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Broncos vs. Chiefs Thursday Night Football Primer & Start/Sit Advice (Week 6)

Broncos vs. Chiefs Thursday Night Football Primer & Start/Sit Advice (Week 6)

Every week, I’ll be writing a comprehensive primer on every NFL matchup and all of the relevant players, matchups, pace and playcalling notes, and injuries. It covers everything you need to know when setting your lineups. But since that article is massive and requires a full pot of coffee, we’re also going to offer these more focused matchup overviews to help you prepare for Thursday Night Football: Bears vs. Commanders.

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Thursday Night Football Primer & Start/Sit Advice

Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Pace and playcalling notes

  • Both of these teams have slow-and-throw offenses. Kansas City and Denver have operated at the 13th and eighth-slowest neutral paces while ranking eighth and ninth-best in neutral passing rate.

Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson: Wilson’s bounceback season is getting lost in translation. While the spotlight has been on Sean Payton or the Broncos’ ailing defense, it should be on Wilson. He is the QB10 in fantasy points per game, ranking tenth in yards per attempt, fourth in passer rating, and 11th-best in fantasy points per dropback. The Chiefs’ pass defense has been a horrible matchup for quarterbacks this season. They have held passers in check, allowing the fifth-lowest yards per attempt, the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game, and the tenth-lowest adjusted completion rate. Kansas City also sports the eighth-best pressure rate while also blitzing at the tenth-highest rate. Wilson has been strong against pressure this season, ranking tenth in pressured yards per attempt, fifth in pressured passer rating, and sixth in pressured fantasy points per dropback. Keep expectations in check for Wilson this week, but he could walk away with a solid game in Week 6. Week 6 Positional Value: Borderline QB1

Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes’ numbers this season have been muted compared to expectations. He is the QB8 in fantasy, ranking 11th in passer rating and 12th in fantasy points per dropback, but also 15th in adjusted completion rate and 17th in yards per attempt. If Travis Kelce is out or limited, that hurts Mahomes’ ceiling in Week 6, but he should still have a strong showing. Denver has been legendarily bad against quarterbacks this season. They have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game, the highest yards per attempt, and the highest passer rating to quarterbacks. Mahomes should have all day in the pocket against a defense that ranks dead last in pressure rate. Week 6 Positional Value: QB1

Running Backs

Javonte Williams: Williams was limited in Monday’s practice before logging a full session Tuesday. I expect him to play this week. I was hoping for the Williams’ ramp up before his injury, but I doubt that happens this week. In Weeks 1-3, Williams was capped with a 42-45% snap rate while he averaged 14.7 touches and 60 total yards. Among 63 qualified backs, Williams ranks 24th in explosive run rate and 27th in missed tackles forced per attempt. The Chiefs’ run defense has softened in recent weeks as they have now allowed the tenth-highest explosive run rate and the 11th-highest yards before contact per attempt. Kansas City’s run defense has also been Jekyll and Hyde against zone and gap plays. They have held backs to 18th in yards per carry against zone runs runs, but they have been gassed to the tune of the seventh-highest yards per carry to gap runs (Williams 55.3% zone). Week 6 Positional Value: RB2/3

Week 5

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes RZ opportunities
Jaleel McLaughlin 9 4 9 2
Samaje Perine 6 5 24 2

Samaje Perine: Perine has played 45-60% of snaps in four of five games, averaging 7.8 touches and 51.2 total yards. Perine has not recorded an explosive run this season. Among 63 qualified backs, he ranks ninth-lowest in stuff rate and fifth-lowest in missed tackles forced per attempt. Why does Payton continue to play him over McLaughlin? I don’t know, but it keeps happening. Considering the Chiefs’ issues with defending gap runs (4.68 yards per carry allowed), Perine could be set up nicely this week (Perine 66.7% gap). Week 6 Positional Value: RB3

Jaleel McLaughlin: I think Williams’ role remains fairly stable this week. Unfortunately, it looks like Mclaughlin will be headed back to the bench in Week 6. He has been explosive when on the field, but as we can tell from his Week 5 usage, the Broncos played him as the early-down complement to Perine. That’s been Williams’ role, so sadly, McLaughlin will see his playing time likely cut to near zero. Among 63 qualifying backs, McLaughlin ranks second to only De’Von Achane in explosive run rate, second in missed tackles forced per attempt, and first in yards after contact per attempt. Week 6 Positional Value: Must sit outside of a deep league desperation flex-start

Isiah Pacheco: Pacheco has been the Chief’s clear workhorse back over the last two weeks. He has played at least 59% of the snaps in each game, averaging 20 touches and 111 total yards. Pacheco has been impressive this season as the RB17 in fantasy. Among 63 qualifying backs, he ranks 20th in explosive run rate, 21st in missed tackles forced per attempt, and tenth in yards after contact per attempt. Pachecho should destroy a Denver run defense that has given up the highest explosive run rate in the NFL while also bleeding out the 12th-worst stuff rate and the second-highest yards after contact per attempt. Pacheco will turn on legend mode in Week 6. Week 6 Positional Value: RB1

Jerick McKinnon: Outside of McKinnon’s random two-touchdown outburst in Week 3, McKinnon has been unplayable this season. He hasn’t played more than 33% of the snaps in any game while averaging 3.2 touches and only 18.4 total yards. Week 6 Positional Value: Droppable / Must-sit

Wide Receivers

Courtland Sutton: Sutton has a 19.0% target share and a 33.1% air yard share. Sutton leads the team in red zone targets while sitting in second with a 21.3% first-read share. Sutton will likely see shadow coverage this week from L’Jarius Sneed (58.1% catch rate and 75.3 passer rating). Sneed has quietly been one of the best shadow corners in the NFL this season. This season, he has shadowed Calvin Ridley, Justin Jefferson, Garrett Wilson, and D.J. Moore on 57-75% of their routes weekly. These four stud receivers only averaged two receptions and 20.7 receiving yards in Sneed’s shadow coverage. Sutton is in for a long night. Week 6 Positional Value: low-end WR3/WR4

Jerry Jeudy: Jeudy has managed an 18.6% target share, a 28.4% air-yard share, and 1.69 YPRR. He leads the team with a 28.6% first-read share, but sadly, he is fourth in red zone targets with only two. Jeudy has been a disappointment this year. Among 112 qualifying wide receivers, he ranks 63rd in fantasy points per route run and 53rd in expected fantasy points per route run. Jeudy will run about 70% of his routes against Trent McDuffie (66.7% catch rate and 86.6 passer rating). Kansas City has shut down opposing slot receivers, allowing the sixth-lowest PPR points per target to the position. Week 6 Positional Value: WR3

Marvin Mims: Please, Sean Payton, stop the madness. Play Marvin Mims. He’s earned a full-time role. Enough with the shenanigans. What else does he have to do at this point? Mims has been targeted on 24% of his routes run and produced an insane 4.92 YPRR. Mims has done all this, and yet he only handled a 29.3% route run rate in Week 5. He remains a stash only. Week 6 Positional Value: Stash

Rashee Rice: While Rice managed to score a touchdown last week and was second among the wide receivers with five targets, he remains a stash-only player. He only saw an 18.6% route run rate and played 30% of the snaps. If he hadn’t caught the touchdown last week, people would not be enamored with another high TPRR low snap player for the Chiefs. Andy Reid and company continue to deploy a wide receiver committee. If you’re stuck starting him in a deep league, I get it. You’re basically praying for a touchdown. Rice does lead the team in red zone targets, so that’s not an insane ask out of Rice. Week 6 Positional Value: Stash

Marquez Vades-Scantling: I would hate to challenge Valdes-Scantling to a foot race, but I can’t roster him in fantasy football. Kansas City’s cardio king can run laps around me, but he can’t seem to draw targets. He leads the wide receiver room with a 65% route run rate, but he has only a 5.8% target share. He’s droppable in all formats. Week 6 Positional Value: Droppable

Skyy Moore: Moore has been droppable for a few weeks. He is second among the wide receivers with a 57.4% route run rate, but he’s only commanded a 9% target share and a 13% air-yard share. The dream is dead. Week 6 Positional Value: Droppable

Kadarius Toney: Toney was up to his old tricks last week with a 39% route run rate, a 14.6% target share, and a 35% TPRR. Each of these Kansas City Chiefs’ receivers feels like a weekly trap in fantasy football. Toney has not been featured in the red zone this year, with only two looks inside the 20-yard line. It’s fair to wonder if Toney will ever manage a game in a Chiefs uniform with 50-60% of the snaps played. Hold him on your bench if you must, but he’s droppable at this point. Week 6 Positional Value: Droppable

Tight Ends

Adam Trautman: Trautman has been almost non-existent in the Bronco’s passing attack. In Weeks 1 and 5, he averaged 30 receiving yards with five targets in each game. In the three other games this season, Trautman failed to record a catch. Trautman has an 8% target share while tying for the team lead in red zone targets. As tough as it is to stare at Trautman’s game logs, he could finish with a streamer-worthy stat line this week. Every passing attack has been avoiding these talented Kansas City corners by targeting their tight ends, which works in Trautman’s favor. The Chiefs have faced the 11th-most targets to tight ends, allowing the sixth-most receptions and seventh-most receiving yards. Week 6 Positional Value: Matchup-based TE2 streaming option

Travis Kelce: Kelce didn’t practice on Monday in estimated reports, but he was able to practice on a limited basis on Tuesday, which gives him a good shot to suit up in Week 6. In Weeks 2, 3, and 5, Kelce was limited with 59-64% of the snaps and a 54.3% route run rate. He still saw a 23.3.% target share with a 40% TPRR, so when he was on the field, Mahomes was looking for him immediately. Kelce is tied for ninth in the NFL in red zone targets. Even on a limited workload, Kelce can be a top-flight tight end against Denver. The Broncos have given up the sixth-most fantasy points, the third-highest yards per reception, and the fourth-most receiving yards to tight ends. Week 6 Positional Value: Top-three TE

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*All data utilized in this article courtesy of FantasyPros, PFF, SharpFootball Stats, Football Outsiders, FTN, Rotoviz, and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise specified.*

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