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Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 7


The New England Patriots continue to roll through the competition.

Tom Brady managed to trounce the New York Giants with 334 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns, vulturing goal line work from Sony Michel who failed to eclipse 100 yards despite carrying the football 22 times. Each team's top receiving option produced exceptional fantasy days, with Julian Edelman catching nine passes for 113 yards and Golden Tate hauling in six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown in his Giants debut.

Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes will look to get back on track after two straight losses, whereas Denver is aiming to keep the ball rolling after a home victory against Tennessee. With a rebounding offense facing off against a surging defense, let's dive in to Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis for Week 7!

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Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

Date and Start Time: October 17 at 8:20 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:

 

Offensive and Defensive Rankings in 2019:

Chiefs Broncos
Passing Yards 1st 23rd
Rushing Yards 24th 14th
Pass Defense 19th 4th
Rush Defense 30th 18th

 

Must Starts

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineups

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Even though Denver has stymied the likes of Marcus Mariota (63 passing yards, two  interceptions) and Philip Rivers (211 passing yards, two interceptions) over their last two contests, it goes without saying that Mahomes is going to be a fixture in starting lineups when healthy. Of course, a tweaked ankle he suffered back in Week 5 and a short turnaround before Thursday night could become problematic in the event he re-aggravates his injury.

Tyreek Hill (WR, KC)

Before we knew it, Hill had hauled in a 46-yard touchdown reception against the Houston Texans in his return from injury and reestablished himself as the No.1 pass-catching option in Kansas City. His team-leading 10 targets in Week 6 show that Patrick Mahomes will look his way early and often. Hill should be considered a weekly WR1 irrespective of the matchup.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Kelce is in line for touchdown regression after having failed to find the end zone since Week 2. The big-bodied Chiefs tight end has received less than eight targets only once this season and can only benefit from having Tyreek Hill draw attention away from him.

Phillip Lindsay (RB, DEN)

The Kansas City Chiefs give up the 10th-most fantasy points per game to the running back position and although Lindsay is in a near 50/50 split with backfield-mate Royce Freeman, he is out-touching him in goal-line work 14 to Freeman's nine. Further, if Denver is forced to play catchup, you can bet Lindsay will be on the field for his dual-threat capabilities.

Courtland Sutton (WR, DEN)

Entering Week 6, Sutton was top-five in the league in passer rating when targeted. He continued to establish himself as the Broncos top wide receiver with his fifth 60-plus yard outing against the Tennessee Titans and looks to have a solid floor with upside against Kansas City's vulnerable secondary.

 

Solid Options and Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Royce Freeman (RB, DEN)

Denver currently ranks 13th in the NFL in rush attempts and the Indianapolis Colts proved that the method to beat the Kansas City Chiefs is ball control with plenty of handoffs. Freeman may be in a timeshare with Phillip Lindsay, but he can likely gash the Chiefs Defense on the abnormally high work that he is likely to get.

Solid Option: Emmanuel Sanders (WR, DEN)

It appears that Sanders will not be hindered by a knee injury he suffered in Week 6 as he goes into Thursday night, but there are definitely concerns about his workload. Since opening the season averaging 8.5 targets per game, he has received four over his last two games. However, a game-script in which the Broncos have to play from behind could force Joe Flacco to look Sanders' way more often.

Sleeper: Joe Flacco (QB, DEN)

There have been flashes of Flacco looking like a startable fantasy quarterback in 2019, but the challenge has become predicting which matchups he could reach his ceiling in. Kansas City is a prime opportunity, with the Chiefs giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

 

Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Damien Williams / LeSean McCoy / Darrel Williams (RBs, KC)

McCoy was on the field for the most snaps in the Chiefs backfield last week (23 to 18 for Damien Williams and six for Darrel Williams) and had the most touches (10 to Damien Williams' two and Darrel Williams' one). Receiving work appeared to go to the Williams crew, but McCoy got the playing time and by-and-large failed to capitalize for fantasy purposes. At the end of the day, none of these backs are viable starting assets against a Broncos Defense that has given up less than 40 yards on the ground in their previous two games.

Sammy Watkins / Demarcus Robinson / Mecole Hardman (WRs, KC)

Even with Sammy Watkins ruled out, the return of Tyreek Hill has limited opportunities for the remainder of the Chiefs wide receiver core and relegated them solely to being playable in vulnerable matchups. Denver has allowed the fewest fantasy points to the wide receiver position in 2019 and can smother opposing wide receivers.

Noah Fant (TE, DEN)

Until Fant shows he can get more than four targets a game, he will be unstartable in fantasy football despite the Chiefs being a bottom-four team against tight ends.

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