Thursday Night Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Broncos at Chiefs
Here are the starts and sits for the Week 2 Thursday night game between the Broncos and Chiefs.
RB: Jamaal Charles, KC
This is a brutal matchup for Charles, as the Broncos allowed just 3.7 yards per carry last year and are coming off a game where they made Baltimore’s vaunted rushing attack look completely inept. That being said, even with the matchup concerns, you can’t bench Charles. Ever. His speed and high usage means he’s one carry away from taking it to the house on a long run, and the Chiefs are going to find ways to get him in space instead of challenging Denver’s cornerbacks. Volume will likely make up for efficiency here, but I’m staying away in DFS.
RB: C.J. Anderson, DEN
Both running backs are in play, although you should keep a close eye on Anderson’s status leading up to the game. He was limited in practice earlier in the week with a toe issue, and he’s listed as questionable entering the game. He’s expected to play, but check back in before kickoff. Anderson should be in a pretty good position to produce, as Denver is going to rely more and more on the run game, especially if Peyton Manning looks anything like he did in Week 1. If Anderson can’t go, Ronnie Hillman is a fine RB2/Flex option.
WR: Demaryius Thomas, DEN
Are there concerns about Manning’s arm strength? Absolutely, but Thomas is another guy who can turn a wide receiver screen into a touchdown fairly easily. Even with the pass game struggling last week against Baltimore, Thomas still hauled in seven catches. He’s still a safe WR1 option at this point, but if you’re expecting him to outscore every other receiver in the league this week, you’re expectations are too high. This should be a grind it out, defensive battle.
WR: Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
It’s hard to get too excited about Sanders is standard leagues, but he’s still a fine option in PPR. Manning missed him on a few potential touchdowns in Week 1, so getting open wasn’t really the issue. Sanders is a versatile option who can work underneath and still beat you deep, and in spite of a less than stellar matchup and quarterback concerns, he can still be penciled in as a WR3/Flex option pretty safely.
TE: Travis Kelce, KC
Alex Smith is conservative is probably pretty unlikely to test Chris Harris Jr. or Aqib Talib too often, which means Travis Kelce should once again be his primary target in the middle of the field. Kelce is a size and speed matchup nightmare for everyone covering him, and the Chiefs will need to keep the Broncos D honest with playaction, which is where Kelce should get most of his looks. He’s once again a top-5 tight end option.
If you’re unable to stream defenses and go get a team like Baltimore (vs OAK), both Kansas City and Denver have good enough units to justify being in your starting lineup. This game has a very low projected point total of 42, but the turnovers probably won’t be plentiful. Denver ranks higher than Kansas City for me, but again, I’d prefer to target a bad team with a quarterback who makes poor decisions rather than Manning or Smith.
QB: Peyton Manning, DEN
It seems crazy to have him on your bench in Week 2, but if you have a viable backup quarterback who has a good matchup, I’d sit Manning until he proves he’s back to his old ways. Including last year’s playoffs, Manning has surpassed 300 yards just once in his last eight games, and he has just four touchdown passes over his last six games. He looks as bad on film as he does on paper right now, and in his last trip to Arrowhead, he completed only 50 percent of his passes and threw for just 179 yards.
QB: Alex Smith, KC
Smith is never really an inspiring QB option, and Denver’s secondary might be the best in the league. That makes Smith almost completely unplayable in this one, especially since he threw for just 153 yards the last time these two teams met up. There will be weeks where Smith can help you out in a pinch, but this isn’t one of them.
WR: Jeremy Maclin, KC
After seeing what Denver did to Steve Smith Sr., it’s probably wise to avoid Maclin as well. Smith just doesn’t test defenses down the field all that often, and with the type of pressure Denver can generate, he’ll likely be checking down even more than usual. The Chiefs are going to do a good job of getting Maclin involved this year, and he’ll be close to an every week lock in your lineup, but this is just a brutal matchup you should avoid if at all possible.
TE: Owen Daniels, DEN
I’m not hopping off the Owen Daniels train quite yet like others are, but it would be nice to see Manning look his way a few times before trusting him in difficult matchups like this one. It’s probably wise to take a wait-and-see approach, unless you’re desperate at tight end.