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Week 11 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchup Analysis

¿Què pasa? Este juego ya no va estar en la ciudad de México -- porque la NFL tiene un complejo de superioridad -- pero pensé que una introducción en español sería divertido así que aquí estamos. Realmente no resultó ser tan divertido. Con suerte, puedes leer esto.

Disappointed this game won't be coming to us from Estadio Azteca, but honestly, I can't complain - I'm happy to finally have an intriguing matchup to preview after about five-and-a-half questionable Monday Night Football matchups back, to back, to back... to back, to back. Maybe it's just me, but MNF has become what Thursday Night Football used to be. I'll just leave that there, though. (No, that's not that first paragraph translated. Don't judge me, Spanish speakers.)

Los Angeles, Mexico City, it's all the same. A potential Super Bowl matchup between the (9-1) Kansas City Chiefs and the (9-1) Los Angeles Rams, in primetime, which I literally cannot wait to see so I've been watching computer simulations between these two teams on Madden for the past three days. (Not really.) Real-life riveting, but it's also Week 11, so you 4-6'ers (myself in a league), and 5-5'ers can't afford to take many more Ls during this fantasy football playoff push; the following words were written with a feverish intent on helping you avoid such fate.

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Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams

Date and Start Time: Monday, November 19th at 8:15 p.m. EST
Game Spread: LAR -3.5
Over/Under: 63.5
Notable Injuries and Status:

Offensive and Defensive Rankings (per game):

Chiefs Rams
Passing Yards 4th 5th
Rushing Yards 13th 2nd
Pass Defense 28th 11th
Run Defense 23rd 24th


Must Starts

Top Players That You Should Have In Your Lineup

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Find me a Patrick Mahomes owner who is considering benching him... Don't even bring him or her to me, just slap them on principle. The Rams have allowed seven passing touchdowns over their last two games, and back-to-back Top-10 fantasy quarterbacks (Drew Brees and Russell Wilson) while collecting a grand total of zero interceptions. I will not take the time to rattle off Mahomes' accomplishments to this point in the season because it would take entirely too long and can be summed up in five words, he's good at throwing footballs.

Jared Goff (QB, LAR)

This Chiefs defense has a serious identity crisis. After allowing eight touchdown passes to Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Jimmy Garoppolo over their first three games combined, they limited Case Keenum, Blake Bortles, Tom Brady, and Andy Dalton to a total of three over their next four. Keenum and Baker Mayfield threw two each against them in Weeks 8 and 9, and they played Josh Rosen last week - he doesn't count. All told, clearly they're all on drugs -- there's no other logical explanation -- and they need to call that Addiction Network guy. I have no idea which version we'll see on Monday night. I do know, however, that QBs have averaged 19.2 fantasy points against them (11th-most). I also know that the implied point total 0f 63.5 at the sportsbook rivals a Saturday afternoon game in the Big12 and that this Rams offense is downright too high-powered to bench the guy I'm jealous of due to his recent Twitter exchange with Halle Berry.

Kareem Hunt (RB, KC)

Although overshadowed by Mahomes' cannon-esque arm, Hunt might be just as vital to this Chiefs offense as the golden boy himself. Ok, not just as, but they're a much different offense without his 109.1 scrimmage yards per game (eighth-most among RBs). Given their talent-laden roster, the Rams have been pretty underwhelming on the defensive side of the ball - backs have picked up 4.9 yards per carry (fifth-most) and a total of 10 TDs on L.A. (tied for the 12th-most). More importantly, the Chiefs have the offensive firepower to keep up on the scoreboard - Hunt should be a factor throughout.

Todd Gurley (RB, LAR)

Being one of the most physically gifted backs the game has to offer is one thing. Having an offensive line which opens up holes you could drive a Toyota Tundra through, untouched, is another. Gurley is matchup-proof, but there aren't many better matchups to be had for a RB than the Chiefs who've squandered 108 rushing yards per game to the position on 5.1 yards per carry, 68.2 receiving yards per game (most), and 15 total TDs to opposing backs (also the most).

Tyreek Hill (WR, KC)

It happened 12 days ago, as of this writing. The event of the 2018 NFL season. Michael Thomas catching 12 passes for 211 yards and a TD against these Los Angeles Rams. It was a glorious day for fantasy owners; unless you were on the wrong end of the performance. The Rams have given up four receiving TDs to WRs over their last three games, five 100-yard receivers on the season -- including the aforementioned 200-yard performance -- and 14.7 yards per reception to the position (third-highest). Tough to like their odds on slowing down Hill in this one.

Brandin Cooks/Robert Woods (WR, LAR)

Again, it's hard to trust the Addiction Network Chiefs defense. However, they've limited all but three WRs to less than 100 yards -- JuJu Smith-Schuster, A.J. Green, and Keenan Allen being the only ones to go over 100 -- and the seven receiving TDs they've allowed to the position are tied for the sixth-fewest. Their secondary has been respectable. Regardless, no way you're benching either of these guys at this point. Especially, with Cooper Kupp out.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Breaking down tight end matchups offers about as much value as a heated refrigerator, but the Rams have allowed a TE to score in three of their last four games. Honestly, though... Who cares? It's Travis effing Kelce.


Must Sits

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup

The Defenses

If you decide to roll with either of the Chiefs or Rams DST this week, I feel for you. Deeply.

Gerald Everett/Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

You might look at last week's box score, see that both Everett and Higbee caught TD passes, and think that they're worthy of streaming consideration. They're not. The duo had combined for just one TD over the Rams previous nine games (Higbee in Week 2) to go with 29.6 receiving yards per game. Again, combined. Goff has targeted his TEs on just 12.4-percent of his passes, and while Cooper Kupp's injury increases their appeal -- the matchup is also favorable -- the usage just hasn't been there. Plus, you'd have to flip a coin on which guy to go with, and if your luck is anything like mine, the guy who goes off will be the one you don't stream. Just save yourself the headache.


Solid Options/Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option - Sammy Watkins (WR, KC)

... If he plays. If he doesn't, I'd favor Chris Conley over Demarcus Robinson - not enough for season-long lineup consideration, however.

Sleeper - Josh Reynolds (WR, LAR)

Reynolds saw five targets with Cooper Kupp sidelined in Week 8, he caught three of them for 42 yards and two TDs. Reynolds saw one target with Cooper Kupp sidelined in Week 7, he caught it for 19 yards. Talk about two extremes. I'd imagine he lands somewhere in between in this one.

Sleeper - Demetrius Harris (TE, KC)

The guy has as many touchdown receptions (two) as David Njoku, Jimmy Graham, Evan Engram, Kyle Rudolph, and Vance McDonald. He also averages a measly 2.2 targets per game to go with 18.8 receiving yards. It's touchdown or bust here. But, again, the Rams have allowed three TDs to the TE position over their last four games, so if you're in a bind, or looking for a sneaky dfs play, Harris could be worth the risk. After all, Patrick Mahomes is his quarterback.

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