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Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 15


Those fantasy owners who started Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, despite the tough matchup on paper, were heavily rewarded last Thursday.

After failing to eclipse 60 yards on the ground in a game this season, he exploded to the tune of 238 rushing yards and four touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars with an effort that included a 99-yard touchdown run.

Two prolific passing offenses go head to head this Thursday night when the Los Angeles Chargers head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. Fantasy owners are hoping that their offensive pieces can get the week started off right in an offensive shootout, so let's dive into Thursday Night Football Matchup Analysis for Week 15!

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Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Date and Start Time: Thursday, December 13 at 8:00 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:

 

Offensive and Defensive Rankings:

Chargers Chiefs
Passing Yards 9th 3rd
Rushing Yards 12th 15th
Pass Defense 7th 32nd
Rush Defense 11th 25th

 

Must Starts

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineup

Philip Rivers (QB, LAC)

The Kansas City Chiefs rank dead last in the NFL in passing yards allowed, and Rivers is fully capable of keeping up with the MVP candidate quarterback on the opposing team. In a shootout that should feature plenty of passing, Rivers boasts great upside in Week 15.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)

Allen is on recently come on fire, having scored a touchdown in five straight games since coming back from the Chargers bye week and ranks at the top of the league in targets and catches over that span. The second-half surge is real, and fantasy owners shouldn't hesitate to start him in a battle of the passing offenses.

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Fantasy owners have been reaping the benefits from Mahomes exceptional season, with the sophomore quarterback putting up 20 or more fantasy points in eight straight games. He should be a mainstay in fantasy lineups for the rest of 2018.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

The tight end position in fantasy football this season has had few studs, but Kelce sits with at least seven catches per game since a Week 1 tilt with the Los Angeles Chargers and remains a locked in as a TE1.

 

Solid Options/Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Justin Jackson (RB, LAC)

Melvin Gordon has been designated as questionable and Austin Ekeler is out, opening the door for Jackson to take the reigns against Kansas City. Jackson was capable of putting up 63 yards on the ground against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13 on limited work, but fantasy owners will need to temper expectations if Gordon does manage to find his way on the field as he was out-snapped significantly when sharing duties with Ekeler a week ago.

Solid Option: Spencer Ware (RB, KC)

The potential for a reinjured hamstring is definitely concerning, but Ware managed to route the Baltimore Ravens with 20 touches for 129 yards a week ago. Fantasy owners will need to monitor his status leading up to game time, but he deserves RB2 consideration if he can play.

Solid Option: Tyreek Hill (WR, KC)

Hill is playing on a short week and having to recover from a minor injury, meaning this is one such game where fantasy owners might want to temper expectations. That being said, he has averaged 11 targets per game without fellow wideout Sammy Watkins on the field, leaving the target share wide open for the taking. Keeping that in mind, it will be a small gamble.

Sleeper: Chris Conley (WR, KC)

No Sammy Watkins means the third option in the Kansas City Chiefs passing offense could end up being Conley, though the Los Angeles Chargers have allowed just eight top-30 fantasy wide receivers on the year. Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin could also play a role despite having little time to learn the playbook.

More Lineup Prep