Week 7 Start/Sit: TNF – Chiefs @ Broncos
After what seemed like a long weekend of football (especially after those blockbuster trades yesterday), we’re finally back to a Thursday night matchup. The 4-2 Chiefs leave the safety of Kansas City to rocket up the atmosphere to Mile High to take on the 2-4 Broncos.
Denver is coming off a 2-win streak that includes a shut-out of Tennessee at home last week and is looking to upset the Chiefs, who have dropped 2 in a row, generating back-to-back losses at Arrowhead.
To get a better idea of what players you should keep in or out of your lineup, here are my picks for your starts, sits, flex’s, and sleepers, including a little reminder of how I categorize these players. Since this is a single game start/sit piece, I’ll be going into a little more detail to give you a better sense of the players.
Start: These are players who have an enticing matchup, and could prove a massive asset to your fantasy team due to a vulnerability by an opposing defense or a breakout performance.
Sit: Players in this category have a poor matchup and could be rendered completely useless by game script or a digression in opportunities.
Flex Start: Players in a flex position are also usually controlled by a game script, but this opportunity benefits them (such as a WR2 receiving less attention than the WR1, thus increasing odds for a good performance).
Sleeper: For players that fly under the radar, the sleepers are potential breakouts for this particular matchup. Players that are not considered as big of a threat but have an increase in things such as targets or snap counts are ideal for this category and could surprise you for the week with a big game.
Must Start: Phillip Lindsay (RB)
Some might argue that he isn’t, but 3 big performances in the past 4 games disagree. The Chiefs defense is giving up the 5th-most points per game (24) and has allowed the 3rd-most rushing yards per game (161.83), making Lindsay an ideal choice as the clearly better running back for his team.
Start: Courtland Sutton (WR)
The No. 12 Receiver in PPR formats was already Joe Flacco‘s go-to guy, especially after Emmanuel Sanders exited in the first half with a knee injury. Sutton was 4 for 76 against a tough Titans defense and gets a stingy Chiefs secondary this week. With Sanders’ availability and snap count in question, though, Sutton is primed to see many looks as Flacco’s main option.
Flex Start: Royce Freeman (RB)
With zero touchdowns so far this year, I expect that streak to end this week against the Chiefs. Technically still in a split backfield with Lindsay, Freeman could seize this opportunity against a team that has allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns (8) to opposing offenses.
Sit: Joe Flacco (QB), DaeSean Hamilton (WR), Broncos D/ST
Joe Flacco has had an interception in every game this year except the opener, and while I don’t think that trend will continue, I will continue to bench him. He’s struggled so far this year and will continue to against this secondary.
DaeSean Hamilton is on your waivers, and if he isn’t, he should be. Being Joe Flacco’s third or fourth option is not fantasy-ideal.
Do not play the Broncos D/ST this week. Just don’t. The Chiefs are averaging the second-most points per game (27.7).
Sleepers: Emmanuel Sanders (WR), Noah Fant (TE)
If Sanders plays this week, he could be a sneaky start. His knee issues have plagued him on-and-off this season, but his full-participant designation for Tuesday’s practice is an indicator that he is trending in the right direction. If he’s in, play him.
Fant has been about useless this season, but if there’s one game that he could break-out in, it’s this one. The Chiefs have allowed the 5th-most point to the Tight End position over the course of the season, and Fant could see some targets thrown his way. If you’re in need of a TE this week (looking at you Will Dissly owners), then take the dart throw with this rookie.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Reigning MVP has a tough matchup this week, but I see it as more of a bounce-back game for the Chiefs to get right in the eyes of their fans. They’ve lost their last two in a row and need to get a win this week to stay atop the AFC West (they lead by half a game against the Raiders). Mahomes will ball out because he has to.
With the return of Tyreek Hill came fantasy goodness. Patrick Mahomes’ favorite deep-ball target was 4 for 80 and 2 and looked like his old self again. He’ll certainly draw the ire of Chris Harris Jr. this week against a Broncos secondary that has allowed the 4th-fewest passing yards per game, but his superhuman speed and vertical advantage will only aid him.
Travis Kelce’s consistently great fantasy year continues in a matchup against the Broncos, who are middle of the pack in terms of point allowance to the TE position. Kelce is arguably the best at his position and is a matchup-proof, game-breaking player that is used more like a WR1 than a typical TE. Start him with ease.
Start: Damien Williams (RB)
Last Week, Williams received 1 carry for 6 yards and caught his one target for a TD. Those numbers are not encouraging by any means, but with LeSean McCoy also limited in his work, it was simply a result of game-script. Against the pass-happy defense of the Broncos, Williams is likely for an increase in workload against a team that has allowed 111 rush yards per game.
Flex Start: LeSean McCoy (RB)
He may be a bit touchdown-dependent, especially with Damien Williams receiving more of the passing game work. I would fade him to a sit in PPR formats, but McCoy will certainly get his carry workload again this week in your Standard leagues.
Watkins tweaked his hamstring during a Week 5 practice and was limited last week in the loss to the Texans. Limited again in practice this week, I certainly wouldn’t trust him until I see him as full-participant on a practice report.
With the re-emergence of Tyreek Hill and the matchup against a strong secondary, you can easily sit or drop Hardman and Robinson. The Chiefs’ defense is also in for a rough week. While Flacco struggles in the pocket, the backfield of Lindsay and Freeman are poised to run over the rush defense-less Chiefs.
Zach Hargis is a writer for Dynasty Football Digest. He enjoys playing the drums, doing voice impressions, and quoting The Office. If any of those things interest you, he welcomes you to follow him on Twitter @ZachFFDrummer and to check out his personal interests on Instagram @zakktastic.