Kenny Golladay should put up big fantasy stats against Chiefs
By Jalon Dodson
The Kansas City Chiefs head to Detroit to face off against the Lions in what could possibly be a high-scoring affair. Let’s take a look at the fantasy value of each skill position.
The top fantasy football storyline for the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Detroit Lions game in Week 4 is the fact that this is the first time in Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes‘ NFL career (excluding preseason) that he will be playing in a dome.
Is this take a bit exaggerated? What sort of fantasy value does LeSean McCoy heading into Week 4 as the clear cut starter in Damien Williams‘ injury-laden absence?
Week 3 Perfect Lineup (DraftKings)
- QB Russell Wilson (44.34 FP)
- RB Alvin Kamara (37.1 FP)
- RB Mark Ingram II (38.5 FP)
- WR Keenan Allen (46.6 FP)
- WR Mike Evans (48 FP)
- WR Tyler Lockett (35.4 FP)
- TE Darren Waller (30.1 FP)
- FLEX Greg Olsen (25.5 FP)
- DST NY Jets (16 FP)
Matthew Stafford is coming off a fair performance in Week 3, as he prepares to take on the Chiefs at home. In the first 3 games of the season, Stafford has 61 fantasy points in that stretch (20.3 avg). For comparison, Patrick Mahomes is averaging 32.3 fantasy points per game over that same stretch. Stafford’s weekly projection over the course of the early season is right at 51 fantasy points (for the first three weeks), which is on par with what he has actually scored.
LineStar’s algorithm projects the Chiefs to hold Stafford to a fair performance, with a projected 18.81 fantasy points. The Chiefs defense is ranked 8th against opposing quarterbacks in terms of fantasy football, and has allowed 33.1 fantasy points over the last two weeks. Since Sunday’s game will be played in a dome, there will obviously be no sort of weather nor wind impact, meaning the Chiefs’ defense will be tested against Stafford and his massive arm.
As for Mahomes, there has been a lot of speculation as to what the young gunslinger will be able to do in Ford Field. Over the last 3 games, the Lions defense has allowed an average of 19.73 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. However, in the team’s lone home game in Week 2, the defense allowed just 11.92 fantasy points to Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. The Chargers had a plethora of injuries that week, though, so that must be taken into consideration.
The Lions are ranked 11th against opposing quarterbacks according to LineStar, but Mahomes is projected to notch 27.24 fantasy points according to the same system. There seems to be no stopping Mahomes; that projection may seem a bit low, but it is actually quite high. For high tier players like Mahomes, projections usually sit under what they’ll normally score — too high of a projection will hurt the validity of the site in question. So, 27 fantasy points is a rather fair number; not too high, and not too low (for a player of Mahomes’ caliber). Sitting at $7500, Mahomes remains the top quarterback in the slate and will more than likely be worth the high asking price.
Start Stafford in fantasy leagues, start with caution in daily fantasy. As for Mahomes, start him wherever possible; for daily fantasy, start him if the salary cap does not get in the way.
The running back position for the Chiefs is a bit up in air, as the team’s top option is more than likely out for a second straight week dealing with a knee injury in Damien Williams. That means that LeSean McCoy will likely be the starter, with Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams seeing considerable time behind him. Detroit is ranked 23rd against starting running backs, allowing an average of 20.46 fantasy points per game. McCoy has averaged 12.6 fantasy points over the last 3 games.
Darrel Williams, currently listed as the Chiefs’ third running back, saw a significant snap increase (5 to 37) from Week 2 to Week 3. With 16 fantasy points, in last week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, Williams appears to be head coach Andy Reid‘s go-to guy behind McCoy. With that said, rookie Darwin Thompson had just 5 snaps in Week 3, with 11 snaps over the last three weeks. It’s safe to say that, even if there’s a blowout, Thompson’s fantasy value will be minimal unless there is some sort of an anomaly.
As for Detroit, Kerryon Johnson has averaged 12.1 fantasy points over the last three games. The Lions run the ball 10% more of the time when underdogs, but Johnson averages 35.5% less fantasy points in domes. Kansas City is ranked 30th against starting running backs, so Johnson should enjoy a fairly decent game unless the Chiefs manage to hunker down and amass a brick wall on the defensive line. Ty Johnson should have little to no impact and should not be started in daily fantasy nor fantasy leagues (once again barring an anomaly).
Wide Receiver & Tight End
Detroit’s first and second wide receivers, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr., are both fairly cheap and have favorable matchups. Playing against Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward, respectively, both of the wide receivers should see a considerable amount of targets. Golladay has been targeted at least 8 times in the last three games, and that number will likely rise as the Chiefs will likely force the Lions to throw the ball more often than not. Golladay is primed for a big game after scoring just 4 fantasy points last week, so if there’s room, he is definitely a starter in both daily fantasy and fantasy leagues.
For Kansas City, Mecole Hardman is starting to come into his own. Over the last two weeks, Hardman has scored 17 fantasy points, and is projected to score 13 this week. His cost ($5100) is a little high, but if he is able to at least score a touchdown then it’ll be worth the price. He is going up against Detroit’s top cornerback, Rashaan Melvin, so proceed with caution.
Sammy Watkins for the Chiefs is fairly cheap at $6700 for being the team’s top wide receiver. Although his fantasy impact dropped over the last 2 weeks, he is projected to score 15 fantasy points and will likely score higher than that. He has a favorable matchup against Justin Coleman, who is the 35th ranked cornerback this season. Demarcus Robinson should be going up against Darius Slay, if he’s healthy, and is a buyer’s beware, especially at a whopping $5200.
As for the tight ends, Travis Kelce is on a hot streak and should be a major factor in Sunday’s game. With an average of 18.3 fantasy points over the last three games, Kelce is projected to score 17 this week. He has a favorable matchup against Quandre Diggs, and has been targeted at least 8 times in each of the last three games; he also has been targeted 5 times in the red zone this season. Detroit’s defense allows 51% more fantasy points to tight ends when playing at home (last 9 games).
Detroit’s tight ends have been rather abysmal in terms of fantasy impact, outside of Week 1 where T.J. Hockensen scored 28 fantasy points. Although he is only $3300, Hockensen has a tough matchup against safety Tyrann Mathieu and should be avoided if possible. He could make for nice, cheap flex if there is a major need for cap space.
This almost shouldn’t even have its own subsection. Avoid the defenses in this game. Any substantial defensive performance will be an anomaly. The Chiefs may be an option, but are pretty pricey at $3000. As said, though, the defense could still very well come into its own. It depends on how gritty coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is willing to get.
Sample lineup using players from only the Chiefs vs. Lions game:
- QB Patrick Mahomes (27.24 proj.)
- RB Darrel Williams (8.65 proj.)
- RB Kerryon Johnson (15.20 proj.)
- WR Kenny Golladay (15.53 proj.)
- WR Sammy Watkins (15.10 proj.)
- WR Mecole Hardman (12.52 proj.)
- TE Travis Kelce (17.19 proj.)
- FLEX T.J. Hockensen (8.41 proj.)
- DST Chiefs (7.41 proj.)
Sample lineup using players from the entire main slate:
- QB Russell Wilson (23.25 proj.)
- RB Chris Carson (17.49 proj.)
- RB Marlon Mack (17.78 proj.)
- WR Julio Jones (22.17 proj.)
- WR Will Fuller V (12.90 proj.)
- WR DeAndre Hopkins (21.26 proj.)
- TE Evan Engram (17.36 proj.)
- FLEX Trey Quinn (9.70 proj.)
- DST Texans (8.67 proj.)