Sunday Night Football delivers an interesting matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers, and I’m sure we’ll see plenty of mentions of Super Bowl I and the timelines of these two storied franchises. The Chiefs are 8-3 but they’ve lost two of their last four. They still have firm control on the AFC West, but the Denver Broncos are one of the hottest teams in the league currently. This is a prime opportunity for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense to remind everyone that they should still be the Super Bowl favorites. They’ll visit the Packers in Green Bay and it’ll be a cold one Sunday night. The forecast during the game doesn’t call for snow. However, it is supposed to snow overnight and will likely stop Sunday afternoon so the field might be a bit more slick. But Jordan Love led the Pack to an impressive win over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving and they’ve won three of their last four games and have a shot at making a run for the playoffs. Here are the top plays and NFL DFS Showdown lineup picks for Sunday night’s game!
Spread: Kansas City Chiefs (-6)
Over/Under: 42.5 Points
Weather: As mentioned, there will be snow in the morning and afternoon, but it’ll likely stop before kickoff. Temps will be in the low 30’s with light winds.
- Jaire Alexander, Defensive Back – Questionable (Shoulder)
- De’Vondre Campbell, Linebacker – Questionable (Neck)
- Josiah Deguara, Tight End – Questionable (Hip)
- Rudy Ford, Safety – Questionable (Biceps/Groin)
- Aaron Jones, Running Back – OUT (Knee)
- Jayden Reed, Wide Receiver – Questionable (Knee)
- Robert Rochell, Defensive Back – Questionable (Calf)
- Darnell Savage, Safety – Questionable (Calf)
- Eric Stokes, Defensive Back – Doubtful (Hamstring)
- Dontayvion Wicks, Wide Receiver – Questionable (Knee)
NFL DFS MVP/Captain
You may look at his recent game log and not be impressed. I get it. He’s been more of a “floor” player than ceiling. But we also know that the ceiling is still massive. He still has six touchdown passes in his last three games with two turnovers. But you could extend the sample size to the last four games where he still only has six passing touchdowns, but now he has five turnovers. Statistical analysis is a matter of perspective. But this is still Patrick Mahomes. He can break the slate at will despite the matchup or elements for this game. He can certainly deliver 300+ yards for the bonus on DraftKings with multiple touchdown passes and he can get it going on the ground as well if he needs to scramble. The Packers have defended sub-par quarterbacks well and surprisingly have only yielded a dozen passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks so far this year. That’s fairly impressive, but they have seen Jared Goff and Justin Herbert go for 592 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air. Mahomes can run up the score against the best defenses, but he’s likely among the most popular Captain plays on the slate and he’ll find his way into all my lineups even if I only play him at flex.
Anytime the Chiefs are on a Showdown slate you basically just wash, rinse, repeat with Mahomes or Kelce at Captain. Kelce hasn’t had a big game in quite some time but he’s probably saving his next big game for when Taylor Swift is in attendance. Kelce still demands a large portion of the target share, but perhaps age is finally catching up to him. He only has five touchdowns on the season but he’s still on pace to reach 1,000+ receiving yards and he should see around eight or nine targets in this game, at minimum. Kelce, as a play, parallels Patrick Mahomes a bit. And what I mean by that is, the Packers have defended the position well. But they’ve also been burned by this position the last two weeks. Against the Chargers and Lions, the Packers allowed 11 receptions for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns to opposing tight ends. We should once again expect a 20+% target share from Kelce in this matchup and he’s always a threat to score.
Never one for wasted movement…
He’s coming off a week having played nearly 80% of the snaps at running back and Jerick McKinnon is questionable but I highly doubt they give him too much action given that he’s dealing with a groin injury. In his last game, Pacheco had five receptions and I’d be surprised if he had fewer than three in this particular matchup. The Packers have allowed at least 125 rushing yards to opposing running backs in three of their last six games with four rushing touchdowns in that span. With the injury to McKinnon I’m bumping up Pacheco more than I normally do for a Showdown slate as he can run angry and make us some money Sunday night. Update: Jerick McKinnon has been downgraded to OUT for this game.
I’m going to have five Captain candidates in this article. If I’m being honest, AJ Dillon might be my least favorite of the group but I list them in order of price, not preference. I cannot argue against the volume he’ll get. He’s seen 35 touches over his last two games and Aaron Jones has already been ruled out for this matchup. So again, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Packers went run-heavy to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field. Dillon might see 15 carries with a minimum of five targets in this game. That’s a great workload and he’s actually better in the passing game. The downside is that he’s horribly inefficient as a runner. He’s averaging just 2.57 yards per carry those last two games but 10.0 yards per reception in that span. So if they can get him going in the passing game then he elevates his ceiling. But the fantasy output, regardless, has been underwhelming. He just isn’t very good but there are plenty of touches in store for him Sunday night.
For what it’s worth, I do like Jayden Reed and initially was going to put him here, but the chest injury and ‘questionable’ designation is giving me a little pause. So for now, I’m going to lean towards Doubs but will update this if necessary. Doubs likely avoids the shadow job from L’Jarius Sneed. And Doubs costs you less than 20% of your overall budget if you plug him in at Captain and he still carries plenty of touchdown equity. Doubs has seven touchdowns on the year, but we likely need multiple in this spot to really hit pay dirt with him as our Captain and you can make the argument he’s been the third option in this offense lately. I still think there’s some leverage here because Reed is questionable, and while I expect him to play, there may be some limitations and Christian Watson has the worst shadow coverage of the slate. But again, I thought that about DK Metcalf on Thursday night and he popped off for three scores.
Mid-Tier & DFS Value Plays
Love has some appeal at Captain with seven passing touchdowns in his last three games. He’s been very impressive of late, but this is a stiff matchup for him. The Chiefs have allowed just two touchdowns through the air in their last three games. On the year, only three quarterbacks have thrown for over 250 yards on this defense and none have reached 300 yards. Love has gone for 300+ yards just once all year. On top of that, there are accuracy concerns with a 60.5% completion rate on the year and there are some games where he struggles to complete 55% of his passes. But this is the kind of game where he could see 40+ pass attempts. Even at his best, this does seem like a game where he goes for 250-275 yards and two touchdowns. That’s fine for a Flex play but won’t break the slate at Captain.
I never get this kid right, but I will say that he’s viable at Captain coming off his first 100-yard game. If he does line up mostly against Keisean Nixon, that bodes well for Rice. Nixon is allowing a nearly 80% reception rate against opposing receivers and Rice is coming off a week where he had a 31% target share. There’s still some risk. I know other people are more sold on Rice’s potential to break out than I am. On top of that, his upcoming matchups are outstanding and if he’s gained Mahomes’ trust then this is a good sign and he has slate-breaking potential each week going forward. I just want to see some consistency for him, but the ceiling is easily higher than AJ Dillon’s who made the cut up above.
I’m going to go with Reed over Christian Watson for now. By all accounts, it sounds like Watson draws the coverage of L’Jarius Sneed who just held A.J. Brown to one catch for eight yards not too long ago. Watson primarily lines up on the perimeter and if that’s the case in this game he’ll see plenty of Sneed. I’m going to assume Reed plays through this chest injury. A chest injury isn’t as devastating in my opinion as a leg or shoulder injury. Reed also has some designed runs drawn up for him and the involvement in the passing game has steadily gone up and he has 15+ fantasy points in three straight games. Fire him up if we assume Watson is erased by Sneed in this game.
This isn’t a massive leverage spot for Watson by any means. The secret is out and he’s no longer the sub-$3K play he was in season’s past. Coming off a game where he had 11 targets (only five receptions), he had just one catch on three targets last week but that one catch was a touchdown. The problem with Watson is that, while Mahomes does like him, they don’t connect on targets as often as we’d like to see. There have been some drops, some over-throws, incorrect routes, etc. $5,200 is steep for a guy that may just be a bit touchdown dependent so play at your own risk. If Rice is finally emerging after some promising efforts from earlier in the year, then Watson is left for maybe just a handful of targets after Kelce and Rice.
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST
I’m weary of this spot, but I like the price tag. I was anticipating a price tag over $5,000 on DraftKings, but I’m even more tempted at $4,600. And I know there may not be much of a ceiling in this game and they can certainly bleed production on the ground. But they just don’t give up a ton of points and they’ve shown recently they can collect sacks in bunches. And we love teams that generate pressure and sacks. Pressure leads to sacks, errant throws, or fumbles. The Chiefs have returned double-digit fantasy points in six games already this year, but they haven’t hit 15 fantasy points yet. It’s a good play, but not one we need to squeeze into our builds.
Harrison Butker ($4,800) hasn’t seen a ton of volume lately. He has just two field goal attempts but NINE extra points in his last three games. Obviously, Butker will always draw interest on a Showdown slate. The Chiefs offense can move the ball against the best of them and you just hope Butker can log a few field goal attempts. This position is frustrating because it’s dependent on the offense. Here’s the juicy part of this matchup. Opposing kickers have had at least two field goal attempts against the Green Bay Packers in every game this year. Surprisingly, opposing kickers have missed six field goals against Green Bay. But I can’t project misses, I just try to gauge opportunities and Butker’s offense can get him to double-digit fantasy points.
Anders Carlson ($4,400) has a tough battle ahead of him. The Chiefs defense has been great in the red zone and they don’t allow much to opposing kickers. In Kansas City’s last six games, opposing kickers have made just three field goals and a dozen extra points. Sure, the touchdowns are nice for positional players. But we don’t hit value with XPA’s on Showdown slates. The Chiefs D/ST is pretty damn solid as mentioned above. They have a shutdown defensive back in L’Jarius Sneed and they’re tough to score on. Only two opposing kickers have put up over eight fantasy points on Kansas City. Part of the struggle is that most teams have to chase points and abandon field goals at a certain point. But this could be a spot to fade Carlson.
NFL DFS Dart Throw Bargains
Here’s the deal with MVS, if he doesn’t catch his first target of the night, I’m convinced he won’t get another. I think he’s on such a short leash that it’s gotten to the point that he needs to catch one target in order to get another. But I’m almost more interested in paying for MVS at $3K than Justin Watson who is a little overpriced. But come on… There’s no excuse for this…
And knowing that Patrick Mahomes is such a good guy, he actually took blame for the drop. Simply mind blowing. But I do think they take a shot at MVS in this game for a deep target. And sadly, MVS still has slate-breaking upside so knowing that everyone else is turned off because of the drops, I will throw him into a lineup or two.
We have some outstanding value plays emerging on one of the best offenses in the league. The former first-round pick can probably be labeled a bust, but with Jerick McKinnon out for this game, we can probably expect CEH to get a little more work. But remember, Pacheco is coming off a game where he played nearly 80% of the snaps and it’s possible they give him even more work as a true three-down running back. That’s not good for CEH but six-to-eight touches are in his wheelhouse for this game.
Not a ton of analysis necessary here. Taylor steps in as the RB2 for Green Bay with Aaron Jones ruled out. He only had four touches last week but perhaps they build upon that role this week. At $2,000 on DraftKings we’ll need some work in the passing game or a touchdown to hit value. I anticipate rostership numbers will be depressed but there’s a little intrigue here knowing Jones is already out.
Holy moly what a discount! Is Toney frustrating? Sure is. Is there upside here? Duh. Is there also a low floor? Absolutely. Toney, a former first-round from just a few years ago, is just $1,600 at the Flex for this matchup. I wouldn’t even rule out playing him at Captain given the upside. Mecole Hardman landed on IR. I don’t think Mahomes has a ton of confidence getting the ball to MVS. We’ve seen the Chiefs call some designed runs for Toney in the past and we know he’ll see action on the field, even if my belief that he can’t learn a playbook is accurate. We know he’ll get some touches and if he finds the end zone, he’s crushing value at this price. Skyy Moore ($2,400) is probably worth mixing into the player pool. I don’t anticipate he’ll have a ton of exposure but there are plenty of pass catchers in this offense that run routes at a 50% rate and Moore can provide value at this price even though the ceiling is lower than Toney’s.
I’ll say it’s worth keeping an eye on the status of Dontayvion Wicks ($800) for Green Bay. Heath was a bit of a DFS value gem for the Packers on the Thanksgiving Day slate. With Wicks inactive, Heath caught all four of his targets last week for 46 yards. Wicks is dealing with a concussion and knee injury as well. If he can’t go, I’m willing to give Heath some exposure if he can rekindle that Thanksgiving magic.