only time all of last season that Hill and Kelce were held to fewer than 100 combined yards in the same game. The Patriots have had a great season defensively and have only allowed two touchdowns to a wide receiver this season, but where they’ve excelled the most is defending the deep ball. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 24-of-96 (25.0%) passes on throws 15 yards or further downfield with three touchdowns and nine interceptions (26.2 rating), but Deshaun Watson connected on 4-of-5 of those attempts a week ago for a score.
Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)
- Chiefs RBs: With Darrel Williams now out and the status of Damien Williams still unknown, the Chiefs may have to enter this game with just LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson sharing the workload on Sunday. The Chiefs have stated that they want to limit McCoy’s usage down the stretch here and last week he had just eight touches for 30 yards, but did add a touchdown. Thompson played 24 snaps after entering the game for Williams (who had played 18 snaps prior), but the game was well in hand the Chiefs used Thompson to salt away the game with 11 carries on his snaps. If it is only McCoy and Thompson this week, I’d wager that McCoy gets extended usage over what he’s had the past two weeks. It may not heavily matter, either for a road dog, as the Patriots are allowing just 8.0 rushing points per game (second) and 7.9 receiving points per game (third) to backfields.
If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play)
- Sony Michel: Michel has been the average RB39 over the past five games. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 7 as this offense has failed to provide consistent scoring opportunities. The Patriots may try to go run-heavy here as they did with Michel a year ago against the Chiefs. Kansas City is still willing to let teams run on them, allowing 121.1 rushing yards per game to backs (31st). Michel had rushing lines of 24-106-2 and 29-113-2 in the two meetings these teams had a year ago, but it remains to be seen if the Patriots can just line up and run the ball like that this season given their losses up front and their lack of receiving options. To this point in the season, the Patriots are 30th in expected added via their rushing offense (minus-43.4).
- Tom Brady: Brady is coming off his best fantasy game of the season since Week 6, but needed a wealth of junk script and late production to get there. For the better part of the game against an exploitable pass defense, the New England passing game looked toast. The Chiefs have forced six interceptions the past two weeks after six through 10 games, but they had allowed six of the eight quarterbacks they faced prior to post top-10 scoring weeks against them. Brady is a home favorite attached to the highest game total of the weekend, but still requires a step of faith in this game shooting out to carry a lot of his fantasy water.
More Week 14 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet: