Daily Fantasy Sports: Chiefs vs. Cardinals Showdown Captain (Single Game) Evaluation

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 25: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs back to the sideline prior to the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium on August 25, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 25: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs back to the sideline prior to the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium on August 25, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images) /

The K.C. Chiefs face the Arizona Cardinals on September 11. What should your Daily Fantasy Lineup for this game look like?

With the 2022 NFL Season kicking off this week, a lot of us fantasy sports fanatics like to also play daily fantasy sports (DFS) on sites or apps like DraftKings or FanDuel. But, sometimes we don’t know who the best picks are, especially at the beginning of the season. That’s why I’m here today: To share with the Kingdom who I think the best picks for the Kansas City Chiefs‘ matchup against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 in Glendale will be.

Top Picks

All fantasy data gathered from FantasyData

MVP/Captain Picks

Patrick Mahomes, QB ($17,000 (FD), $12,200 (DK))

Does this really need an explanation? It’s Patrick Mahomes. No matter the game, unless he’s injured, he should be considered as an option for MVP/Captain. Recording 4,389 yards and 37 TDs in 2021, Mahomes racked up 361.66 fantasy points (in a standard league) over the course of the season. Even without Tyreek Hill, I still project him to be in the top 5 fantasy QBs this season.

Travis Kelce, TE ($15,000 (FD), $10,000 (DK))

Travis Kelce finished as TE2 last season, not-so-closely following Mark Andrews. He has had 6-straight 1,000 receiving yard seasons. This leads me to believe that he will again have a very good season. It’s possible that he will begin to regress, but I doubt that he will fall of a cliff in terms of stats.

Other Picks: James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster

Flex Picks

James Conner, RB ($14,500 (FD), $8,200 (DK))

Last season, James Conner finished as RB5. I expect a similar result this season, especially since Chase Edmonds is gone. With such a young defense, it is possible that Conner goes absolutely nuts in this game. The Cardinals were 8th in red zone rushing last season. Meanwhile, in the same time, Kansas City was 25th in red zone defense. If you want to take a risk, put James Conner as your captain. Otherwise, don’t fade a good RB.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR ($10,000 (FD), $8,000 (DK))

Smith-Schuster was WR139 last season. However, that’s a credit to being injured for 12 games and having an incredibly washed QB throwing to him. While the Cardinals defense was good against receivers last season, I expect them to regress heavily this season. Smith-Schuster is a vital part of the Chiefs WR committee this season and should improve greatly from last season.

Marquise Brown, WR ($13,000 (FD), $8,600 (DK))

The Marquise Brown trade during the draft was a big shock to me. I thought he was in a decent situation with the Ravens. But, now I realize that he’s in a much better position with the Cardinals. Brown is in a tough competition for WR1 with Rondale Moore because DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for the first 6 games. While I don’t believe Brown will have a great game against the Chiefs, it is worth it to consider him for your team.

Kyler Murray, QB ($16,500 (FD), $11,600 (DK))

Kyler Murray should mostly be considered due to his scrambling game. He was QB10 last season and should be treated as such this season as well. He will be crippled by the lack of DeAndre Hopkins for the first 6 weeks. While Rondale Moore and Hollywood Brown are two serviceable WRs, I do not believe they have what it takes to fill Hopkins’ shoes. Expect Murray to be rather average this season, and especially in this game.

Other Picks: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, A.J. Green 


Salary Cap: $60,000 (avg $10,000 per player)

PositionPlayerCostProj. Points
MVP (1.5x)Patrick Mahomes$17,00023.78
FlexJames Conner$14,50015.51
FlexTravis Kelce$15,00014.75
FlexSkyy Moore$6.500N/A
FlexIsiah Pacheco$6,000N/A

Remaining Salary: $1,000


Salary Cap: $50,000 (avg $8,333 per player)

PositionPlayerCostProj. Points
Captain (1.5x)Patrick Mahomes$18,30025.0
FlexKyler Murray$11,60021.7
FlexMarquez Valdes-Scantling$6,4008.2
FlexAJ Green$5,8009.6
FlexSkyy Moore$4,800N/A
FlexJerrick McKinnon$3,0005.5

Remaining Salary: $100

Injury Report

Report as of September 8, 2022

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Deon Bush- DB- Foot- FP- PROBABLE
  • Malik Herring- DE- Abdomen- FP- PROBABLE
  • Trey Smith- G- Shoulder- FP- PROBABLE=
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster- WR- Knee- FP- PROBABLE
  • Lucas Niang- OL- Kneecap- OUT

Arizona Cardinals

  • Markus Golden- DE- Toe- DNP- QUESTIONABLE
  • Trayvon Mullen- CB- Toe- DNP- QUESTIONABLE
  • J.J. Watt- DE- Calf- DNP- QUESTIONABLE
  • Aaron Brewer- LS- Ankle- LP- QUESTIONABLE
  • Zach Ertz- TE- Calf- LP- QUESTIONABLE
  • Justin Pugh- G- Neck- LP- QUESTIONABLE
  • Zeke Turner- LB- Shoulder- LP- QUESTIONABLE
  • Jonathan Ward- RB- Shoulder- LP- QUESTIONABLE
  • Rondale Moore- WR- Hamstring- QUESTIONABLE
  • DeAndre Hopkins- WR- SUSP
  • Antonio Hamilton- CB- Foot- OUT

Legend Practice Designation DNP- Did Not Participate LP- Limited Participation FP- Full Participation Game Designation OUT- Will Not Play QUESTIONABLE- May Play PROBABLE- Will Likely Play Misc. Designation SUSP- Suspended by Team or NFL


If both teams were healthy, I believe this would be a much closer matchup than my lineups make it seem. However, Arizona isn’t looking good, as seen in the Injury Report.

Furthermore, the Cardinals lost two key players in free agency. Chandler Jones, DE, Raiders, and Jordan Hicks, LB, Vikings. Combined, these players accounted for 105 solo tackles, 7 forced fumbles, 63 stops, and 15 sacks (Player data gathered from Pro Football Focus). Their 2022 defense may not (and I personally believe, won’t) bring them to nearly as hot of a start as they had in 2021.

With the hamstring injury to Rondale Moore on September 8 and the fact that DeAndre Hopkins is suspended until Week 6, the pass attack for the Cardinals is heavily stunted. However, James Conner and Kyler Murray can do well on the run. In 2021, Conner averaged 3.7 yards per carry. In the same time, Kyler Murray averaged 4.8 yards per carry. They can run the ball. And, it seems like they may have to.

With all this being said, I expect the Chiefs to struggle slightly with the run game. Last season, opponents averaged 4.8 yards per rush. To be frank, I don’t see that much has changed in that aspect. The Cardinals will focus on the run due to their best two WRs being Marquise Brown and A.J. Green.

The best strategy to use in this game would be to start Patrick Mahomes at MVP/Captain and then place a WR or Travis Kelce in a Flex position. As for the Cardinals, Murray should not be faded in this game. The problem with that is; having both quarterbacks on your team highly restricts your ability to select other high-level skill players. For instance, on FanDuel, using both Murray and Mahomes uses $33,500. Well over half of your initial salary. So, another strategy is to replace Murray with James Conner. Though I don’t believe this strategy would be as successful, it saves you $2,000 to be used elsewhere.

On Wednesday, September 7, Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney tweeted this:

This makes predictions for future DFS games slightly easier, but slightly harder for this game. Initially, I was running a prediction with Smith-Schuster as the WR1, but that’s out the window on a by-committee offense. Therefore, my best advice as for which WR you should pick for this game is this: Either choose your favorite or throw a dart at a board. You’ll have the same luck I do in picking.

I predict this game’s outcome will be favorable for us Chiefs fans. It’s a matter of who you think will be the best for your wallet. As always, if you are going to bet, please do so responsibly and within your means. Good luck to you all.

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