NFL Previews and Recaps - Week 15 Close

The phrase isn’t used like it used to be, but last week I helped prove that “Defense Wins Championships.” You may be wondering what that has to do with fantasy. Well, my friend, I will tell you. My boss, Mr. Howard Bender plays in the most prestigious fantasy baseball and football league with me: The Bay Area Roto-Fantasy league (BARF.) In Week 14 he and squared I off with the winner making it into the playoffs and the loser being eliminated. I spent the morning before kickoff talking trash via social media (@JustinMasonFWFB on twitter) and asking obnoxious questions about how scared he was of our matchup in the Fantasy Alarm Facebook Live he was doing with Brandon Marianne Lee. What this did was get into his head and when I did that, he had already lost. Now it helped that he was on the air and forgot to replace Zach Ertz in his lineup, but let’s be honest, that was great defense on my part. I am in the playoffs and on my way to a BARF league championship! Good luck to everyone and remember that there are two Saturday games this week as the NFL attempts to monopolize our weekend. 

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (+1.5), Saturday, 8:25 pm EST

Last Meeting (9/24/17, Week 3): Chiefs won 24-10. Alex Smith threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Kareem Hunt rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown. Tyreek Hill caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. Philip Rivers threw for 237 yards and three interceptions. Melvin Gordon rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on seventeen carries. Travis Benjamin caught five passes for 105 yards.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Philip Rivers- Rivers threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns versus the Redskins. Rivers has been fantastic this season having scored at least fourteen points in all but one of his games this season. Since the bye week he has averaged 316 yards and two touchdowns a game over that five game span. He gets a Chiefs defense allowing the seventh most fantasy points per game this year. QB1.
  • Melvin Gordon- Gordon rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries versus the Redskins. While his overall numbers haven’t been eye-popping, he is getting the majority of the workload and contributing in the passing game as well. The Chiefs have been decent against the run this year,but his volume and the way the offense is clicking keeps him as a top tier RB2.
  • Keenan Allen- Allen caught six passes for 111 yards versus the Redskins. He continues to be the go to receiver for Rivers. He gets a Chiefs team that is allowing the second most points per game to opposing wide receivers. WR1.
  • Hunter Henry- Henry caught four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. He has now scored at least fifteen point in each of his last three games. TE1.

Kansas City

  • Alex Smith: Smith was mediocre in the win versus the Raiders. He threw for 268 yards and an interception. Smith didn’t need to push the ball down the field and the offense went somewhat conservative after getting the lead. This is a bit concerning a week after opening up the offense. When the team look to make big plays, Smith is able to do so with the talent around him, but the play calling has been a question in the second half of the season. The Chargers have been playing great defensively, so Smith is a QB2.
  • Kareem Hunt: Hunt ran for 116 yards and a touchdown versus the Raiders. Hunt had not topped 100 yards rushing since Week 5 and not scored a touchdown since Week 3, so this is very encouraging. The Chargers can be soft up the middle, so Hunt should get plenty of work. High-end RB2.
  • Tyreek Hill: Hill caught four passes for 75 yards versus the Raiders. Hill is a dangerous player when he gets the ball in open space, but the Chiefs did not seem intent on letting him work much in this one. The Chargers have fantastic corners and Kansas City will likely try and move Hill around to avoid them. Hill is a boom or bust WR2.
  • Travis Kelce: Kelce caught seven passes for 74 yards. He only has two bad games this year, but one of them was against the Chargers in Week 3, but you have to start him. TE1.

 

Prediction: Chargers win 33-20.

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